Kenyan documentary If Objects Could Speak has won Best Documentary award at the recently concluded Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCAs). The 8th edition of the award ceremony took place over the weekend at Victoria Islands in Lagos, Nigeria.
The film, directed by German Elena Schilling and Kenyan Saitabao Kaiyare, explores the origins of a Kenyan artefact, currently stored in a German museum, in a bid to find answers about the object’s origins.
The artifact is from Kikuyu tribe and entered into the museum in 1903. Other than that, very little is know about the mysterious object.
This film takes you on a journey to find answers about this old object across different parts of Kenya. With a digital art installation in their package, Elena and Saitabao started a new conversation about the issue of colonial belongings, identity, fear and anger in Kenya.
“Using Augmented Reality for our installation, we went back to Kenya to travel and find out if there is any knowledge about this artefact today, and what it means to the people – in its digital form and its absentia in the physical,” said Schilling and Kaiyare.
According to the two, European museum cellars are full of African artifacts, they are stored, imprisoned, and treated with chemicals – a loss of culture. Because each of them has its own story.
It’s not the first award the film has won.
Last year it was awarded the Osmane Sembene Award under the Godfather of African Cinema Category at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.