Located in western Africa and comprising four main regions, coastal swamp, the interior plateau, the Sierra Leone Peninsula, and thickly forested mountains, Sierra Leone is a mid-sized country with a recent tragic past. The civil war, which lasted for over a decade, resulted in tens of thousands of casualties and over 2.5 million displaced people. As the war ended only in 2002, the country is still recovering from such a massive shock. Sierra Leone faces many challenges, the most prominent being a poverty rate of over 60% of the population. Additionally, the country faces issues with high levels of illiteracy, government corruption, and physical infrastructure that has yet to be repaired after the brutal fighting during the war.
An intrinsic aspect of Eureka’s motivation is to promote and give visibility to local, national and regional content, in particular that of women, people of color and Indigenous people. This effort has a double objective: a) to promote representation and give visibility to voices that are unfortunately still marginalized, and b) to challenge dominant narratives based on content closer to local realities. Given the structural inequalities in both the publishing and cinema industry, we know that by default, people predominantly consume content produced by white men (and do so without realizing it). The first step is to make this systematically visible, so it can be taken into account in people’s choice. To do so, we are designing a “diverse representation notation” to be assigned to every book and movie listed in the platform, specifically in terms of authorship (i.e. female, male, non-binary, trans, other) and content (i.e. percentage of female vs. male dialogues). These notations will be based on how authors self-identify, and will be designed with the ability to become more complex in order to include new categories as needed.