Posh Corps: A Peace Corps Documentary
About Posh Corps:
Posh Corps is a 75 minute documentary film about the modern Peace Corps experience. Posh Corps is the first film to capture the experiences of volunteers during their service. The volunteers featured in this film are discussing the experience as it happens.
For fifty years, the US Peace Corps has been sending American volunteers to developing countries around the world to teach skills, and build relationships. As these countries develop, capitol cities become modern enclaves, while rural villages struggle with the cultural strain that accompanies rapid development. Volunteers today are serving right at the intersection of traditional and modern influences. The film focuses on Peace Corps volunteers in South Africa, which is one of the most iconic examples of this shifting Peace Corps experience. The struggles of Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa provide a glimpse of the future for volunteers throughout the developing world. Their stories demonstrate, that the need for Peace Corps does not end when countries become more modern... in fact, the need becomes more pressing than ever. Posh Corps is a film for anyone who wants to volunteer abroad, or for anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the volunteer experience in a rapidly changing world.
Why Watch Posh Corps?
As I was preparing for my own Peace Corps service, I wanted to find out what it would be like, to be a Peace Corps volunteer. I found plenty of videos and articles about what volunteers do, about where they serve, about why Peace Corps is beneficial to one's career. I found very little about what it feels like to be a volunteer, about the day to day struggle of being a volunteer, about the changing dynamic of the Peace Corps experience.
During my Peace Corps service, it became clear to me that serving is a country like South Africa, where the modern elements and cultural pressures are becoming ever more prevalent, is much more difficult than the romanticized Peace Corps experience. I wanted to make a documentary about the volunteers who experience this modern/traditional dynamic. I knew that a documentary about Peace Corps in South Africa would likely be dismissed as not totally authentic, because South Africa is 'posh corps.' I wanted to confront this dismissive idea head on.
After my service, I spent two years producing this documentary. I financed the production myself. I wanted it to be easily accessible to everyone interested in volunteer service abroad. I wanted to give prospective volunteers a glimpse of what it is like to serve abroad in a rapidly changing world. In the coming decades, the experiences of Peace Corps South Africa volunteers will look more like the norm, than the exception. More volunteers will be struggling with rapid modernization, and all the cultural strain that accompanies it.
Alan Toth Director / Producer