A company is introducing a new project that will produce cartoon shows for Ethiopian children and seeks the participation of local artists. The following is taken from the project’s web site:
Abctoon is a fresh new animation project to promote Ethiopia’s cultural identity. Ethiopia is in critical need of more media content for children. Currently, nearly all animated programs on television are imported from abroad. As a result, the content reflects and imparts foreign values and ideologies. Because children are especially fond of watching animated series, they are prone to appropriating their messages. Animation is also typically aimed directly at children, often containing lessons suggesting particular mores and folkways intended to teach children certain behaviours. Studies prove that children absorb these ideas by watching, imitating, and assimilating them as their own. This creates a situation where the children are at risk of copying foreign cultural values.
We recommend producing a pedagogical animated program that conveys Ethiopian values in the effort of reinforcing an Ethiopian identity, as well as educating children about cultural diversity for a broader global perspective. Viewers will benefit from a community-based animated program featuring an African aesthetic, recounting stories in familiar local backdrops, and communicating in the native language.
Visit the project’s web site here.