Inna Modja and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film The Great Green Wall, representation, climate refugees, new narratives, gender disparity, music, melody and hope and about a green wall that unites.
“Shines a light on one of the world’s most ambitious, but unsung initiatives to tackle climate change”
Executive Producer Fernando Meirelles (Academy Award-Nominated Director of City of God & The Constant Gardener) and Malian musician-activist Inna Modja take us on an epic journey along Africa’s Great Green Wall — an ambitious vision to grow an 8,000 km ‘wall of trees’ stretching across the entire width of the continent to restore land and provide a future for millions of people.
Traversing Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Niger and Ethiopia, Modja follows the burgeoning Great Green Wall through Africa’s Sahel region — one of the most vulnerable places on earth (temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average) — laying bare the acute consequences of severe land degradation and accelerating climate change the Wall aims to counteract: increasing desertification, drought, resource scarcity, radicalization, conflict and migration. A Buena Vista Social Club meets Year of Living Dangerously, frontline characters give voice to a continent at a crossroads — stories Modja echoes on a sublime album.
With the support of insightful musical collaborators (Didier Awadi, Songhoy Blues, Waje, and Betty G), Modja endeavors to amplify the promise of the Great Green Wall in helping to address the urgency of the real-time threats facing her beleaguered homeland. With almost half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 1 billion people under the age of 15 — a population set to more than double by 2050 — and over 80% surviving on some form of agriculture, upwards of 60 million people are expected to make a massive exodus.
Although the film does the groundwork for a climate change cautionary tale, The Great Green Wall provides a refreshing story of resilience, optimism and collection action. If completed, the Wall will be the largest living structure on earth, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef — a new world wonder.
As Modja passionately pursues an African Dream for a generation seeking to control their own destiny, she reminds us of the enormity of the task ahead and that time is not on our side. The resulting journey of hope, hardship and perseverance reveals our shared human condition, reflecting a deeper moral and existential question we all must confront: “Will we take action before it’s too late?
A renown Malian musician and activist, Modja has released three studio albums: Everyday Is a New World, Love Revolution and Motel Bamako — combining Sahelian desert blues, Motown soul, pop and hip-hop.
As a global ambassador for the UN, Modja uses music in her activism — raising awareness about climate, migration and social justice issues. Modja is a vocal women’s rights activist and a survivor of female genital mutilation.
Image Copyright and Credit: Make Waves Productions and Inna Modja.
F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.
For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.
With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.