One Day on Earth

The World's Story is Yours to Tell

Kenny Mann
  • Female
  • Sag Harbor, NY
  • United States
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Profile Information

Name of Organization, Institution, Company, or School:
rafiki productions
Focus of Study/axe de l'étude/foco de estudio
Zoology, Education, Film
What languages do you speak?
English, German, Suaheli
What did you film on 12.12.12?
Some local activity - not sure what yet.


For almost five years, I have been traveling back and forth from Sag Harbor, NY to Senegal to document the work of an amazing NGO called TOSTAN. Through their human rights education program throughout Senegal and other African countries, Tostan participants use African traditions like music, dance, theater and debate to reach their own understanding of human rights and democracy, and to find ways of applying their new knowledge within their own communities.

My film package is now finished and has been accepted into some film festivals and also gained worldwide distribution. It is intended as an educational package to serve as a vehicle for debate around human rights issues as well as a superb model for human rights education that may be applied universally.

WALKING WITH LIFE is the umbrella title for three related films, available as a collection on one DVD or as individual films.

A Senegalese proverb

The Birth of a Human Rights Movement in Africa – 39mns

Punctuated by the songs of a griot or oral historian, this film – shot entirely on location in Senegal - pulses to the dramatic beat of traditional theatre, music and dance. These tools are used by Tostan, an award-winning NGO, to help people discover their human rights and the meaning of democracy. Their new learning inspires participants to re-examine ancient customs, such as female genital cutting and forced early marriage. Health and hygiene, community resources, environmental issues and girls’ education are all scrutinized through the lens of human rights.
As positive social changes sweep the country, the people of Senegal rejoice in triumph. Whisked from the placid villages of the Casamance to the harsh desert of the Fouta and the teeming streets of Dakar, viewers become eye-witnesses to the empowerment of people through human rights education.

TOSTAN: Building Partnerships Through
Human Rights Education 32:13mns

This companion film illuminates Tostan’s profound philosophy after more than thirty years of field experience in several African countries, as illustrated by the program in Senegal and Guinea. Consultation with civic, political and religious leaders and respect for traditional culture are at the root of Tostan’s success as a universal model for human rights education.

HUMAN RIGHTS CITIES: Paths To Peace – 16:00mns

Twenty-one cities around the world, including Rosario, Argentina; Graz, Austria; and Korogocho, Kenya, have made a commitment to run all social, political, economic and cultural aspects of city life according to the human rights framework. The film documents the process in Thies, Senegal, and in Washington, D.C.

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Kenny Mann


Posted on November 15, 2010 at 1:11am 1 Comment

I leave the building with my camera. It's just me and the world at 4.30am on 10.10.10 and the night is mine. Main Street is utterly deserted - am I the only one who lives here? The American Hotel is closed and silent. A vacuum cleaner in the window of the hardware store glares balefully at me as if to say "Hey - this is OUR time! What are YOU doing here?" I smile back.

Down at the harbor, the water is glassy smooth, ducks conversing somewhere far off in the velvet night, a tern or… Continue

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At 5:53pm on December 7, 2010, Cassandra Siemon said…
Beautifully composed poetry in a beautifully composed piece of film - Wow!
At 6:05am on August 23, 2010, Brandon Litman said…
You rock Kenny! Can't wait to collaborate on One Day on Earth!
At 5:55am on August 23, 2010, Kenny Mann said…
Since I started work on this project, I have not only documented how other people learn about and apply human rights, but have learned so much myself about human rights, what they mean and how one can live within that framework. Since I lack any other belief system or religion, I have adopted this one and am hoping to convert my own village of Sag Harbor into a HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNITY. My website has a "call to action" in which I invite anyone to do the same - you can start at home, with your own family, and gradually spread outwards into your community. It's an adventure!

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