Living Without Lights

Living Without Lights

In rural Ghana, West Africa, no electricity means nights spent mostly in the dark. (MSNBC)

When the sun goes down in Ghana, most villagers in the northern part of the country live without lights. Three out of four have no electricity for basic appliances, and rely on traditional, polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting. The villagers interviewed in this MSNBC video equate their situation to being left in the dark by the world, since a large part of their day is literally spent in darkness.

With video shot entirely with the little available light at night, the viewer gets a sense of just how claustrophobic 12 hours of darkness year-round could be. In most homes, ordinary activities such as cooking and reading must be done with firelight and flashlights. Sound becomes especially important, since only a small area in the frame is ever illuminated, and much of the action can’t be seen in the inky blackness. The villagers point out that their children are educationally impacted by their inability to keep a teacher in a place with no electricity. As one man puts it, without power, “life is moving backwards.”


Length: 4:38

Video by Peter DiCampo