The Traveling Mirror and a Fitting Goodbye

Image by Peter DiCampo. Ghana, 2009.

As Alicia said - it's like creating mirrors.

This past November, I traveled from village to village in Ghana's Northern Region. With me were filmmaker Alicia Sully and Peace Corps Volunteer Leader Allison Terry. In 19 villages, reaching over 10,000 people, we showed a slideshow of my Kayayo photos and Alicia's feature film on the same topic. The film was written by Ghanaian villagers, based on their own experiences - they also starred in it and directed it. Both of our pieces were in Dagbanli, the local language.

Other than some crude English subtitles, the Kayayo Multimedia Outreach was created completely for Ghanaians.

The day after each video showing, we gathered a mix of people to discuss what they had seen. Many of them will go their entire lives without seeing city life firsthand; for others it is all too familiar. They viewed our work with a mix of intrigue, revulsion, pity, anger, and an occasional laugh. School children asked us how they could avoid having to travel south for money. Adults were appalled at the behavior of the youth. And, as for the young women we were portraying, who had traveled south in the past - they argued that there was no alternative for them.

Click here to view a short video on the "tour", see the villagers' reactions for yourself, and hear more about the project's impact.