“The past is never dead,” as William Faulkner and this website remind us, “It’s not even past.” We explore the endurance of the past in the present through ethnographic filmmaking. In January 2013, we traveled to Panama to observe and participate in the country’s growing tourism industry.
Much like its eponymous waterway, V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River meanders steadily through the dark reality of postcolonial Africa, alternately depicting minimalist beauty and frightening tension. Like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, subtle prose reveals the timelessness of the continent’s remote corners alongside human corruptibility.
In his response to the recent resignation of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Barack Obama situated the event within a longer history of popular freedom struggles. His references to Gandhi and the fall of the Berlin Wall evoked powerful images for most Americans, but Obama’s allusion to the small West African nation of Ghana may be less familiar.