V p r o j e c t
We would like to offer the project
devoted to a little-known but rather important page of Russian history
for your consideration.
As many people in the contemporary
world see the cause of geopolitical cataclysms in the West – East or North
– South confrontation, the theme of human rights and the problem of racialism
continue to be urgent.
The idea of making a documentary tentatively
titled “Black Russians” has arisen in the above context.
The project authors were fascinated
by the Africans whose destines were inwrought with the destines of Russia.
We intend to tell the story of the
Africans’ role in the history of the Russian state and their contribution
to Russian history and culture.
We are sure that the protagonists
of our project, their past and present will be of interest not only in
Russia, but in the whole world as well.
This will be a film telling about
love as love ranks rather high in the lives of our protagonists. Many
a story started from love – love to a woman, love to life, love to their
Histories of the states, original
culture of immigrants, political events, melodramatic stories of the protagonists’
private lives – all these will make the subject of the film intended for
56-60 min of screen time.
We shall offer an exciting dynamic
story that develops in accordance with the rules of the games and comprises
real facts, historical documents, exclusive interviews, and objective
analysis. The film will include documents from the archives, newsreel
shots from the TV archives, extracts from newspaper articles of the previous
It is the opinion of the authors that
the given project’s theme will be of interest for world TV companies,
university video collections of various countries, and international thematic
In the history of Russia there were
not so many Africans as compared with both Americas and Europe. Anyhow,
they made their small but valuable contribution to the history and culture
of the Russian state.
In Russia the first Africans appeared
on the Black Sea coast over three hundred years ago as a result of slave-trade
practiced by the Ottoman Empire. Their descendants still live and toil
at the same territories.
According to the archive documents
to be used in the course of the work on the film we find out that Peter
the Great showed genuine interest in the destinies of the migrants from
Africa. His friend Lefort insisted that Africans should be brought to
Russia as hard workers. Count Razumovskii, another friend of czar Peter
brought several Africans from Turkey including Gannibal who became a great
soldier and ancestor of the genus in poetry. This fact ill be commented
by M.M. Khutsiyev, famous film director. Obviously, we are unable to pay
proper attention to a large-scale personality of Alexander Sergeyevitch
Pushkin requiring special representation, but we shall underline the African
roots of the poet who repeatedly mentioned them in such his works as “Eugene
Onegin”, “Blackamoor of Peter the Great”, etc. and present the opinions
of Russian poets M.I. Tsvetayeva and V.V. Mayakovsky.
One of the film events will be devoted
to Ira Aldridge, famous Senegalese actor who played lead roles in Shakespeare’s
plays on the stages of America, Great Britain, and Europe. He took part
in reforming the Russian theatre and contributed to preparation of the
Russian self-awareness for he abolition of serfdom. Aldridge was friends
with T. Shevchenko, well-known Ukrainian poet, and helped him to get free
In early 30-s of the last century
several black and mixed families came to Russia from America and Africa
under the auspices of the Comintern. They were chiefly specialists in
the spheres of industrial production and agriculture. The technical equipment,
modest means, and professional experience brought by them were an appreciable
contribution to economic development of a new state. Among them were Oliver
John Golden and his wife Bertha (he brought with him a group of 16 Afro-American
experts in the cultivation of cotton), well-known Afro-American poet Langston
Hughes with a group of 22 moviemakers, Paul Robeson with his family and
many others. Some of them stayed in Russia forever. Among their descendants
are scientists, professors, journalists, doctors, poets, and actors.
In early 60-s the African nations
gained independence one after another. The USSR offered them assistance
in training their specialists in the Soviet higher educational institutions.
According to the statistics, 400 thousand African students were trained
in the country institutes for 40 years. Many of them settled down to married
life and assimilated in Russia. Their children and grandchildren live
and work in various cities of the Russian Federation. Most of them know
about Africa by mere report and the only heritage of their historical
fatherland is the skin color.
Alongside with positive changes, the
long-awaited perestroika together with democracy and freedom of speech
also brought about such phenomena as social inequality, chauvinism, and
xenophobia. Independent of their social status, gender, or age, Black
Russians are subjected to threats and violence on the part of new-sprung
fascists and skinheads. There appeared social racialism closely associated
with economic instability. Nonetheless the descendants of Africans living
in the country consider Russia their only Motherland, daily work to contribute
to welfare of their state, and are the estimable members of this society.
We know well such names as Elena Hanga, journalist and popular TV narrator,
Anton Zaitsev, TV narrator, Grigory Siyatvinda, popular theater and film
Afro-American by origin, historian,
professor of the Chicago University. Has published several books and articles
on history of Africans in Russia and delivered lectures on this subject
in more than 90 American universities, as well as in many universities
of Europe, Asia, and Africa. She is the member of the leadership of several
international organizations, including International Black Women Institute,
Afro-American Leaders and African Presidents Summit. Widow of the Vice-President
of Tanzania; her daughter Elena Hanga, graduate of the faculty of journalism
of the Moscow State University, is a well-known TV narrator.
African-Russian by origin, producer.
Graduated from the economic faculty of the All-Russian Institute of Cinematography;
in 1992-94 headed an advertising and information agency in Moscow; has
gained acting experience and worked as a TV narrator; in 1995-96 worked
for GBC as advertising and marketing manager; author and producer of several
cinema And TV projects; in 1996 took part in the presidential-election
campaign in Ghana; in 2001 was the narrator of the Moscow International
Human Rights Film Festival “Stalker”; member of the Ghanaian Guild of
Filmmakers and of the Council of Young Filmmakers with the Russian Union
C o n t a c t :
Tel: 007 (095) 282 48 49
Cell: 007 (903) 119 51 24