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Post-production   /  Tom Lowe

Africa on Air

One man’s mission to promote African identity in a country where assimilation is king.

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Impact areas

ARTS

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Tom Lowe

  • PRODUCER Tom Lowe

Synopsis

DURATION: 35 MINUTES

As a community radio presenter with one of the only African music shows in Australia, Stani Goma is at the epicentre of Melbourne’s African culture and society. Since arriving in Melbourne nearly 30 years ago, this position has allowed Stani to witness change within Melbourne’s African population while also giving him influence over the soundtrack to that change.

‘Africa on Air’ uses Stani’s unique perspective to understand where African culture in Melbourne has come from and where it is headed. It allows the viewer to peer into the lives of the listeners; introducing a range of characters whose rationales for listening to the show frame some of the broader issues surrounding African identity in Melbourne.

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

‘Africa on Air’ comes at a time when social and political passions surrounding African migrants are running high and Australians are deep in debate about the most effective ways forward. The documentary provides an access point for Africans and Australians alike to better understand the nuances that exist within and around the African diaspora in the absence of emotional and political biases.

The documentary will raise awareness of the African experience in Australia among its viewers, providing an in-depth exploration of the intersection between African Australians, cultural identity and music. By using Stani Goma’s unique perspective as a vehicle for this exploration, Africa on Air can hope to educate and inform viewers about the challenges faced by African immigrants to Australia and create empathy for their plight in dealing with the lack of social and cultural connections that are encountered upon their arrival.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Africa on Air aims to create empathy, understanding and respect for all new Australians as they redefine their identity.
The documentary is aimed at all cultural or social groups. In so doing, it provides the African Australian community with not only a voice, but also a lens through which it can learn about itself. At the same time, the broader community is afforded the opportunity to learn about a culture and musical sub-culture that is rarely represented by mainstream media.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Measuring and evaluating the ripples that emerge from a social commentary piece such as Africa on Air can be hard as it will, most likely, form one message among a myriad of other messages that people may, or may not, eventually act on. Targeting audiences who already have an awareness of the issues discussed in the documentary will undoubtedly garner ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’, but it is unlikely to significantly alter the mindset of an already informed and supportive social sub-set. The greatest social impact can therefore be expected among audiences that are less informed or who are in the process of gathering information and forming opinions on the subject. This group is likely to include children and young people who may be seeing items about African Australians in the media or learning about cultural integration as part of school curricula. The audience may also include young African Australians themselves, for whom media representations may appear confusing and inaccurate.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The production of Africa on Air has already brought us into contact with a large number of people and organisation who share the same goals and aspirations around information, understanding and equality and social justice. As the documentary points out, many of these values are shared and expressed through a love of music and performance. We aim to use this network and the many communities and individuals who converge around Stani Goma's radio show to inform the next phase of our project.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

As Australians we are taught that assimilation is the best way to show gratitude. Africa on Air argues that assimilation does not have to come at the expense of cultural history or values. By showing how nuanced and individual cultural assimilation can be, we hope that our viewers will feel a sense of understanding and empathy, about Africa - its myriad cultures, countries, people and languages, and the individuals who are working to create a new sense of identity in Australia.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will develop indicators for success in partnership with our supporters once we have identified a strong target audience and impact approach.

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