Documentaries. Thank You West Africa

This 5-minute video postcard is a portrait of a singer and the story of a song. Zaye Tete, now a Southwest Philadelphia resident, lived in Liberia, in the Kendeja artists' village, before war devastated the country. Separated from her family and home, she wrote the song "Thank you, West Africa," in 1990, to thank people in Guinea and other West African countries for taking in Liberian refugees who, like her, had been displaced, and who had fled, often with little more than the clothes on their back. The video introduces Tete, a renowned singer in Liberia, who immigrated to Philadelphia, where her family now lives. She tells about her experiences during the war and recounts the circumstances of the song's creation. The video includes footage of Tete performances, both in a refugee camp in the 1990s and at a concert performance in Philadelphia in 2007. The small piece shares a brief glimpse of experiences of people displaced by war and tragedy, and of the resilience and courage that people can muster under terrifying circumstances. Directed by Toni Shapiro-Phim and Barry Dornfeld.

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