Organizers

Organizers

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Firebeads Media

Firebeads Media is a collaboration of Rebeccaa Oheneasah Hesse and Dr. Susan Wilcox. Alumni of Fulbright awards from their respective countries, Rebecca and Susan share an interest in youth, art, heritage and Pan Africanism. Rebecca, a native of Ghana, is a filmmaker, NAFTI lecturer, and Ph.D. candidate in Visual Anthropology in the Department of Archaeology & Heritage Studies (University of Ghana). Susan, born and raised in New York City, is a visiting lecturer in the same Department, as well as an educator, cultural ethnographer, photographer, and designer.

 

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Susan Wilcox

Susan is a native New Yorker with 25 years experience working on liberatory education initiatives in the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. In 2011 she launched SEW Consulting tocollaborate in the creation of humanizing pedagogy that is informed by heritage knowledge. She is particularly focused on issues of identity, gender and racial equity, and Pan Africanism. Susan is completing a 2-year teaching and research Fulbright appointment at the University of Ghana (Department of Archaeology & Heritage Studies) and has taught at in NYC at Teachers College, Eugene Lang College and The City College of New York. Her passion is with and for youth, and most recently was Co-Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, an organization she helped expand to include girls/young women and international study, including to Ghana. Susan is co-founder of the Free Minds, Free People conference on social justice education, has served on various advisory boards, and written for a variety of books, journals and blogs. Her core sensibility is of an artist; she is a designer and photographer. Her newest venture is as co-founder/co-director of Firebeads Media.

 

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Rebecca Oheneasah Hesse

Rebecca is a filmmaker and a film teacher. In 2009, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue an MFA degree in Documentary Studies and Production at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. She has about 10 years teaching experience at the National Film and Television Institute where she focuses on teaching courses mostly in documentary studies and production. She is Co-Founder/Co-Director of Firebeads Media a multimedia consulting company with offices in Accra and New York. Rebecca’s work at NAFTI grants her the opportunity to interact and mentor young women and men in different areas of career and self-development. She has also worked on other diversity programs such as Documenting Diversity, a skill-mentoring program for high school students in the New York metropolitan area.

Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Anthropology in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies (University of Ghana). Her core interests are in the areas of History, Documentary filmmaking, Ethnographic filmmaking, and Visual Anthropology contextualized within the issues of representation, race, identity and pan Africanism and how they feed into the Ghanaian film industry broadly. Rebecca has worked with several media and production companies in Ghana either as a Director, Producer or Production manager.

 

Team Members

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Abena Lotus

I am Sarah Lotus Asare, an MPhil Archaeology student of the  University of Ghana, Legon. I'm popularly known as Abena. I am a Zealous and inquisitive young lady. My interest in understanding human societies and love for Volunteerism gave me  the opportunity to work as a Volunteers Coordinator at the Benpaali Young Film Makers Festival.

 

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Mawuli Dagadu

Mawuli Dagadu is a Filmmaker, Film Critic,  Screenwriter and Film Director with a degree from the National Film and Television Institute.

 

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Osbert Yao Vulor

Osbert Yao Vulor is an entrepreneur, a consultant, a developer and the Co-founder of IT Portal Limited, a web technology company aimed at projecting the image of its clients across the globe on the world wide web. He holds a degree in Information studies and Political Science from University of Ghana.

 

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Victoria Aryee

Victoria Aryee Twum-Gyamrah is an archaeologist, performing artist and an art and cultural heritage enthusiast. She holds an MPhil in archaeology and a B.A in archaeology and theatre arts from the University of Ghana.

As a performing artist and an upcoming documentary filmmaker, she is concerned with creating #StoriesThatMatter.

As an archaeologist her primary goal is to bring to the fore the contribution of Ghana and west Africa to human development as we now know it.

Currently working with the department of archaeology and heritage studies, University of Ghana, she employs knowledge and skill from her three passions i.e. archaeology, art and heritage to tutor and add value to the discipline of archaeology.

 

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Zonke Guddah

I am a graduate student in the university of Ghana who is interested in cultural heritage, art and social change in a positive light. Benpaali is a platform that has provided the opportunity to experience diverse cultures and also, to impact society through film and filmmaking. I think of it as an incredible way to involve not just myself and the team but everyone from all over the world. I love films, music, reading books and to travel to learn about other cultures. I believe films simply mirror society by either depicting or predicting human relations and issues. Partaking in the Benpaali program enhances my interest for art and the act of volunteerism.