Tuesday, September 4, 2012

UNESCO requests permission to use Burkina Faso photos from our collection: Women Figures in African History

We are pleased to inform you that a representative from UNESCO has recently contacted Brenda Gael McSweeney to request the right to use photos from her photographic collection in a specific cultural project entitled Women Figures in African History: An E-learning Tool.  Please see the letter below for more information on this exciting initiative:

"Dear Dr. McSweeney, 
I trust you thrive. I am writing to you, from UNESCO, Paris, to enquire as to the possibility of acquiring the rights to a selection of photographs which appear on the website http://equalityburkina.blogspot.fr/ for usage within a specific cultural project. I don’t think I am mistaken in thinking that the beautiful photographs in the section ‘Women of Vision – Burkina Faso’ -  are copyrighted to you, despite their being part of UNITWIN. The Culture, and Communication and Information Sectors at UNESCO are presently working on a project entitled Women Figures in African History: An E-learning Tool. Comfortably nestled within the cadre of the two global priorities of the organisation, gender and Africa, the project has the following remit:

-          to improve, the General History of Africa at the level of content (hitherto scant on women, alas);
-          to complement phase 2 of the General History of Africa (the elaboration of history curricula and pedagogical materials);
-          to bind ICTs (e-learning tools) and culture (immaterial heritage) in providing civil society (particularly young, African women, at primary and secondary school level) with an accurate understanding of the importance of women in the economic and social development of Africa, thereby, one hopes, empowering them.

The project will consist of 5 interactive, e-learning modules, each of which is to focus on an important woman, or group of women, in African history (& the diaspora), up until the present. Each module will consist of

-          an illustrated comic strip;
-          a pedagogical dossier, with information about the character, the broader region, historical sources (including specific notes on oral sources in African historiography);
-          a small test.

One of the e-modules, whose principal subject is Princess Yennenga, broadens to embrace remarkable women in present-day Burkina Faso. Were you to grant us free permission to use your photographs for this project, they would appear within the pedagogical dossier of the e-module, with a link to the UNITWIN and equality websites. Full accreditation and descriptions would of course be ensured.

I am most grateful for your time, and look forward to hearing from you soon. And bravo for all the work in this area.


(Mr.) Obioma Ofoego
Women Figures in African History: An E-Learning Tool
Knowledge Societies Division
Communication and Information Sector
1 rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France"

Princess Yennenga
UNESCO's request to showcase images of women who have carried out extensive work on behalf of women's empowerment and education in Burkina Faso is great news for the two themes of our blog: Gender and Africa. We look forward to sharing more with you about this forthcoming project in an upcoming post.