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The Donkey that Carried the Cloud on its Back

Monday December 9 2013

Mdurwenge dancers drumming up in the just concluded Lamu cultural festival in this picture taken on 25 November 2013.

Mdurwenge dancers drumming up in the just concluded Lamu cultural festival in this picture taken on 25 November 2013. Photo/LABAN WALLOGA 

Samantha Spooner
By Samantha Spooner
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In order to evolve, what do we keep and what do we leave behind?

This is just one of the many thought-provoking questions that Kenyan filmmakers Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann, Atieno Odenyo and Njeri Gitungo stir up in their proposed documentary ‘The Donkey that Carried the Cloud on its Back’.

This documentary will be about Lamu, the small unique island off the coast of Kenya, and the last days on the island before the construction of ‘Africa’s largest port’ begins.

In the teaser, we can already feel the essence of the documentary, which will examine an island torn between preserving its spirit and improving both its local, national and international economic prospects through the construction of the port.

Lamu has always had a magical quality about it, a unique gem with incredible beauty and an ancient history.

A CHANGE WILL COME

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Yet everything could be on the brink of change.

The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya which includes the construction of a huge port in Lamu.

The Lamu port is expected to be 1,000acres in size and will cost $3.5billion to construct.

Bear in mind that Lamu is an island frozen in time, it has one car and 3000 donkeys and no water sewage system.

Now Africa’s largest port is being constructed.

The impact on this microcosm will be phenomenal – some will argue it is going to be a good change, some argue it will be devastating.

EFFECTS OF CHANGE

We have seen this type of development happen the world over, yet often without giving it much notice.

We haven’t looked at the human element during these changes, given it a face.

This sensitive yet quirky documentary has the ability to show what is happening right on our doorstep, to one of Kenya’s treasures.

What this will bring is unknown. But it may not happen unless the three Kenyan ladies raise enough funds to make it so.

Philippa, Atieno and Njeri have now launched a crowd-funding campaign for this feature-length documentary.

This campaign ends December 22nd.

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