Interview with Nana Ofori-Atta Oguntola, HumanitarianFilm and TV Producer, Trainer, International Creative Consultant, Events
Parish Councillor creates OPEN CONVERSATIONS Conference to discuss FGM, Forced Marriages and Honour Killings
Nana, you have a vast experience of production, management and consultancy, operating with a high degree of acumen, working across Film, Television, Events, and Training industries. But your focus goes far beyond your professional achievements and you are a catalyst for speaking about young girls and women affected negatively by FGM, forced marriages and honor killings . Open Conversations, is a platform about issues and topics which are considered taboo, tell us more about your passion to give a survivors a voice to be more pro-active and less fearful of dealing with complicated issues.
I am passionate about filmmaking, training, creative consultancy and running events which add value and change lives.
As a parish councillor for the past seven years it was extremely important that I bring the issues of FGM, Forced Marriages and Honour Killings to a lot more people in statutory positions who were either in contact with young girls who might be at risk or who had the power to either educate their constituents or create and back laws and policies which protected girls and women at risk of these abuses.
Open Conversations is constantly updating the evolving reality of what is going on across legal, social, cultural and religious arenas with regards to FGM, forced marriages and honor killings. You are a prolific advocate for female survivors empowerment and your passion is to make all voices heard. What drives you passion?
I realised that the key reason for the continued perpetuation of these practices that hurt girls and women in the UK is that people in authority do not necessarily pay attention to these issues because these practices take place in minority ethnic communities. MPs and councillors and people in positions of authority feel that the majority of their constituents are not involved in these practices and therefore distant from them.
I understood that it was vital that councillors, politicians the police, teachers, head teachers, NHS practitioners and other frontline professionals are not just educated on these practices but that they become actively engaged in openly discussing these issues without fear, that they are actively engaged in creating change where they are and that they understand the importance of protecting girls and women in the UK and taking the actions necessary to do so.
I, therefore decided to create a platform called ‘Open Conversations’, a platform to enable us to create conversations that would bring about change, empower people, create change and allow voices that are silent to speak up.
The Open Conversations Conference will take place on June 27, 2019 at the ExCel London from 10 AM to 6 PM.
The conference will feature survivors, witnesses, campaigners and experts who will share their experiences and insights and ideas for the way forward. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer panel discussion with the presenters.