AfREC Co-Convenes Public Screening of Film About Language and Education in Zambia

AfREC partnered with the Organisation for Zambians Living in WA (OZALIWA), Organisation of African Communities in WA (OAC) and the UWA Discipline of Linguistics to convene a free screening of Colours of the Alphabet, a 2016 documentary film set in Zambia. The event was part of Social Sciences Week 2019 in Perth and was supported by the UWA School of Social Sciences Research, Community & Engagement Committee.

The evening started with participants enjoying some Zambian food provided by OZALIWA. Following the film screening, there was a discussion of key themes between participants. The event served as a useful platform to share different views on the nature of relationships between language, education, individual and group identity, society, culture and politics in Zambia and beyond.

AfREC would like to thank participants for attending and for the lively, insightful and collaborative discussion, and would like to thank our partners for supporting this event.

Colours of the Alphabet is a feature documentary film on language and childhood in Africa, telling the story of three Zambian children and their families over two school terms, and asking the question: does the future have to be in English? Steward, Elizabeth and M’barak are three first time school pupils in rural Zambia, struggling to make sense of an educational system where the language they speak at home is different from the language used in the classroom, and slowly discovering that their tongue is no longer their own. When nearly 40% of the world’s population lack access to education in their own language, the film offers an intimate, moving and often humorous insight into a global phenomenon from the unique perspective of three innocent children.

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