Reading over the latest email from Akua that explained how our broadcast had to be pushed back to Saturday, I feel a touch of disappointment. I was so ready for our work to be broadcasted today, but instead, my anxiety over how it will turn out only grows.
Although my position as the American fellow is useful for our project because of my access to resources and scholars here, I still wish I was on the ground with Akua because now so much is left in the dark. After completing my recorded parts back home, my project has been promptly taken out of my hands. I deeply trust Akua, Uberu, Sumalia, and everyone on our team, but I would do anything to be in the station beside them, to answer questions and just experience the audience’s response firsthand instead of days later.
I am split between worry and excitement about how the audience will receive our work. According to Alice, those who have already read over our script in Dalun enjoyed it and even began engaging with it, as Raymond (I believe) began to point out parts that he disagreed with. At first I was distraught that our project was already stirring up disagreement, but Alice ensured that criticism and conflict is necessary for effective cross-cultural dialogue. I’m ecstatic that our piece is already getting people talking.
However, I’m also touched with doubt as Brandon (a project coordinator from last year) explained to me how often women aren’t even able to call in to the station, one of the many difficulties of discussing gender issue within the community. He told me how he noticed that some people were quick to drop buzzwords such as “gender equality,” but often their actions did not reflect these values.
However, whatever happens on Saturday, I’m ready. I am prepared to handle the reaction, whether positive or negative, as long as it gets people talking. Most of all, I am proud of the work Akua and I have made and I cannot wait to see how this work grows.