Poverty, Overpopulation, Migration - these are the images which often arise in western perceptions of the African continent. The voices of those who arrive in Europe, or even those of the people who are not emigrating, are rarely part of the discourse. But those who are leaving their home countries to start somewhere entirely new are in fact the minority. The six-part film series Leaving and Staying focusing less on the stories about leaving, but rather on the decision to stay despite the hard life circumstances, as well as on the fight for a better life on-site.
The works of African filmmakers from the 1970s till today are illustrating the lives of young people on the African continent. The decision whether to stay or to leave of course is a relevant one in their lives, but so are other existential questions as well.
Enoka Ayemba is a film curator and film critic focusing on African cinematographies, the Nigerian video industry and anti-colonial movements. He has been a consultant for the Berlinale Forum since 2019.