The role of cinema in this kind of identity building was an established idea in francophone Africa in the s and s. New emerging cinemas were linked with the nation-building and the Afrocentrist ideas of the pan-African identity. The new African cinema6 was given an important task: Rather, they are continuous processes growing out of changing situations and as a response to economic and political forces. They are culturally and politically constructed through political antagonisms and cultural struggles. In this new situation it is worth asking what the role of African transnational diasporic cinema is in constructing new global and transnational identities and what problems it faces in this new situation.
Research task In this work I study transnational diasporic cinema in the context of deterritorialised West African francophone directors. On the contrary, these subjects may identify simultaneously with several communities and contribute both to the development of their 25 original community and to their diasporic community Olwig Films may be distributed by mainstream distribution organisations but they are also screened at festivals and by non-commercial academic and community institutions.
Hartley and Montgomery , ; Chatman , ; Larsen , These questions are divided into the following subquestions: In this study the public sphere is limited to information, discussions and debates communicated through media. The director originally comes from Senegal but has been living in France for 19 years. Johnson , 6; Benson , — The political system of the country is based on secularism but the majority of its 11 million inhabitants, about 94 per cent, are Muslims. According to the Constitution, religious parties are not allowed in the Senegalese National Assembly, and education and religion are separated from each other.
In practice, religion and the religious elite, however, are important participants in political decision-making Renders , They use hidden power through third persons, their adherents, politicians or public authorities following their advice in their public roles. It is not uncommon for decision makers to ask religious leaders for advice before making important decisions. These interests and resources may be material or symbolic.
The recognition and positions tend to change over time. Until independence in , Senegalese cultural production was a part of French cinema. Personal contacts with the main sources of cultural production may raise their status as cultural professionals. In Senegal, meanwhile, the emergence of private media has increased the autonomy of media from political power but it has not alleviated the dependence of journalists upon religious power Benson , ; Loum , The case study inquiry copes with the technically distinctive situations in which there are many more variables of interest than data points.
Robert Stake proposes a typology of three types according to the purpose of study. In an intrinsic case study, study is undertaken in order to understand a particular case. The case is not studied because of its representativeness or its illustration of a particular trait or problem, but because the case itself is of interest.
The case plays only a supportive role, facilitating our understanding of something else. The choice of case is made because it is expected to advance our understanding of that other interest. If there is still less interest in one particular case, researchers may concentrate on studying a number of cases 34 jointly in order to inquire into a given phenomenon. This case is called a collective case study. A typical case is chosen to eventually apply the results to other similar cases. For Stake the opportunity to learn is the most important criterion when choosing a case to study.
In this case, the potential for learning is a superior criterion to representativeness Stake , Karmen was chosen as a case to be studied because it is both typical and exceptional. It is a typical transnational African cultural product with its stylistic and textual hybridity, interstitial production context and displacement of its author. The case study approach is preferred in examining contemporary events when the relevant behaviours cannot be manipulated.
It relies on many of the same techniques as history, but adds two sources of evidence not usually included in the historical research: The strength of the case study approach is its ability to deal with the full range of evidence — documents, artefacts, interviews and observations. Had I been in Senegal during the time Karmen was screened, I could have accomplished more ethnographic work by observing public screenings, press conferences and the demonstration, and by interviewing audiences and people involved in the protest.
Senegalese transnational diasporic cinema is the product of several determinants: The deterritorialised situation of cinema must also be kept in mind in the entire analysis process.
- See a Problem?.
- Similar authors to follow.
- Pregnancy Tips for the Clueless Chick;
- Powerful Women, Threatened Men: The Femme Fatale Myth (Women's Power in Culture).
- Customers Also Bought Items By;
Kimmo Laine has proposed three premises for an analysis focusing on production, text and reception which I have found useful for my study. The mode of production does not necessarily determine, in a causal or in any other simple way, the meaning or reception of the texts. On the other hand, the spectator is neither fully independent in his or her choices of production or marketing. Cinema is thus seen as the crossroads of several determinants, which are even contradictory to each other.
The dynamic of the text derives directly from 37 this complex relationship between text and context. From this perspective the issue of determination has to be re-evaluated: Gunning , 11—14; Laine , 32— The third premise states that the traditional sender — message — receiver relationship has to be reformulated in such a way that it considers both the polyphony of the message and the active participation of the receiver in the meaning making process.
An analysis made according to these premises must consider the whole process. In these 38 studies, the audience is seen to take an active role in meaning making, and media content is understood as polysemic and open to various interpretations. Cultural studies approaches have argued that cultural meaning does not reside exclusively within the text but is rather constructed by the audience interacting with the message.
These studies have employed a variety of methods, such as interviews, analyses of letters and media diaries, questionnaires and participant observation, to investigate the processes of cultural consumption. Radway ; Bobo ; Morley ; Stacey Much of the ethnographic work is within the study of television and video see however Stacey and Meers This is especially true with the study of African cinema. The ease of conducting textual analysis certainly compares favourably with the uncertainties and practical problems of audience research: Even today the situation is not much better, and indeed more to the contrary, as will be discussed in the third chapter.
