Director: Annemie Maes
Duration: 00:04:28; Aspect Ratio: 1.738:1; Hue: 27.519; Saturation: 0.228; Lightness: 0.511; Volume: 0.107; Cuts per Minute: 8.045
Rose Akumu is a rural woman from Uganda, who came to Barefoot College (http://www.barefootcollege.org
) for a six-month workshop in solar engineering. It's her first trip away from her African village. After the workshop, she will return home and install solar panels on the rooftops of her village to bring electricity to the families of her community.
For more on the Politics of Change project, see http://pad.ma/TF/info
For the finished film 'Mahila', see http://pad.ma/TL/info
Technology is a valuable input for social transformation, but the most important force is human agency and creativity: the microlevel initiatives and everyday activities of real human beings.
In the context of the Politics of Change project, I had interviewed Rose Akumu (45, solar engineer) with the aid of a questionnaire (http://pad.ma/TF
Rose Akumu comes from Uganda, Africa. Her village was scouted by the people from Barefoot, in collaboration with a local NGO Mitumbi. Coming from a small rural village without electricity, Rose was send for 6 months to Barefoot College to learn about solar photovoltaics and to bring her knowledge back to her village. In the meantime, her husband takes care of her children.
It was the first time she left her village, and also the first time she travelled in an airplane. The trip took 21 hours. On the way to India, she nearly missed her connection flight, and the idea to be stuck in an unknown place scared her a lot. She did not dare to sleep in the plane, as she thought that they might arrive in Delhi and that -when asleep- the plane would leave with her to somewhere else.
Once she arrived at Barefoot, she was astonished that the Indian teachers did not speak english (they speak Marwari and Hindi). The communication between teachers and African students was handled in sign language. Everything was new to her, as well in the solar workshop as in daily life on the campus. Rose is a meat eater, and the kitchen at Barefoot is completely vegetarian. She had to adapt to these new habits. Also the very protective environment of Barefoot College was a new thing to her. In her village, she is used to take her own decisions, here she had to follow the campus rules.
But after all, she is very happy that she got the opportunity to follow the workshop and she wants to become a perfect solar engineer. Upgrading the status of her village is very important to her.