Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Books to Read After the Kung-Fu Movie? Digital Book Reviews to Inspire African Village Readers

We've made an application to the Knight News Challenge for a new program in Burkina Faso... you can read it there and comment (search for Africa, and you will see the handful of proposals, including ours).

Young village readers are often reluctant to experiment with new books, worrying that the grammar, style and vocabulary (books are in French) might be too difficult. These same young readers are avid viewers of local evening video sessions where an entrepreneur shows kung-fu and Bollywood movies for a small fee on a television powered by a generator (the villages have no electricity). There is no feasible way for them to get written book reviews of new and notable books, a traditional function of print newspapers. FAVL would create a regular bi-monthly stream of short (15 minute) video book reviews featuring local readers speaking in local languages, giving short plot summaries of readable new books available in the local libraries. These reviews would range from novels to memoirs by famous politicians. A FAVL staff member would be trained to shoot, edit and transfer to DVD short videos. The DVD's would be shown on video movie nights and other occasions when televisions are used in the villages.

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