What does it mean to shift the narrative?

Presented to Africa No Filter Fellows on 02.26.2021

I was invited to present along with other research mentors at the Africa No Filter Research Fellows workshop held in February 2021.

My presentation was titled: What does it mean to shift the narrative. In this presentation, I drew from the work i have been doing at the Africa Media Collaborative on rewriting African narratives. The Africa Media Collaborative seeks to challenge the prevailing dominant stories about Africa that are often framed by the global news media, films, TV shows, International humanitarian agencies, International charities and foundations, tourists, social media influencers, music and fashion magazines.

While acknowledging that the last few decades have witnessed a rise in counter narratives or competing narratives about Africa, the presentation was driven by the following question: Does the existence of counter narratives about Africa indicate a shift in the narrative?

I argued that there is need to deliberately and consistently work towards eliminating biased, stereotypical, negative dehumanizing stories about Africa and its peoples. The adoption of counter narratives and competing narratives does not indicate a shift in the narrative. It is not enough to counter, we need a shift in the narrative!

In my presentation, I highlighted the model developed by Africa Media Collaborative in shifting the narrative. In order to shift the narrative, the Africa Media Collaborative developed the following three steps:

a) Reframing

b) Disrupting

c) Occupying

During the presentation, I discussed the above model in detail. I will be posting more updates about the project soon. For more information check out Africa Media Collaborative

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