In My Image
WAYout members believe that if they make it and appear in it, then their community and neighbours will want to watch it and we believe that’s true. Films made by and with local people, people from the same community, have more impact and draw a bigger audience than those made by others.
We first put this to the test when we trained a group of women in the provinces in filmmaking and they made dramas about sexual health, fistula and the impact of Covid 19 which brought out audiences from the whole village and neighbouring villages. My Health and Not Me audiences remembered the information in them, were entertained, loved to see friends and family on screen and the places they knew. The impact was mirrored in reports from chiefs and local clinics.
Ghost Killer is our latest feature film made by and with 5 notorious gangs in Freetown. It is based on their lives and tells the story of how young people are drawn in to gangs and can’t get out of them. So far it has been screened down in the gullysides where it was shot and the whole community turned out and led discussions on the issues around gang life.
We are currently developing a series of short dramas on NCDs like diabetes, respiratory diseases or mental health issues and how to avoid them or manage them. The project is youth led and managed. Youth who grew up next to dumps, drinking dirty water and inhaling the smoke of home fires often smoking and drinking just to get through the day. They have all faced situations where they could not get medical treatment as it has to be paid for. Young people love music, computers and film, are happy to learn it and watch/listen to it. Participants will receive medical advice on diet and lifestyle before making films and recording songs.
Before training the women in the provinces and making the films, we did thorough research and collated statistics from clinics, hospitals, native healers, grass roots organisations, chiefs etc on a variety of things including STIs, gender preference, domestic abuse, fistula and so on. This is ongoing but initial reports show a drop in domestic abuse and more women seeking help for fistula instead of hiding away in shame. The women have now formed their own media group