The analysis of mediations entails looking at how culture is negotiated in popular cultural practices and how it becomes an object of transaction in a variety of contexts. They also have the capacity to resist and transform dominant cultures in ways unheard of in simple theories of domination. The strength of the mediated reception approach is that it allows the study of meaning construction in a larger social context and in relation to other contemporary discussions than would be possible through individual interviews.
The fact that I focus my study on media discourses is not to downplay the importance of other public discourses in other forums. Media discourses do not dominate over other public discourses; each system interacts with the other. Instead of speaking about a single public discourse, it would thus be more useful to think of a set of discourses that interact in complex ways Gamson and Modigliani , 2.
Scholars have, for instance, accentuated the role of rumour in the meaning making processes of illiterate societies such as Senegal see, e. Senegalese people were most probably involved in several face-to-face discussions with relatives, friends and other people about the case of Karmen, but to capture the meanings created in 42 these meetings would have necessitated an extensive ethnographic study.
An exploration of the interaction between media discourses and other public discourses would have required an analysis of all of these systems. The analysis of media debates and their relationship to power demands that the researcher knows the society under scrutiny. In this study, it has to be noted that I am not a member of the society I am studying and my knowledge of Senegal is largely based on texts and other linguistic material.
This may be a strength but also a weakness of the present study. On the one hand, as an outside researcher, I am free from the power relationships of which a local researcher would be part. The fact that I as a researcher do not share the same culture with my object of study comes out in all phases of the study and adds to the possibilities of erroneous interpretations. These studies have emerged from the cultural imperialism tradition of international media studies focusing on imbalances between the Western modernised world and the Third World in the s and s.
Both terms refer to the earlier colonised nations whose structural disadvantages have been shaped by the colonial process and related inequalities. It illustrates the political division of the world into three camps during the Cold War: Also problematic is the South-North polarity not only because some rich countries are located in the South but also because North and South as well as First, Second and Third Worlds today are more or less mixed because of migration. For further criticism of these terms, see e.
Shohat and Stam , 25— On the one hand, globalisation has made distances irrelevant and people living far from each other more interdependent. Social and cultural identities, be they national, regional, ethnic, or religious, have become an issue of negotiation and re-negotiation. Recent years have also witnessed the growth of political movements aiming to strengthen these collective identities.
These political movements are critical of globalisation processes, which they see as threatening local characteristics and self-determination Eriksen , 27— As globalisation creates conditions also for localisation, Robertson has proposed that the process should rather be called glocalisation , — For a more detailed discussion of the development of cultural imperialism thesis, see e.
Tomlinson , Kraidy , 22— Several audience and reception studies, though, starting as early as the s, have evidenced empirically that audiences are more active, complex and critically aware in their readings than cultural imperialist scholars assumed. Popular classes especially prefer nationally or locally produced material that is closer to their regional, ethnic, linguistic, or religious identities Straubhaar , The preference for domestic cultural products has been interpreted variably as evidence of cultural asymmetry and proximity Straubhaar , of similar cultural context of allusions, jokes, or stereotypes Pool , or of the mutual cannibalisation of cultures Appadurai Powerful Third World countries can also dominate their own markets and even become important cultural exporters.
For instance, a Brasilian audio-visual media network, Rede Globo, is now the fourth largest network in the world exporting its telenovelas to more than eighty countries around the world. Similarly, the Bollywood Hindi language 10 On active audience studies see e. Shohat ja Stam ; Desai , viii. For instance, the spread of new technology has created new and more intricate problems. The debate about the digital divide has once again proven that new technology, computers and information highways are not the solution to the unbalanced distribution of information when the economic structures between rich and poor countries remain unchanged.
Cultural hybridity has also raised criticism for neglecting the questions of power and inequality. In my work the cultural hybridisation of transnational cinema is taken as a point of departure for the analysis, and reactions and responses to this development are explored in the empirical part of the work. Global media studies include strains such as multicultural, transnational and diasporic studies, which aim to grasp the multiplicity of the globalised media world of today. Rarely has the question been reversed: What kind of cultural meanings do the cultural productions of other continents carry or how are they received by Western audiences?
Shohat and Stam , ; Desai , viii. Cultural studies scholarship on diaspora has often criticised the racialised 48 formation of national identity and questioned the rooted, static and sedentary logic of modernity. Diasporic critique has also challenged narratives of the purity, rootedness and timelessness of nationalist belonging. In the Old Testament it was used to refer to the dispersion of Jews from their promised land across the world, but has nowadays been taken up by other dispersed people as well.
In current discourses on migration and transnationality, diaspora often is used interchangeably with terms such as immigrant, exile, and refugee, as will be discussed in Chapter Two. In these formulations, diaspora is forwarded as potentially undermining nationalist narratives. However, as scholars have noted, diaspora as a political category may work with and not against the nationstate.
They have also been concerned with identifying the role that media images and sounds might play in the identity politics of migrant communities.
