Writer, filmaker shares experience in Congo at Snow Convocation

Margaret Blair Young


Writer, filmaker shares experience in Congo at Snow Convocation


By Benjamin Thornberg

Staff writer



EPHRAIM—The Snow College Convocation Series brought in Margaret Blair Young to talk about her life experience with writing and film making in the Congo last week.

“How can I imagine a future?” Young asked her audience. “How can I imagine the possibilities that are open to me?”

The title of her presentation, “Catalysts and Caterpillars” served as metaphors throughout her story. Young describes a catalyst as someone who has the ability to make changes in seemingly impossible circumstances, while helping those around them along the way. Caterpillars are Young’s representation of us working to getting past heavy obstacles.

“Isn’t that where there is a lot of war? Absolutely,” Young said when describing the Congo to listeners. “Which is why we do what we do.”

“We are working to do exactly what you’re doing right now,” Young said when talking about how war effects those involved. “To expose them to ways to get their imagination back.”

As an example of her message, Young told the story of Tshoper Kabambi. As a student of the National Institution of Arts in the Congo, Kabambi wished to make a film, but faced many issues and obstructions toward that goal. Eventually with the motivation of a friend, Kabambi made a short film that won an award in Belgium. Young puts emphasis on Kabambi’s friend who acts as a catalyst and pushes Kabambi toward his dream.

Young further involved herself with Kabambi and is currently still aiding him when she hired him to help with the making of film within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her film crew originally thought it to be a hopeless effort, but Young continued to push toward her goal, which eventually grew into a known reality and is currently still progressing.

“Watch out for the words ‘We can’t,’” Young says, “There are ways around them.”

Young is a writer that has written six novels and two short story collections. She has also written several screenplays for films that have been developed within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Doing Humanitarian work is an ambition she hopes to spread among students attending any college.

The Snow College Convocations Series takes places on Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. Diverse speakers talk about a wide variety of topics and fields that appeal to a large amount of people.