On one level Student Master is a sentimental homage to the relationship between students and teachers and the transmission of knowledge that occurs in the workshop, by learning through doing.
On another level, it problematises the assumption that we can adequately communicate with and through language in a globalised world.
Filmed on location in Adanwomase, a village famous for Kente weaving in central Ghana, the work shows a master at work, patiently explaining to his student – a white tourist – how to weave a particular motif, the Queen Mother’s Stool. Fraught with technical and linguistic misunderstandings, their relationship and attempt to overcome confusion is captured solely through their gestures and conversation. Meanwhile, on the margins, two friends collaborate at lightning speed on a far more complicated design - commissioned for weddings - while the same tourist works dreamily at his own pace on a simple weave of his own fabrication.
This work could not have been possible without the endless patience, teachings, and moral support of the Hon. Eric Boakye Yiadom, leader of the Kente weavers association in Adanwomase, and his colleagues.