King and Wood , 4. Gillespie ; Sreberny ; Tufte It has introduced the reader to the main problematic of the work and presented the research questions and the major lines of methodology. In the second chapter I present the empirical research material and methods of analysis. Another dilemma of transnational cinema is to negotiate its position between and in regard to the discourses of authenticity and cultural hybridity. In the fourth chapter I argue that, from the point of view of production, distribution and exhibition, West African francophone cinemas have never been truly national but rather transnational.
This is explored through the infrastructures of Senegalese cinema which have, from the very beginning of this cinema, been intertwined with international, especially French, production, distribution and exhibition institutions. In the eighth chapter the mediated reception analysis moves to the Senegalese public sphere and explores the press coverage of Karmen in Senegalese newspapers and magazines. In the ninth chapter the focus is on the Internet debate Karmen provoked in two Senegalese online forums.
The debates are analysed within four main interpretative packages. I also discuss the case of Karmen in the light of the Senegalese religious scenery and connect the debate to other controversies created by transnational cultural products. Besides allowing me to collect research material, the stay in Senegal acquainted me anew with the situation of Senegalese cinema, which had experienced several important changes since my last visit in Many of these changes were due to economic hardships and the devaluation of the CFA, which will be discussed in the fourth chapter.
Films thematically related to economic, political or cultural globalisation; 2. I was later told that the committee was still cautious not to attract too much public attention for fear of violence. This time, most of the audience were Senegalese and the debate after the screening concentrated on the copyright of the song by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba. Arriving at the screenings unprepared and not knowing what would happen caused me to miss an opportunity to systematically observe the debates or interview the spectators. After the second screening, I interviewed Brahim Haidar and, with his help, also got an appointment with Ramaka.
She helped me to make appointments with my interviewees, participated in searching for archival information and transcribed part of the interviews. The most valuable for my work, however, was her in-depth knowledge of Senegalese culture. Being herself Mourid and speaking Wolof, she could explain local religious customs 56 and norms and translate Wolof expressions in the newspaper articles and Internet messages.
Searching for information was, for example, much easier when one knew that the names Ahmadou Bamba, Khadim Rassoul and Serigne Touba all referred to the same person or that certain phrases were direct citations from the Koran. To test her explanations and to enrich my interpretations, I picked out similar issues in informal discussions with other people. Senegal is one of those African countries where deterritorialisation and immigration are the part of everyday life. It is estimated that 75,—, Senegalese citizens are living in the diaspora, not counting the people travelling abroad for long periods because of family, on business or for other reasons.
Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne, the only academic 12 Wolof was used in the Internet messages mostly to express feelings and hostility. Many Wolof expressions were vulgar insults to other discussion participants. I certainly felt sometimes as disappointed as Mrs. Breckenridge when noticing that I should rather have been in Paris or New York than in Dakar to get information about Senegalese transnational cinema.
Research material The material collected in Senegal consists of three kinds of texts: The criterion for the data collection was that Karmen had to be mentioned by name in the article, although it needed not be the main or the only subject of the story. The material was collected from three main sources: The press archives were problematic because the material was not systematically collected and I had to be content with the haphazard choices made by archivists.
The clippings proved to be mostly from Le Soleil. On its own, this archive was not of great use for my work but had to be supplemented by other material. In this archive there was even a separate folder for Karmen clippings. Besides these three compilations, I trawled systematically through the three most important dailies, Le Soleil, Walfadjri and Sud Quotiden, from July 1, to January 31, and added to the material with the help of two Internet archives: Since a 59 part of the material is only in electronic form without photos and graphics, I could not systematically pay attention to visual means of information.
The use of photos is therefore only occasionally referred to in the analysis. All in all, my press material consists of articles from 11 newspapers and magazines: Most of the material published in the three biggest newspapers was collected systematically and rightly belongs with my data. The rest of the material was collected as widely as possible from the most relevant sources at hand but still remains, to a certain extent, haphazard.
When reading the press material through, I found some references to articles reporting on the shooting period of Karmen which had been published before my actual research period started. In that phase, however, it was too late to get hold of them. Another lack in the analysis material is the absence of the radio and television programmes concerning Karmen. There is little literature about Senegalese journalism and still less about cultural journalism.
Three journalists of those interviewed appear in the press material as reporting and reviewing Karmen. The fourth journalist had left active journalistic work in and was employed as a press counsellor in the Ministry of Culture. The themes discussed with the journalists included the career of the cultural journalist, the relationship between cinema and journalism in Senegal, and their opinions about the state of Senegalese cinema in the s Appendix 2. According to Sembene, in the Senegalese capital of 3. All the interviews were conducted in French. They were recorded and transcribed and only the citations used later in this study were translated into English.
In the forum of Le Soleil, two discussion threads had Karmen as their main subject. The thread Polemic about Karmen consisted of 82 messages and the thread For or against the censorship of Karmen? In addition, Karmen was occasionally mentioned in six other discussion threads in the forum of Le Soleil; however, these messages do not belong to my research material.
