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    Dakar To Port Loko: Perspectives From West Africa was specifically designed as a classroom resource and continues to be utilized by faculty at some of the top educational institutions in the country.  In contrast to other documentaries on Africa, Dakar To Port Loko: Perspectives From West Africa offers educators 1) a completely direct, genuine, and unbiased account of African life and perspective; 2) a variety of both countries and subject matters; 3) an unspun, open-ended presentation, perfectly suited for stimulating group discussions; and 4) an inspirational quality derived from the fact that the film was produced, filmed, and edited by a student.  In addition, each DVD copy of the film comes with a special insert of classroom discussion questions.  Here’s what top faculty around the country have to say:
“A sensitive set of interviews with a variety of engaging West Africans that lets them speak for themselves.  Too many such endeavors end up focusing on the interviewer and his personal agenda.  Cogley skillfully lets the Africans set the agenda and reveal the concerns, the complexities and the dignity of their different lives.
“Highly recommended for classroom use.”
                                              William J. Foltz
                                              Professor of African Studies and Political Science
                                              Yale University
“Nathaniel Cogley lets ordinary West Africans dealing with everyday realities comment on their lives; from villagers dealing with the menace of apes that pillage their crops to barbers and butchers assessing their business activities.  The documentary is not fixated on the realm of the extraordinary.  It avoids the heavy commentary that often overshadows the voices of the subjects of many documentaries.  Both of these make it richer.  Watch this documentary if you want to escape the obsession with the sensational that preoccupies most works on Africa.”
                                              Ato Kwamena Onoma
                                              Assistant Professor of Political Science
                                              Yale University
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“‘Dakar to Port Loko: Perspectives from West Africa’ offers a fresh look at the economic, political, and ecological issues of the region. Nathaniel Cogley offers an unbiased look at several West African countries, allowing West Africans to voice their concerns and opinions on everything from U.S. foreign policy to daily economic survival. In a time when so much news coming out of Africa gives cause for despair, it is refreshing to hear about the day-to-day lives of real Africans in their own voices. An additional benefit of the movie is that it exposes its audience to countries that are rarely discussed in the U.S. news, such as The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. I will definitely be using parts of this movie in my African Development Economics class to stimulate discussion on the challenges facing Africa today.”
                                              Jorge M. Aguero
                                              Assistant Professor of Economics
                                              University of California, Riverside
“‘Dakar To Port Loko: Perspectives From West Africa’ is an extremely unique and effective educational resource.  The film depicts a lot of truths often avoided by more high profile documentaries and news reports in and on Africa.  It shows Africans as humane and striving to do well like all other human beings.  The film adequately expresses the views of common people in West Africa.  This is important because many Europeans and Americans often hold absurd ideas about African cultures.
“The documentary educates us on issues of the world that need attention if we are to live justifiably.  It identifies every day challenges that Africans encounter, properly depicting aspects of African culture to Western European and North American viewers, who have been conditioned by years of graphic pictures and nightly reports to maintain a degree of detachment.  The film deliberately works to humanize its subjects.  It shows that many Africans are aware of world affairs, investigates the difficulties of entrepreneurship in impoverished economies, and conveys the pain and resilience of those traumatized by war.  It is an admirable documentary and comes highly recommended for classroom use.”
                                              Aguibou Y. Yansane
                                              Professor of International Relations
                                              Director of African Area Studies
                                              San Francisco State University
“I use part two of the film, ‘How Do You Make Your Dalasi?,’ at the beginning of my course on African development.  The students really appreciate the opportunity to see the workings of a real African marketplace.  It really brings the marketplace alive for the students.  I am able to use what the students see in the film as points of reference for a number of different subjects throughout the semester.
“I plan to use the third part of the film on community development this year in my class to provide my students with a sense of how community development projects work.
“If I were teaching a political science course or one that considered issues of reconciliation, I would definitely show the section on Sierra Leone.  It shows with real poignancy issues of reconciliation that exist in a country wracked by conflict.”
                                              Jeremy Foltz
                                              Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics
                                              University of Wisconsin, Madison
“If you were able to send your students to West Africa, they might experience many of the situations and conversations presented in Dakar to Port Loko—that is, if they are as open, patient, resourceful, and curious as Nathaniel Cogley.  I recommend showing this film to students not only for its exposition of topics like development, the environment, and reconciliation.  The film will also stimulate discussion about how to ask questions as students and researchers.  Cogley’s respectful and warm relationships with his informants, the balance he strikes between placing himself in and out of the frame, and his attention to everyday detail will draw students’ attention to important issues surrounding interviewing and field research more generally.  Most of all, the film is a pleasure to watch—beautifully paced, and animated by a fantastic selection of music from West Africa’s finest artists.”
                                              Betsy Levy Paluck
                                              Assistant Professor of Psychology
                                              Princeton University
“This is a first-rate documentary with significant educational benefits.  Cogley has succeeded remarkably well in combining the  informal with the in-depth, the local color/culture with the broad international framework, the spontaneous with the well-staged.  His interviews with a range of Africans probing their views on the United States are sensitive and yet penetrating, and the answers both revealing and at times surprising.  His exploration of the economics of life and work, and of the role in West Africa of local citizens’ initiatives and NGOs is both original and searching.  His interviews with Sierra Leone amputee victims of the civil war are both deeply moving and politically significant.  Any serious scholar of international relations and particularly of relations between “the West” and Africa should watch this movie.”
                                             Jolyon Howorth
                                             Visiting Professor of Political Science
                                             and International Affairs
                                             Yale University
“This film reminds me of joyful months spent in the field, talking to people about their everyday lives.  Dakar to Port Loko: Perspectives from West Africa immerses viewers in the same experience.  You feel like you’re having the conversation yourself, and you emerge with the sense that you’ve touched someone else’s life.  I can’t imagine a better film in the classroom.  It will inspire students not simply to travel, but to do so gently and sensitively.  If just a few take the time to do as Cogley did: to ask unconventional questions in another land, to sit down and talk with people otherwise not talked to, then the film will be an enormous success.  The film is already in my curriculum for my African development lecture here at Yale.”
                                              Christopher Blattman
                                              Assistant Professor of Political Science
                                              Yale University