Biography: Georges Collinet, a native of Cameroon,West Africa, based in the U.S., is one of the best-known and best-loved broadcasters on the African continent. Collinet’s French and English language music programs broadcast to Africa via the Voice of America. They have entertained millions of devoted fans. Wherever he travels in Africa, he is acknowledged by musicians and the public alike as a favorite son of the continent. Born and raised in Cameroon, then educated in France, Collinet came to the U.S. in 1959 to produce a film and ended up staying. As he puts it, “The film didn’t work out, but the country worked on me so well that I stayed”. A warm, relaxed music enthusiast, Collinet worked with African musicians in Paris during the ’70s and early ’80s, supporting their efforts to retain African roots in their music and to develop a distinctive professional sound. He co-founded the first journal in Paris devoted to contemporary African music and co-created the Maracas D’Or, the equivalent of the Grammys for African music. Collinet’s interests are as diverse as his background. In addition to hosting PRI’s successful Afropop Worldwide series, he hosts two television programs broadcast to Africa. Collinet has hosted and produced several films on development issues in Africa, and traveled to Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Madagascar and elsewhere to work with local media professionals and artists on creating effective messages on issues important to those countries.
Biography: Sheila Walker, Ph.D, cultural anthropologist and filmmaker, is Executive Director of Afrodiaspora, Inc., a non-profit organization that is developing documentaries and educational materials about the global African Diaspora. She has done fieldwork, lectured, consulted, and participated in cultural events in much of Africa and the African Diaspora. Her works include the documentary film, Slave Routes: A Global Vision, for the UNESCO Slave Route Project, and an edited book, Conocimiento desde adentro: Los Afrosudamericanos hablan de sus pueblos y su historia (Afro-South Americans Speak of their Peoples and their History), featuring articles by Afrodescendants from all of the Spanish-speaking countries of South America. She also edited the volume African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas and produced the documentary Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora. Dr. Walker was Director of the Center for African and African American Studies, the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor in the College of Liberal Arts, and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, and she was the William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the African Diaspora and the World Program at Spelman College.
Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Routes de l’esclave: une vision globale [Slave Routes: A Global Vision/Africans out of Africa] (2011).
Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora (2008 – Sheila Walker);
Routes de l’esclave: une vision globale [Slave Routes: A Global Vision/Africans out of Africa] (2010);
Africa on the Pacific: Esmeraldas, Ecuador (2011 – Sheila Walker).