Film Screening: Ghana’s Electric Dreams

Time: 17.00 - 18.30

Venue: University Place, Lecture Theatre A, University of Manchester, M13 9PL

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The FutureDAMS research project is pleased to share a screening of the film “Ghana’s Electric Dreams” followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers Dr. Stefan Miescher and Mr. R. Lane Clark.

The documentary film Ghana’s Electric Dreams, a unique collaboration between filmmaker R. Lane Clark and historian Stephan F. Miescher, presents the story of the planning and wide-ranging impact of the Akosombo Dam, Ghana’s most ambitious development project. The film takes the viewer on visits to sites affected by this hydroelectric dam and by the broader vision of modernization that it represents. Interviews with Ghanaians, enriched by historical footage, reveal the complexity and contradictions of modernization. They show how Ghanaians have been living with Akosombo for over fifty year, striving to shape it to their own needs. Recurring themes, including unintended consequences, social inequities, rural/urban divides, and gender differences, underlie this portrait of energy, power, and creativity in this West African country. The multiple viewpoints demonstrate that modernization remains an unfinished project. The story of Akosombo is at once a subject of national pride, ambivalence, and controversy, as well as of international scholarly interest and debate. The movie consists of six segments; we will be showing three segments of the movie at the event, which include:

1. “Nkrumah’s Baby” (Introduction)

2. “Nobody Should Be Made Worse Off” (recounts the hardships of resettlement)

3. “VALCO -- An American Island in Ghana” (features employees of the Volta Aluminium Company, the dam’s main beneficiary)

A film by R. Lane Clark and Stephan F. Miescher Directed and edited by R. Lane Clark. Based on the research by Stephan F. Miescher and R. Lane Clark. Produced by R. Lane Clark, Stephan F. Miescher, and France Winddance Twine