Reviews from Canada, 14 The Karmen website no longer exists on the web but the author of this work has paper print-outs of all the messages sent to the website.
The Senegalese reviews naturally belong with the press material collected in Senegal, but they are analysed mostly in connection with other reviews. Textual advertising and the reviews consisting primarily of interviews were excluded. For this reason, some Senegalese reviews also contain news material and pieces of interviews.
All together there are 35 reviews in my data: They build upon a system of expectation or contract that ensures the relationship between the production, the audience and the text Neale ; Naremore ; Altman , 14, Valaskivi , 56— If a character, for instance, bursts into song without any visible reason, the spectator is not completely lost if accepting this as a characteristic of a musical genre. The elements considered African or Senegalese at the beginning of the colonial period are certainly not the same as today.
Edith Zack (Author of Powerful Women, Threatened Men)
These concepts are constructivist in nature and depend as much on their users as on the real characteristisc of the culture. There are always good reasons to include certain properties about a culture and exclude some others depending on the purpose for which the concepts are needed. Tomaselli and Eke ; Gabriel All aesthetic traditions are however relative. In some cases material necessities have led to the development of new cinematic styles, as with the Third aesthetics, the aesthetics of hunger or in intercultural cinema.
Gabriel , Shohat and Stam ; Marks They may also raise questions about the relationship of the text to its socio-historical context and reality. Both copies were original versions in French and Wolof with English subtitles. Analysis of press material and Internet forums The theoretical framework for the analysis of all empirical data is critical discourse analysis, which aims to study media texts in their concrete social situations and in the context of larger social practices.
Critical discourse analysis was chosen as a method since it is not interested in the opinions of individual authors but the ways that issues are represented and the consequences of journalistic choices. While analysis of the media texts is the main focus of the approach, Fairclough , 62—63 insists that studying power behind media discourses is as important as studying power in these discourses. In my empirical study this is 16 See Bordwell and Thompson , — The Internet messages are considered from the point of view of new media and its possibilities to increase the access to public sphere.
In this kind of criticism, judgements are not based on the aesthetic norms of the art but rather on external political and ideological norms. Press coverage The press coverage of Karmen was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the quantitative analysis, the categories of analysis were: They are presented in Appendix 3. In every story all individuals cited directly or indirectly were coded as actors.
In the opinion stories, the author of the story was coded as actor. I ended up coding as news both the stories reporting only facts and the stories containing facts and opinions if there was a clear news item in the story. This was because the article contained a real news topic: Usually this is called relying on second hand information On appelle cela se baser sur des infos de seconde main pour trancher The opinion columns of my data were more straightforward than the news stories but, their number being so limited, I ended up concentrating on the rhetorical features and giving up clustering the press coverage.
The rhetoric analysis is limited only to the most interesting part of the press coverage, the debating publicity phase. Jokinen divides the devices of analysis into those related to the source of the argument and those related to the argument Jokinen , — In my analysis I concentrate on the following 1 devices related to the source of the argument actor: It is not unimportant by whom a fact or an opinion is expressed. Sometimes the source of the information can be even more important than its content.
The rhetorical devices related to speaker pay attention to the fact that it is easier to get support for an argument presented by a reliable source than for an argument whose source is not known or recognised. On the other hand, a passive voice is a way to express neutrality in journalistic texts and could be explained as such. Either a journalist puts the words into the mouth of someone else to express his own opinion or he uses citations to avoid this opinion being connected to his own Raittila , The distinction may have implications for the accountability of the news since the reader is more likely to believe the statements of the author presenting some factual accounts as his or her own than those put into the mouth of someone else Potter , — The purpose of 2 the devices related to the argument text is either to make the argument more attractive and easier to adopt or to alienate the audience from the argument.
In many cases the devices related to the text are overlapping those related to the speaker. In my analysis I pay attention to the following text-related devices: A choice of one category instead of another is part of persuasive rhetoric. When speaking about issues, events or persons we continuously categorise them.
Through the choice of words, the author orients the reader to choose his or her point of view. Euphemisms are a special case of naming or vocabulary. Extreme expressions strengthen the meaning of words. They may be unconditional formulations like completely, forever, every, not a, which hide the possibility of other interpretations. By if-rhetoric Raittila , refers to a conscious way that journalists hunt for those guilty in certain events by speculating with eventualities. Most often if-rhetoric is explained by the need to shorten expression and create drama in news-writing.
The interpretative packages have an internal structure in which the idea elements mutually support and reinforce each other. At the core of the package is a central organising idea, or frame, for making sense of relevant events and suggesting what is at issue. This frame implies a position or a range of positions allowing for a degree of controversy among those who share a common frame. In my analysis I make a distinction between a core position to Karmen and a core principle referring to the issue in larger context.
The second half of the package is composed of a number of symbolic devices that suggest the frame, core principle and core position in shorthand. These are pieces of a potential argument that one might evince in justifying or arguing for a particular position on an issue. Gamson and Lasch , — In my analysis I have used following framing and reasoning devices: Metaphors are paradigmatic choices that activate an additional frame of reference.
