Multiverse Ghana

Documentary film (60″)

Ever thought ‘the dark continent’ doesn’t harbour genius? Think again.

 

And let’s ditch that name, if anything, it should be called the bright continent, it’s plentiful.

 

 

 

 

I visited Ghana to see what African scientists were up to


 

Review

by

Dr. ir. Birgit Boogaard
Kuwona – Advice, Training & Illustrations
Guest lecturer African Philosophy at Wageningen University

I’ve used the beautiful documentary ‘Multiverse. Sciences from Africa’ by Juul van der Laan during the course African Philosophy at Wageningen University. It shows inspiring examples of innovative and influential Ghanaian researchers – like prof. Francis Allotey and prof. David Millar – who create a diversity of sciences by combining indigenous knowledge with modern-day sciences. This is no easy task and the documentary rightfully shows some of the challenges faced by these researchers.

Moreover, this documentary will bring ‘a bit of Africa’ into your lecture room, because Juul van der Laan managed to capture a ‘genuine African atmosphere’

by including traditional Ghanaian music and proverbs. Hence, this documentary is strongly suitable for educational purposes!

 

Review

by

Henk Haenen, PhD
Intercultural Philosophy, African Philosophy (VU Amsterdam)

 

“I can recommend Multiverse Ghana: a film that will broaden and deepen our understanding”

At the same time the movie is challenging us Westerners. We can look in a mirror and ask ourselves which African attitudes to nature, society and techniques enable us to enrich our Western concepts and procedures to attain cultural advancement without the enormous risks of destabilizing the balances of nature, society and history.”

read full review

Multiverse Ghana shows the development of science in diverse fields of investigation in Ghana in a very attractive way. The principle to take African knowledge of nature, mathematics and humanities seriously into account, is the leading thread.

An original fusion of African and Western knowledge is at stake in interviews, actions and demonstrations, combined with a variety of natural noises in the background.

The film has an inspiring rhythm of camera-direction. For instance; the spoken words of the scientists are interwoven with shots of congruent natural environments. Facial expressions and body-language are also an integral part of the meaning of the interviews. It gives the movie the aesthetical value corresponding with the traditional African vision that ‘truth of character’ and ‘beauty’ are strongly interdependent. In the Yoruba language, a traditional language from West-Africa: iwa/ewa (character is truthful beauty).

During a course of African Philosophy at the International School of Philosophy at Leusden (the Netherlands) Multiverse Ghana turned out to be a very inspiring source for discussion. Central theme of discussion was the question of developing African scientific knowledge usingnot to be managed by – Western academic research. The participants of the discussion recognized the importance of the input of African traditional knowledge and wisdom in relation to science and techniques that ‘can strongly take root in African soil’.

Several students present had lived and worked for many years in African countries and it was a pleasure for them to recognize the African atmosphere of community oriented thinking and acting. To see and to hear the great respect for the rich sources of nature. It reflects the vision of the African philosopher Mogobe Ramose to see ‘Mother Nature’ as a preserver of life.

As a philosopher and historian who has been studying African philosophy and history in a dialogical way for more than twenty years, I can recommend Multiverse Ghana: a film that will broaden and deepen our understanding for the necessary input of African traditional knowledge, techniques and wisdom for owned, appropriated cultural potentials. At the same time the movie is challenging us Westerners. We can look in a mirror and ask ourselves which African attitudes to nature, society and techniques enable us to enrich our Western concepts and procedures to attain cultural advancement without the enormous risks of destabilizing the balances of nature, society and history.

Henk Haenen (1948) studied history and philosophy at the Free University (Amsterdam). His PhD, Afrikaans denken: ontmoeting, dialoog en frictie (African Thinking: encounter, dialogue and friction) published in 2006, was an intercultural philosophical research.

Heinz Kimmerle, emeritus professor in Philosophy at the Erasmus University (Rotterdam), stimulated Haenen for further investigation. The next form of an intercultural survey was Sage filosofie. Pleidooi voor Afrikaanse wegen naar zelfstandigheid (Sage Philosophy. A plea for African ways to independency).

Haenen wrote the Introduction for the Dutch translation (2017) of African Philosophy through Ubuntu of professor Mogobe Ramose (University of South Africa).


 

 

This film was screened at

De Balie, Amsterdam

INSCIENCE film festival, Nijmegen

The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Accra

CIKOD, Accra

Dutch Embassy, Accra

various Universities

ISVW, Leusden

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*are you an African scientist?
Contact me directly for an educational copy free of charge

 

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In fond memory of Prof. Francis K. Allotey

 

Prof. Allotey in 2013 at his house in Accra
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