In April, Tambay brought attention to this
new Berlin-set web series called "Polyglot" (HERE), created by Rwandan-German visual
artist and self-taught filmmaker, Amelia Umuhire, with the goal being to “explore the multi-hyphenate identities of young creatives of color in Berlin.”
The series’s first episode, which premiered in April, introduced to
viewers the character of Babiche Papaya, a rapper and poet who is played by Ms.
Umuhire’s real life sister, Amanda Mukasonga.
Ms. Umuhire shares that future episodes will focus on a
rotating cast of people she calls “young polyglots navigating daily life in the
German capital;” however, in the just released second episode, tilted “Les Mals du
Pays,” Babiche Papaya returns to deal with “the malaise of homesickness and the frustrations of maintaining a natural
hair care routine."
As the filmmaker
says about this episode: “If I were on a TV show… as me, a black woman,
I wouldn’t get to be this real, this 3D… as deep as a character, you know.”
The sisters, though born in Rwanda, grew up in a small town in West Germany, and consider
themselves the “quintessential
polyglots – fluent in German, English, French, and their native language of Kinyarwanda,” who want to "challenge preconceived
notions of Afro-European lives with the series."
Umuhire adds: “There is this one image of Germany, like you have white people
speaking German, if you look at the TV landscape for example. Black people only
appear as nurses, or cooks…You don’t get to know people, this big part of
Germany and Berlin, because they are kind of marginalized in media.”
You can follow the series and find out more on its Facebook page HERE.
Here is Episode
2 of "Polyglot."