Metaphors include the principal subject that the metaphor is intended to illuminate and the associated subject that it evokes to increase our understanding. The associated subject contains two kinds of entailments — attributes and relationships — that suggest two kinds of metaphors: In dynamic metaphors, there are two or more entities in the associated subject, acting in relation to each other. In single-valued metaphors, the focus is simply on the attributes of a single associated subject.
Gamson and Lasch , Exemplars indicate how real events of the past or present are used to frame the principal subject Gamson and Lasch , Forum participants often put the debate on Karmen in the context of earlier corresponding or contrasting events and use them to argument the case. Catchphrases indicate the habit of commentators to try to condense their essence into a single theme statement, tagline, title or slogan that is intended to suggest a general frame Gamson and Lasch , — Roots in the Gamson and Lasch vocabulary refers to the causal dynamics underlying the events.
Some packages may focus on short-term and others on longterm consequences Gamson and Lasch , Appeals to principle refers to moral appeals and rules of behaviour characteristic of every package Gamson and Lasch , The role of Internet messages is twofold in my analysis: The interpretative packages of Internet discourses are produced in 80 a complex process involving an interaction between the public, media and other sources. Forum participants paraphrase and quote both media and other sources in their messages. The participants of the forum discussions do not represent a cross-section of the Senegalese population.
However, their messages enlarge the spectrum of the Senegalese public sphere even beyond the national boundaries since many contributors are immigrant Senegalese living outside the home country. The fact that the contributors do not necessarily participate in the discussion inside the borders of the Senegalese state illustrates how audiences, not only directors, are living in transnational situations and continue to contribute to the development of their country.
The quantitative results presented in the analysis chapter give an idea of frequency: The messages were also sometimes so polysemic that it was not possible to classify them in one interpretative package only. It refers to a combination of civil-political memberships, economic involvements, social networks and cultural identities that link people and institutions in two or more nation states. Key actors of transnationalism are international migrants who are assumed to create new transnational spaces beyond the national borders.
Most often, however, they are pushed to the margins in opposition to the mainstream cinema of the First World. Sometimes they may be highly appreciated at home precisely because they have succeeded in entering the halls of discursive power in the First World; sometimes they are simply excluded from the national canon for political or ideological reasons. National cinema Nationalism has been the dominant paradigm in cultural production since the nineteenth century and cultural achievements have been routinely claimed for nations Nederveen Pieterse , Nationalism leads to a notion of culture as something possessed by all humankind, but in separate, bounded and unique cultural wholes, which correspond to distinct and localised social groups.
This has given rise to the idea that each of these socio-cultural wholes should be described and analysed on their own terms in order to document the cultural variety and particularities of humankind. Nationalist ideology is indicated in the concept of national cinema, which is commonly understood as the cinema industry of a certain nation.
National cinema can also be considered in relation to national and cultural identity and to local traditions. The hegemonic conception of national cinema may marginalise or leave unrepresented ethnic, religious, or other minorities within a nation. Ethnic and regional minorities have tried to compensate for hegemonic national tendencies by creating their own ethnic and regional cinemas, which are expected to better represent the identities of these groups.
German-Turkish, British-Asian and French-beur and banlieue cinema have also won considerable public and critical acclaim, capturing mainstream audiences. It is typical in these works to focus on the experience of African characters and communities either in Africa or in diasporic communities in Europe. Both are historically aware, politically engaged, critically aware, generically hybridised, and produced in an artisanal way. The accent becomes a mark of personality and identity. Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses The reasons for the arrival of the second group in the s and s are more varied, including phenomena such as the failure of nationalism, socialism, and communism, economic globalisation, the rise of militant Islam, the changes in the European, Australian and American immigration policies, and the technological developments and consolidation in computers and media.
Exile explicitly invokes a home and a homeland, and exiles often maintain an ambivalent relationship with their past and present places and cultures. Home and the home country are places to which one can possibly never return but for which one still longs. Unlike exiles, whose identity entails a vertical and primary relationship with their homeland, diasporic consciousness is horizontal and multifaceted, involving not only the homeland but also compatriot diaspora communities elsewhere. Tarr ; Bloom ; Givanni There is, however, no direct or predetermined progression from one state to the next.
Furthermore, the movement may also be back and forth as illustrated in the works of the ex-Mauritanian Med Hondo. Although their profession carries a cosmopolitan aura, they face the same xenophobia and racism as their compatriots in less advantageous positions. The production, distribution and consumption modes of transnational cinema take several forms, the most important being the interstitial form. It is in the emergence of interstices that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated Bhabha , 1—2.
Multiple languages are used in the character speech and dialogue of the storyline and also in communication between the members of the multinational production crew, which necessitates extensive translation, dubbing and subtitling throughout the process. During this period, community and collective organisations such as Visual Communications and Asian CineVision worked for better representation of Asian-Americans. The protests and movements resulted in the formation of statesponsored organisations structured to facilitate the emergence of black British cultural producers.
