Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hotel Independence Pt 8

Hot water again

Hanging out at the Azaila Hotel Independence, where I was suppose to stay. The action is happening here. Deals are being made, films are being sold, stars are poising. Too much fun.

Michael and I meet a filmmaker, Jean-Francois Méan. He’s from Montreal altho his mother is African-American and his father is Swiss. He’s made a film for an NGO about albinos, Black and White:Crimes of Colour. In some places albinos are considered a curse and in others good luck. Jean-Francois (JF) is fun and a great translator. He’s staying at the Hotel Independence and shows us around.

They have pool, tennis courts, 3 restaurants, internet in every room, 10 cable stations and fabulous bathrooms! This is the Trump tower next to my room. Oh well, next time…

We run into another Chicagoan, Shivani. She’s good friends with my buddy Eric from the Silver Room. We decide to call him and let him know we are together in Ouagadougou. He’s not surprised;-) We all decide to go to the party at the South African Embassy later tonight.

Back at the FESPACO grounds, it’s kind of like Taste of Chicago and the African Arts Festival combined, but bigger. In front of the gates are white evangelist telling people to repent for their sins because the world is coming to an end. They are here teaching hate and intolerance. WTF! Are these people everywhere. I look around to make sure Sarah Palin doesn’t show up with cookies. I almost smack one of them. Other Westerners are yelling at them to get the hell out of Africa, you freaks!!

Saw a romantic comedy that was an African adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. It had elements of science fiction, but African style. I have a new found respect for a people that appreciate the importance of their own image. It’s a mirror that reflects, exposes and enlightens the people.

The South African Embassy is quite a drive but it’s very nice. Great food and drink. Beautiful South African singers perform for us. Excellent company including a lovely Afro-Colombian woman and a British filmmaker living in Spain.

We have a great time, then leave for an after party by Burkina hip hop artist. After FESPACO there is a huge international reggae festival so the music people are gearing up.

We top it off with a night cap at, where else, the Hotel Independence.

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