In my graduation project Blackboard, is a chalkboard, a universal means of communication. In this short film I show various Africans from south of the Sahara whom I have met in The Netherlands. I investigate to what degree these individuals feel themselves uprooted in their new environment and how they deal with that fact. How do they respond to the fact that they are living in a different country, and how do they handle all their experiences and memories from their land of origin? In this, the blackboard is an important link between the viewer and the subject. Not the persons themselves, but the blackboard tells us the story of these Africans. Their stories come to life on the chalkboard; the words and pictures are represented, written, wiped away and immortalised. Through this, you as the viewer are carried along in their personal journey.
As well as being the means of telling stories, for Africans the blackboard is pregnant with meaning in still another way. In Africa the chalkboard is still an important means of communication. Every African has written his or her first words on one. They immediately respond to it, and it carries their thoughts back to Africa. Because of this, the blackboard heightens the subject's memories and feelings, making the images more powerful. In addition, Blackboard takes you, as the viewer, back to your memories and your first experiences at communication and imagination.
In the video called "I am a midwife", a woman dressed in traditional Ghanese clothes, tells her story. You can see that, although she lives in the Netherlands, she is more devoted to her homeland Ghana. Her story is about losing hope and faith, and about being a ‘nobody’ in a strange country without having the right permits.