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April 2008, Week 3


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 17 Apr 2008 13:25:53 -0500
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sniang <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 11:56 AM
Subject: CFP

Dear colleague,
Would you plaese post?

Call for Papers
The Changing Aesthetics of African Cinema: A Conference
February 13-15, 2009
University of Victoria (Canada)
Confirmed : John Akomphrah, Fanta Nacro, Jean Marie TÚno,
Abdellatif Kechiche (unconfirmed)

Over the last twenty five years any parameter controlled by first or
second generation African film makers has undergone a radical shift. The
once prevailing realist approach has given way to an explosion of forms.
Musicals, allegories, parodies not to mention an increasing number of
literary adaptations and documentaries have diversified the cinema of the
continent, thus challenging monolithic definitions of it. A cinema once
characterized by tentative images, formulaic narrations, today, features
artful productions borrowing from visual, textual and melodic images from
around the world.  Characters whose origins are difficult to ascertain
abound in the films of Mambety, Abderrahmane Sissako and Raoul Peck.
Nationalist spaces cohabit with diasporic ones, fragmented narratives
combine to account for, document and reveal dead ends or political
blockages in African societies. Beginning in the 1990s, character types
have moved from the "been-tos" of the films of the first generation to
tragic figures plagued by complicated psychological makeups. Passionate
murders, betrayals, dreadful individual predicaments are no longer the
makings of external forces but the product of deep  emotional traumas
(Moussa Sene Absa's Madame Brouette, Gaye Ramaka's  Carmen Gei,  Djibril
Diop Mambety's Hyenas, Jean Pierre Bekolo's Les Saignantes,  Fanta Nacro's
Night of Truth).  Likewise, whereas critics have argued that African
cinema in the 1990s featured many films on the history of the continent,
the very notion of history has shifted. Jean Marie TÚno's fictional oral
documentaries all point to internally determined forces gnawing at the
freedom of the individual man or woman.  Women filmmakers-ever so few on
the continent- are producing mostly documentary films, but also fictional
ones crafting images of womanhood much different from the maternal figures
of their predecessors. Sokhna Amar, Moufida Tlatli and Tsitsi Dangaremba,
for example, describe the harrowing ordeal of women victims of patriarchy,
yet resolutely speaking/imaging themselves of their predicament.
The Aesthetics in Contemporary African Cinema Research Group, a SSHRC
funded programme, is organizing a three day conference, at the University
of Victoria, February 13-15th,  2009,  to examine how these changes have
impacted the aesthetics of African cinema. The conference will devote each
day to one of the following: the Contemporary African documentary, the
Contemporary African fiction film, filmmaking in the African diaspora.
Paper proposals in English or French should be sent to the organizers July
15th, 2008. Please send proposals by e.mail only.
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