Holding Space: Meet The Filmmaker Who Champions Sierra Leone In The UK #MakeSierraLeoneFamous

The Make Sierra Leone Famous podcast “Holding Space: Meet The Filmmaker Who Champions Sierra Leone In The UK” is out now. Host Vickie Remoe chats with Abu Yillah, a Sierra Leonean filmmaker, poet, co-founder of Young Salone, and curator of the Sierra Leone Arts & Culture Festival (SLACfest) in the UK. 

In this conversation, he talks about how he uses poetry, film, and social media to build community and hold space for Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora both with online and in-person events. 

“Being part of the digital space is trying to make Sierra Leone a much bigger space for all. I can wake up in the UK at 6 a.m. in the morning, go on my phone, connect to so many people, and know exactly what is happening in Sierra Leone.”

Yillah further speaks about why has been trying to give Sierra Leonean creatives back home access to the community in the diaspora. 

“I make films and I know that there are people also making films in Sierra Leone. So I realize that there are people who are talented and some are even more talented than me but haven’t got the reach that I potentially have been in the UK. In as much as, I want to elevate myself I want to do that with people who are creating the same thing I am creating but doing it back home.”

A radio broadcast with Makeda Cole on #MakeSierraLeoneFamous goes out on Wednesday at 11:00 GMT on Radio Democracy 98.1. Online the podcast is available on Itunes, Spotify, Audiomack, Anchor, and Google Podcast. 

Last week’s show featured Haja Mariama Myers, the founder of Estu Delight. Next week Remoe chats with Hawa Jane. 

The podcast is made possible thanks to support from brand partners like the US-based air freight company DotBleu which ships packages to Sierra Leone from Washington DC; the DollHouse Boutique a household name for American fashion with stores in Baltimore and Los Angeles, and the Asmaa James Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports girls and women to improve their livelihoods.