Beti Ellerson, “African Women and the Documentary: Storytelling, Visualizing History, from the Personal to the Political.” Black Camera: An International Film Journal 8, no. 1 (Fall 2016): 223-239.
Published by: Indiana University Press
The practice of storytelling, of relating actuality, the real, of recounting history, the personal, the social, the political, are all features of the screen culture in which African women have evolved in myriad ways as stakeholders in the cultural production of their society and the world. Telling stories through documentary in particular has been a dominant mode of expression among African women, perhaps out of a genuine interest in addressing the pressing issues in their societies and relating stories that would otherwise not be told. Their filmmaking practice is indicative of the diversity of themes they address, using eclectic approaches: autobiographical, experimental, hybrid, consciousness-raising, socio-political, as well as within trans-local and transnational spaces—some going beyond the cultural references of the filmmakers. This article brings together current trends and tendencies incorporating African women who span the globe, utilizing diverse languages, reflecting a plurality of experiences, histories, cultures, and geographies.