The idea of producing Daughters of the Niger Delta was born during a previous MIND project entitled FEMSCRIPT. In this project (2010/ 2011), nine young women from Bayelsa State, Delta State, and Rivers State were trained in participatory research and filmmaking. The aim was to strengthen young women’s voices in the public arena. Each FEMSCRIPT trainee was in charge of producing a short sensitization film (8-12 min) about a topic she considered key for women’s advancement in her own community. The resulting sensitisation films covered the following topics:
- Environmental Pollution & Women’s Livelihoods (Bonny Island, Rivers State)
- Right to Water (Obiaruku, Delta State)
- Maternal & Infant Health (Tuomo & Olomoro, Delta State)
- Gendered Division of Labour (Akassa, Bayelsa State & Patani, Delta State)
- Social-Economic Rights of Widows (Amassoma, Bayelsa State & Bodo-City, Rivers State)
- Right to Education (Belema-Polo, Rivers State)
The trainers and editors involved in the project were impressed by the produced footage. They felt the content was interesting and unique enough to deserve exposure to wider (inter)national audiences besides the local audiences targeted in FEMSCRIPT. Thanks to a human rights grant obtained from the German Embassy in Abuja, Daughters of the Niger Delta could be produced.
Five FEMSCRIPT trainees were given follow-up training. They helped to profile the three women whose life stories are portrayed in Daughters of the Niger Delta. They filmed the experiences of these women with remarkable skill and integrity.