AfriDocs, Africa’s only free streaming platform for documentary films, recently launched an emotive and engaging series of films that tackle the complex issues of immigration and migration told from African perspectives. These powerful documentaries have already aired across Africa, leading to debate, conversation, and an opening up of the traditional narrative around migration.
These films use the power of documentary filmmaking to show real life stories told from the perspective of African migrants during their harrowing attempts to make it to Europe in hopes of a better life. Take a journey through film that shows the realities, the honest feelings and the facts about attempting to make it across land and sea at all cost.
With the aim of both debunking many of the rumours that exist about immigration and migrants, as well as to humanize the people so often objectified through the West’s portrayal, the final four of the films will also screen on Ghana’s TV3 over the next few weeks, and for those who may miss the television broadcast, they are also available to stream FREE on the AfriDocs streaming platform, www.afridocs.net.
AfriDocs is committed to the broadcasting and streaming of African focused documentaries that reflect African voices and with this specialized focus on migration, the series hopes to inspire conversation, debate, and the production of more African produced content.
With the support of the German Foreign Office, AfriDocs presents these films as part of outreach to migrants, and those considering migration in order to enable them to make more informed and empowered decisions.
AfriDocs also invites viewers to share migration their experiences and insights via social media conversations. Make sure to follow and be part of the conversations using #MigrantStories on https://www.facebook.com/AfriDocs/ and on twitter @afri_docs.
The following films will be screened on TV3 Ghana as per the schedule listed below.
Days of Hope, 55 mins, Dittte Haarløv Johnsen, 2014
Three immigrant stories interlace to offer a portrait of the brave souls who leave Africa for Europe but who always stay connected with home. We rarely see immigrants on the move as humans. Do they have lives separate from the process of immigration? But in fact in a globalised, connected world immigrants are as we are. As the narrative unfolds we learn that each of the three characters has motivations very similar to those that drive us.
Monday 28th January 22:30 – TV3
Revenir (To Return), 78 mins, David Fedele and Kumut Imesh, 2018
REVENIR is a collaboration between the filmmaker and Kumut Imesh, a political refugee from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, currently living in France. Part road-trip, part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this film follows Kumut as he returns to the African continent and attempts to retrace the same journey that he himself took more than ten years ago when forced to flee civil war in his country …. But this time with a camera in his hand.
Monday 4th February 22:30 TV3
Those Who Jump | Moritz Sebert | Morocco, Spain | 2016 | 80 min
In northern Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla: Europe on African land. On the mountain above, live more than a thousand hopeful African migrants, watching the fence separating Morocco and Spain. Abou from Mali is one of them – the protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it. At the fence, they have to overcome the razor-wire, automatic pepper spray and brutal authorities. After every failed attempt, they return to Mount Gurugú, scouring for food in the nearby villages, trying to uphold some sort of order in the camp, and building up their confidence again.
Monday 11th February 22:30 TV3
Aji Bi, Under the Clock Tower | Raja Saddiki | Morocco | 2016 | 66 min
The film follows the small community of Senegalese women who are living and working in Casablanca, in limbo between “regularisation” in Morocco, or attempting to “cross” to Europe. With humour and sensitivity, the film documents their daily life, as well as their struggles – trying to organise themselves and survive in a Moroccan society that is at the same time generous and hostile.
Monday 18th February 22:30 TV3
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Meta’s AI AI machine translation research helps break language barriers
Today, Meta announced that it has built and open sourced ‘No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate across 200 different languages, including 55 African languages with state-of-the-art results. Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.
In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, this single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective. AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human translated training data for these languages. For example, there’s more than 20M people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.
We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.
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“It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems. We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world. To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook profile.
Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.
“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”
While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”
To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.
Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.
There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.
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