The morning of November 5th, 2008 I happened to be on my way to Africa for work. I remember the charge and energy in the air sitting in the lounge waiting to fly out of DC. I remember the buzz around me, people in every corner talking to those around them about what had happened the night before. I remember the adoration in voices and the sheer frustration in others'. When I arrived in the Ivory Coast 20 hours later, I experienced something I, quite honestly, never expected to experience. Upon hearing our accents, strangers at the airport would walk up to myself and my co-workers and shake our hands, thanking us for being Americans.
It was surreal. I remember distinctly thinking that there were people halfway around the world who cared more about the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America than I did. And it wasn't that I didn't care; I was ecstatic, in fact. But there I was, surrounded by people deeply affected by what had just happened on the other side of the planet even though it ostensibly had little bearing on their own lives. "I really hope someone makes a documentary about this," I thought. I never would have guessed 15 months later I'd be writing about the poster premiere for such a film.
Two weeks before the election, filmmaker Jeff Deutchman reached out to friends and strangers around the globe to begin recording their experiences, good or bad, leading up to the momentous day. He then spent the intervening year assembling the footage into a "participatory documentary" called 11/4/08, which will have its world premiere at SXSW on March 13th. It's our pleasure to debut the posters for this unique cultural experiment, so please do check them out in the gallery below and then head over to the official 11/4/08 website for more information about their creation as well as more info about the film, which is still accepting footage, by the way; so if you've got something good to share, I'm sure Deutchman would be happy to take a look.