The first season of Black in China 黑人在中国 was a guerrilla style ethnographic (documentary) web-series that gave the firsthand accounts of 39 Black people’s accounts of living in the People’s Republic of China. Those members of the African Diaspora are “western” by experience, hailing from the Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the United States. Their professions range from teachers, to entertainers, to entrepreneurs, all attempting to amalgamate and function to the life of the People’s Republic of China. Their experiences include the cities of Beijing, Changsha, Guangzhou, Zhangjiagang, Lishui, Nanjing, Ningbo, and Shenzhen. All of the participants happily shared their likes, dislikes, business experiences, and advice to provide a voice to the Black expatriate voice of China.
After the series began airing, 3 reoccurring themes were presented to me as a filmmaker. The first was that more people wanted to be featured in the series and share their accounts of what it was like to be a Black person in China. The second was thing was that the sound quality was not the best. And the third was that people wanted a more in-depth look at the cast members lives. Not just them doing formal interviews, but actually more footage from in the classroom teaching, to their performances, to how they are received on the streets.
Black in China 黑人在中国 season 2 will meet all of these guidelines. The plan is to do updates for the cast members (10黑人) who are still in China when we commence filming (September, 2015). We will also travel to more Tier 2 and Tier 3 Chinese cities to interview new cast members (25黑人). We will also interview people in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macao). Finally we will increase the diversity of our cast by not just focusing on professionals, but also interview students who are studying in the People's Republic of China. We will also feature more Black Europeans and West Indians living in China and add a broader range of ages.
The money we are raising is for improved hardware and software to make Black in China 黑人在中国 season 2 less of a guerrilla style film. It will still deliver the same level of candor and truth that season one did, but noticeable differences will be evident: the sound will be much improved, better camera work, smoother transitions, more professional quality editing, which will lead to a better viewer experience.
The first Black in China 黑人在中国 was made to help the next wave of Black people (no matter where they come from) to be prepared and to also network with people who are already in this new foreign place. Right now the Black in China 黑人在中国 crew has teamed up with BlackLifeChina.com to improve the quality of life for Black expatriates in the People's Republic of China.
The goal of Black in China 黑人在中国 season 2 is to leave people with a resource that will help ease the transition of traversing the globe.
Risks and challenges
The most difficult thing about this project will be the filming timeline. This is an ambitious undertaking. The first Black in China 黑人在中国 was filmed over the course of 6 months. However that was because the first time, it was a one person film crew. That one person also had several obligations that permitted him from traveling throughout China. This time, it will be a two person film crew and even though the timeline for filming (6 weeks) is dramatically shorter, the film crew will be exclusively in China to complete this project.
The director/ethnographer Kwame Ismail plans to have this project available to the public January, 2016. This means that filming will take place from September until National Week in October. Kwame learned a lot about from his first two series Black in China 黑人在中国 season 1 & Black in Doha (both available on www.KMATiKC.com) . That experience has prepared him to tackle this project smoothly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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