Before I traveled for the first time, I was quite certain culture shock was a myth. I’d lived all my life in Ghana – Togo sef I hadn’t seen but someway somehow I thought being transported into another geographic setting wouldn’t hit me with all kinds of RAM crashing impressions for my brain.
Why? There is too much information out there, on the internet, in movies, magazines etc. I’d been fortunate enough to have had access to these information portals and that’s where this too known guy had conceived the belief that he was a good enough world citizen who could navigate every environment.
For my first experience, it hit me – hard! I wasn’t exactly “oooh-aaaah-ing” my way around but as one would have it, somethings just didn’t make sense and not in a bad way. I had a tight schedule too, cramping a lot do into just seventeen days. I was in Holland and then spent a weekend in Germany…
I always thought of myself as being an organised and principled fellow till I arrived in a country which seemed TOO ORGANISED for me. People obeyed simple rules that were ignored in our parts of the world and it was almost as if this was something written in their genes. Everything worked with precision as if it was all programmed. I felt like I was in a matrix and I wondered where the real “people” were. That soon changed the longer I stayed. I’ll tell you more about my culture shock another time…
As you may have noticed, I’ve been dormant for about a month. I will do as much as I can to bring you my musings regularly from now on *Fingers Crossed*. This past month I’ve been away has been an incredibly good experience. It wasn’t my first time going to aburokyire so settling in was slightly easier than I previously had and there was a lot more to the visit than just holiday.
I decided to take my love and interest in storytelling to another level. To explore one of the best things known to man; FILM. I’d love to give a whole history lecture on film but that’s not why we’re here. Read more on film and filmmaking when you can. For me, in my mind, taking on this new opportunity was just marrying my rekindled love for writing and photography.
I enrolled at HKU University of Arts for their summer school program thanks to my wonderful girlfriend. It got better when I was not only accepted, but I found out I would be getting this knowledge and experience with eleven other people from all over the globe.
My course mates were from South Africa, Greece, Romania, Ecuador, China, Indonesia, Finland, Yemen and I from Ghana. Although these are their countries of origin, some came to holland from different places due to work and school. There was Deon (South Africa), Louise (Greece), Iustina (Romania), Carlos (Ecuador), Thana (Yemen), Nadja (Finland) Tuti (Indonesia), Elyn (China), Wenjia (China) and Yun Chao (China)
Our Course director was the Dutch documentary filmmaker Frans Hoeben. Frans has about four decades under his belt. When he spoke about storytelling, he was always as bright as a kindergartener making sense of new words. It was as if he was teaching this for the first time ever. It was refreshing!
Cut to the end of the short but very educative and insightful summer school, a few things I will take with my on new journey of exploring the storytelling medium that is film is that;
- Your story matters more than your equipment and a very simple story can be told in several interesting ways. Be creative. Engage your audience
- Filmmaking is a very deliberate craft and you will find that even the simplest stories demand a lot of pre-production and planning before execution
- I may write a more elaborate breakdown of what story telling via film entails but for now I’m just happy to be back and I’m looking forward to exploring this newly acquired knowledge. If you ever see “ AN OSEI KWAME “ Film somewhere give it a like.
- There’s a lot more to talk about and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you in the coming weeks. PEACE!
WATCH A SHORT CLIP OF A TRIP TO THE DAM SQUARE – AMSTERDAM