A New Experiment 

When we started up Baraza Media Lab just over three years ago, one of the things we promised to do was “experiment with novel ways of storytelling.” Less than three months later, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, throwing a spanner into all the works of our well-laid plans. The pandemic forced us to restrategise, and we’re proud that during that time we were able to support ten storytellers with a reporting grant on how Covid-19 was affecting their communities and reshaping lives.

Since then, we’ve been working hard at figuring out our position in the media ecosystem, and how best we can bring value. Last month’s Africa Media Festival was in line with that renewed effort to create real value among diverse media players, including journalists, artists, media owners, and media funders.

Now, we’re thinking of making another big bet with a collaborative and cross-disciplinary creative project we are calling Story Sosa. We’ll unpack what this project is all about in the coming weeks, but because you are subscribers to this newsletter, you get sneak peek into this experimental format.

Imagine an evening performance that delivers multimedia journalism in front of a live audience, combining elements of narrative storytelling, video, animation, and immersive experiences, all on stage and in real time. Through this program, we intend to speak to audiences in new ways and breathe new life not just into the media sector but also into the creative space more broadly, by providing opportunities for journalists to collaborate with visual artists, musicians, and graphic designers in a novel way.

We envision structuring each Story Sosa evening as an edition of five to eight curated individual stories. Each story would be researched and written just like a traditional magazine story for print, but would be presented before a live audience using a varying, dynamic combination of video, animation, graphic design, and music.
Watch this space for more!
In the meantime, here’s:

  • What We’re Reading: The Perfectionism Trap, published on The Economist’s 1843 Magazine. Society bombards us with instructions to be happier, fitter and richer. Why have we become so dissatisfied with being ordinary?
  • What We’re Watching: I’m a super latecomer to Better Call Saul, available on Netflix and Prime Video. This is one of those slow-burning and multilayed shows that are hard to categorise, but so worth your time. And it deserves every one of the 46 Emmys it’s been nominated for.
  • What We’re Listening To: False Profits: Hillsong, a podcast that uncovers what’s rotten at the core of the global megachurch that made Christianity trendy. Through exclusive testimony and evidence, this podcast uncovers the culture of exploitation, discrimination, and sheer impunity that Hillsong never wanted the public to know about.

As always, 

Christine Mungai

Curator | Baraza Media Lab

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