Monday, November 1, 2010

Where the Water Meets the Sky: Heather Blonsky, A11

Heather Blonsky, A11
Last week, Tufts University Moral Voices held a film screening as a kick-off event exploring our topic for the year - Moral Voices on Equity: Raising a Voice for Women Worldwide. We watched “Where the Water Meets the Sky” a film which shows a group of women in Northern Zambia as they learn how to use film equipment and create a documentary about a topic that is both personal and rarely talked about, the plight of women orphaned by AIDS. Camfed is an organization that educates girls and empowers women with a goal of improving the lives of 2 million children by 2013 and achieving that goal in a variety of ways. Camfed brought the cameras to Samfya, Zambia and taught a diverse group of women, including women enrolled in school, women living in a remote fishing village and women who make a living selling products at the market, how to make a documentary, giving them a voice they didn’t have before.

Through the progression of the film, we watched the joy among the women as they successfully learned how to direct the documentary and use the camera and sound equipment, finding happiness in learning a new skill, having the opportunity to speak about important issues and, finally, presenting their hard work to hundreds of viewers throughout their community. After the film ended, everyone in attendance held a short but lively discussion of what we had just seen. As privileged American students at a private university, it is difficult to even comprehend the conditions in which these women from Zambia live. While we could all agree that empowerment is something positive, especially for women, we recognized that it is also something intangible for us, something that doesn’t appear in our daily lives. Most everyone expressed a feeling of being uplifted, proud to see such a project in action, lifting up and empowering the women involved to speak, share and be a part of something worthwhile. “Where the Water Meets the Sky” gave us a window into one story of empowering African women providing us with both a feeling of hope and initiative for the future.

As an idealist with an interest in ‘saving the world’ and a confusion with regard to how to do it, watching this film helped me to see one way in which individuals are making strides to empower others. As I think about how I can make a difference, the documentary reminded me that if you influence one life, you change the world because change cannot be made in one fell swoop but instead must be made one person at a time.

To read more about the documentary or Camfed, watch the trailer, or have a film screening, visit the website:

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