Unlike in the USA and Britain, the production of beur and African transnational cinema in France has mostly remained independent and artisanal due to the lack of public funding for collectives Tarr , — This necessarily means a great variety of forms, styles and narratives. According to Shohat and Stam the alternative aesthetics of transnational cinema includes forms of expression such as hybridity, carnivalesque, syncretism, media jujitsu and anthropophagy that challenge the aesthetics of dominant cinemas. They are often rooted in non-realist, non-Western or para-Western cultural traditions featuring other historical rhythms, narrative structures and views of the body, sexuality, spirituality and the collective life.
They question the nationalist discourses through the grids of class, gender, sexual, and diasporic identities and fuse paramodern traditions into clearly modernising or postmodernising aesthetics. Shohat and Stam , — Understanding the nature of orality also helps to understand the hybridity and transcending of genre boundaries in African transnational cinema.
Thackway , 92; Vuorela , The attachment to the lost home country is expressed in certain chronotopes, such as natural landscapes, mountains, monuments and reminiscences, while the contradictory relationship with the homeland or the new host land experienced as hostile is associated with prisons and closed apartments. Journeying is described in the form of home-seeking and homecoming journeys, journeys of homelessness, or journeys of identity. In the global market, the media and other cultural productions occupy a dual position.
They are simultaneously commodities in the transnational economy and important political institutions doing identity work in local, national and global level. As a consequence of historical discrimination, hostility and stereotyping transnational, ethnic communities in Western societies are often very sensitive to how they are represented by cinema and other media. They are aware that any negative character belonging to a certain ethnic community is rarely seen as just an individual character but is easily taken to represent the entire ethnic community by non-members of this community Sreberny , Similarly, Bend it Like Beckham, depicting a young Punjabi British woman in her quest to play soccer, challenges the submissive role of a traditional Punjabi woman.
In the globalised world marked by displaced people and multiple ethnic minorities, there is a growing market for multicultural representations. Everyday life in Europe is far more cross-culturally connected than media depictions show, which has caused ethnic minorities to complain that they have to rent or buy videos in order to see themselves represented as public and commercial television channels lag behind their needs Sreberny If the diasporic communities are not fairly represented in the mainstream European and American mainstream media, they are likely to turn to their own transnational satellite-mediated media as South Asian diasporas have done already.
Liebes and Katz , Mattelart That is to say, it must achieve the international Hollywood standard. In their 30 Shohat and Stam , make an apt remark about the yearly Oscar ceremonies, where the audiences are global but the product promoted is almost always American.
Authenticity easily translates to nationalism, xenophobia and racism, as will be discussed in the following chapter. Africans, however, were not doomed to this primitive level forever but, with the help of Europeans, would have the chance to climb upwards in the stages of social evolution. Imperial management was only the duty of a white man in order to develop the primitive black man. The attitudes of colonial masters towards Africa, however, were ambivalent since this remote site of primitivism, savagery and barbarism also came to represent an object of desire and celebration not found outside of Africa.
Inherent in the search of European artists was the Hegelian idea of Africa as a part of the non-historical world showing neither movement nor change. The critics and artists using Africa as their source of inspiration have played a crucial role in promoting an image of African cultural production as other and authentic Eriksson Baaz , 9. A group of Western critics and consumers of African cultural productions still expresses this kind of ambivalent relationship with regard to African productions.
On the one hand, African cultural productions are not considered interesting for the tastes of cultivated, modern Western audiences because of their primitivism and traditionality.
If these unchangeable and authentic art forms are not found in African cultural productions they are accused of mimicry and lack of originality Eriksson Baaz , 8—9. The notion of African authenticity was also advocated in colonial Africa, where the development of Pan-Africanism, Afrocentrism and the discourse of authenticity can be understood as counter-movements to racism and the suppression of African peoples during the colonial period.
The purpose was to rediscover and revalorise the traditions derived from common African origins and to make them living in contemporary cultural productions. Eriksson Baaz , 9. His thought was developed in France in the s on the basis of the experiences of prejudice which African and Caribbean students, visitors and immigrants encountered there. Howe , 26—27; Kraidy , According to this concept, the cultural production of Africa shares special traits, which are not common to any other cultural production.
The discourses of authenticity claim that particular criteria and standards should be adopted in relation to cultural production in Africa. The artist is presented as a westernised African implementing the colonisation and Westernisation of the mind. Another criticism that can be addressed within the discourse of authenticity is how cultural identity is understood in this discourse.
Eriksson Baaz , 9— The Afrocentrist standards are adopted and expressed both by certain Western and African critics and audiences. In Africa, it is mostly the group that have special experience of European racism and imperialism, the well-educated elite in Africa and in diaspora, who have made themselves guardians of authenticity. In the diaspora, PanAfricanism and Afrocentrism have since the beginning been preoccupied with questions of identity, which they have, to some extent, shared with the intellectual and political elite in Africa but less with the vast majority of the African population struggling with issues of everyday living.
