'Footprints of Panafricanism': An Interview with Filmmaker Shirikiana Aina.

Author:Kai, Nubia

Nubia Kai (aka Nubia Kai Al-Nura Salaam) is a poet, playwright, storyteller, and novelist. She received a Masters Degree in African Literature and Languages from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in African Studies from Howard University. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including three Michigan Council for the Arts Awards, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and the Larry Neal Writer's Competition for Poetry. She has taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland-Baltimore and retired from Howard University's Department of Theatre Arts.

The following is reprinted via permission of Black Perspectives (https://www.aaihs.org) which originally appeared online July 23, 2018 (permission granted July 23, 2018).

In today's post, poet, playwright and novelist Nubia Kai interviews Shirikiana Aina about her new film, Footprints of Panafricanism. An independent filmmaker, film advocate and co-producer of the highly acclaimed film Sankofa, Shirikiana has been dedicated to independent cinema by, for and about people of African descent for over thirty years providing programming, distribution and exhibition of indie films. Initially a cinematographer, her interest turned to producing and directing. She has also worked as a cinematographer for various documentaries such as Politics of African Cinema and On Becoming a Woman. Her documentaries include Through the Door of No Return and Brick-By-Brick. In 1984, Aina and her husband Haile Gerima established Mypheduh Films, Inc., a distribution company for low-budget, independent, African and African American films. She is also a founder of Positive Productions, Inc., a non-profit film company organization that provides film services, equipment, editing facilities to independent filmmakers. This organization has helped independent filmmakers move in positive directions carved out through their own agency, supplying them with the catalysts and resources necessary to create and distribute films.

Aina's most recent documentary, Footprints of Panafricanism, revisits the era of Ghana's emergence into independence, when African people on the continent and in the diaspora participated in building a liberated territory. This movement, rooted in the determination to reassert Black people's humanity and recover from the impact of slavery and colonialism, constituted an essential, indispensable part of the global Pan-African vision for liberation, which in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s ushered in no less than a Black political...

To continue reading