Eriksson Baaz , 11— In contemporary writing on globalisation and culture, both the idea of pure, distinctive cultures and the idea of one universal culture are disappearing and in human and social sciences there is a consensus that global culture is hybridised, mixing heterogeneous elements into recombinant forms. Hybridity calls attention to multiple identities generated by geographical displacements and has been elaborated especially by intellectuals, who themselves are diasporic and hybrid. The notion of hybridisation was already in positive use in the Latin American and Caribbean literary modernisms in the s and s and by the Tropicalia movement of the s and s.
The term mestizaje refers to boundary crossing mixture. Mestizaje was an attempt to ease tensions between indigenous populations and the descendants of Spanish colonialists by positing the new nations as hybrids of both worlds. Nederveen Pieterse , 70; Kraidy , The notion of transculturalism emerged in Cuba and Brazil in the mid s and early s as a variant of mestizaje.
The ideology of transculturation was considered as a way to prevent the gradual degradation and disappearance of precolonial cultures and integrate them into the dominant culture by welcoming certain non-threatening cultural forms of the natives while imposing upon them Spanish or Portuguese language, the Catholic faith, and colonial and social organisation. In the Caribbean and North America it refers to the mixture of African and European while in Latin America criollo originally denotes those of European descent born on the continent Nederveen Pieterse , 70 or of African slaves relocated on the American continent Stewart , according to Kraidy , According to Anderson, Latin American creolism was the source of a movement of national coalescence and unity whose project was the establishment of independent nation-states.
In these early liberation struggles language was never an issue. Hannerz has been criticised for choosing the term, which has been burdened with colonial and biologistic connotations and which is thus laden with multiple and confusing meanings Kraidy , The literary scholarship of Mihail Bakhtin on polyphony develops a strand related to creolisation.
In the African context, V. It does not imply that the dominant culture completely absorbs the weaker culture nor an adoption or integration of elements in the dominant culture by the weaker; rather it is a transculturation process — the creation of a new mixed cultural order. Contrary to the expectations of missionaries and colonisers, the mission did not lead to complete conversion. The institution of a perfect western model was impossible due to the spirit of resistance created by the oppressive system of colonisation. It was also impossible since missionaries and colonised subjects did not fully understand each other due to translation problems and linguistic misunderstandings.
The problem of translation means that the symbols and meanings of a given culture cannot be translated in a transparent way into the terms and concepts of another culture. Eriksson Baaz , 12— In his book The Black Atlantic: In this work, a slave ship symbolises the intellectual journey between the point of departure and the destination, between Europe, America, Africa and the Caribbean.
Gilroy attacks the ethnocentrism and exclusionism of both Afrocentrism and British cultural nationalism and explores the hybridised character of Black musical and literary cultural production. In the work of Homi Bhabha , the discourse of hybridity accentuates the capacity of peripheries to talk back. Bhabha re-evaluated the cultural mixing of colonial exchange and called attention to the equivocal, hybrid, and unstable nature of this exchange.
Moore-Gilbert , ; Tomlinson , Another criticism has stated that the vision of hybridity neglects material inequalities existing in the previously colonised world. Those celebrating hybridity stress the reciprocity of exchange and reject the idea of one-way processes in which oppression obliterates the oppressed or the coloniser silences the colonised in absolute terms. But, as Shohat and Stam have pointed out, hybridity also implies asymmetry and imbalance of power, often inherited from the colonial period.
Shohat and Stam , 43; Kraidy , Hybridity is understood as a cultural strategy to resist both nationalist and homogenising processes: Culturally strange content can be made more approachable by using familiar aesthetic conventions, like genres, narratives and camera angles. Bakhtin , — 34 This kind of balancing between African traditions and western audiences is reported by Ken Harrow in a discussion about authenticity of African cinema: Bordwell and Thompson , 34— But a closer look may show that the unusual artwork has its own rules, creating an unorthodox formal system, which we can learn to recognise and respond to.
However, before moving on to the empirical analysis, I will introduce the reader to the transnational infrastructures of Senegalese cinema. As a modern form of communication it was introduced into Third World countries by Western powers and their capitalist enterprises during the colonial period. Although most Third World countries today have at least some production they call their national cinema, the inception and development of most Third World national cinemas have remained closely tied to Western capitalism Armes , The most important support today still comes from France but, since the s, new opportunities have emerged in other Western countries and through international organizations.
After independence in , the audiovisual needs of Senegal were focused on news and documentaries, but the state was not yet able to provide resources to produce the material. The material was sent to Paris, where it was developed and edited according to the wishes of the Senegalese Ministry of Information. Generous funds were made available to aspiring African directors, and a laboratory and an editing room were installed for their use at the French Ministry of Cooperation in Paris.
Since the end of the s, French public subsidies have been channelled through several mutually complementary bodies: A French producer is presupposed to control and handle the grants. Cantaloube , 7; Barlet , Once ready, the scenario follows the typical procedure of the Fonds Sud and might, according to the budget of the year in question, get a production grant of With the fund for audiovisual production of the South set in , the Agency aims to promote audiovisual cooperation in francophone regions.
Many of them have become important partners of African cinema, but it is not easy to ascertain the real volume of aid given by each country or institutional body. Treaty conventions also involve issues of national identity and cultural policy. Reducing risk is related to the bigger markets reached by the companies that enter in the co-productions: Most treaty co-productions are made between the countries of the European Union. Besides coproductions with France, a number of co-productions between Senegal and Italian, German, British and Canadian television companies has emerged.
Sometimes the refusal to rewrite the script has hindered or at least delayed the receipt of the support. The second constraint is related to the control of the aid. This demand has caused several long-lasting legal disputes between African directors and their French producers, who have not agreed on the shares, distribution rights or other paragraphs of the agreement. This problem has nowadays mostly been surmounted thanks to new treaty terms Tapsoba c, Camp of Thiaroye, depicting the massacre of a battalion of African sharp-shooters demanding their wages from the French colonial army, also got very limited distribution in France despite the fact that it had won the Grand Prix of Venice in Italy Boughedir, , These experiences have made Sembene, the old supporter of Afrocentrist ideas, look especially for opportunities for African co-operation.
Cinema was used as a means of colonial assimilation policy to teach Senegalese people to appreciate and assimilate to French culture. New audiences were welcome clients for French distribution companies, which hegemonised the francophone West African markets until A month later the decision was taken to increase ticket prices on average by 50 to 87 percent Diop From to , 18 cinemas of the 38 existing in Senegal were closed Diop In May , changes in the Senegalese cinema scene were plain even a visitor to see.
In some cases a minor involvement of RTS in the production has guaranteed the national channel the right to distribution. In , Canal Horizon had 10, subscribers concentrated around Dakar since the channel could be reached only within a radius of 20 kilometres of the city. The mission of French satellite channels is to promote the French language and a French presence in francophone West African countries, but the French government has also striven to refute accusations of cultural imperialism by seeking to establish new policies based on increased exchange of cultural productions.
TV5 also transmits programmes dealing with Africa made by European and Canadian television seven hours per week Ba , — The policy of Canal Horizon is also to favour African productions but, in practice, it is not possible to augment the amount of African programmes if the channel does not invest in the production thereof. On the contrary, original copies were not available in video shops or market places. Outside the African continent, the main distribution channel for African productions is international festivals. Today there are about 30 festivals around the world 42 According to Robin there were roughly 44, Senegalese living in France, 2, in Germany and 27, in Italy in The musical is an old well-known Hollywood genre having its roots in European operetta, American vaudeville and music-hall performance designed to appeal to global mass audiences and to be screened in big mainstream cinemas with developed sound systems.
It is here that Karmen seduces the prison warden, Angelique, and invites her to a sensual dance. The following night, Karmen makes love to Angelique in her bed and, as compensation, regains her freedom. At sunset, Karmen leaves the prison and heads towards the city. Karmen shocks the elite guests with her provocative dance and the insults she addresses to the respected family and the ruling power of society.
Lamine is ordered to take Karmen to prison but on the way to jail she succeeds in seducing him and runs away. As punishment, Lamine, depressed and astonished even himself by his foolish conduct, is put in a cell. Meanwhile Karmen is back with her gang, Old Samba and other smugglers, and persuades them to free Lamine from jail. Karmen continues her criminal life with the smugglers, and Lamine, who can no longer return to his decent life, joins them in plotting a new smuggling job on the coast.
She is tired of her lovers, especially of Lamine, who has proved to be too possessive. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Powerful Women, Threatened Men: The femme fatale is a male topos in which masculine traits are attributed to a woman.
Thus, she is powerful, initiating, and independent; yet being also beautiful and erotic she is associated with seduction and corrupting forces which lead men to their own destruction. Though this topic had existed since the beginning of humankind, her image was presented almost obsessivel The femme fatale is a male topos in which masculine traits are attributed to a woman. Though this topic had existed since the beginning of humankind, her image was presented almost obsessively at the turn of the twentieth century.
In fact the femme fatale is a vital sign of the emergence of a new feminine image since the s; a consequence of social, political and cultural circumstances. Kindle Edition , 94 pages.
Are You an Author?
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Powerful Women, Threatened Men , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Powerful Women, Threatened Men. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
Sep 17, Caroline Ortiz rated it it was amazing. Great I received powerfulwomanthreatenedmenthefemmefatalemyth for free for my honest review. At firs it seem confusing but afterwards you get to understand the concept of the book. How females went through in life in the past and now. Its about femme fatale and the power woman can gain. Myriam Rondeau rated it liked it Aug 16, Ron Stafford rated it it was amazing Oct 18, Leucosia rated it really liked it Jul 20, Amanda rated it liked it Apr 09, Tobias Dahlberg rated it really liked it Feb 13, Meghan Headrick rated it really liked it Dec 26, Shannon Leigh rated it it was amazing Feb 21, Laurie Bertram marked it as to-read Mar 11, Kara marked it as to-read May 20, Jenny Jacobs marked it as to-read Jul 24,
- What I Cannot Change.
- How the World Ended.
- Powerful Women, Threatened Men: The Femme Fatale Myth by Edith Zack!