The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

08 May 2009

Research Sources on African Women in Cinema (2009)

The Internet is an increasingly useful information-sharing mechanism for research on African women in cinema. This is true for African women who want to disseminate information and do relevant research but also for people who are interested in learning more about African women in cinema. Of course, the Internet-based Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema, from which this Blog derives, is a comprehensive site with extensive information on the topic. At a glance, below, are several other sources that are equally available on the Internet:
Notably, Africultures, a French-based website which provides a plethora of articles, biographies, film synopsis and analyses. While most of the sources are in French, there are some articles in English. For those who can read French as well, both language sources are listed.
The most recent Africultures publication, No. 76 gives homage to Ousmane Sembene, the most recent ancestor of African cinema who passed in 2007. Three articles (in French only) are devoted to women and gender issues:

Also recently published, the Africultures 74, 2009, Féminisme(s) en Afrique et dans la diaspora - Feminism(s) in Africa and the Diaspora, includes three articles on cinema (in French only):

Other articles from Africultures include:

There is a wealth of information oN Africultures which may be accessed by inputting the desired information in RECHERCHE RAPIDE at the top of the page.
The Internet is rich in sources of research on African women in cinema from scholars around the world, a selection below:

Sheila Petty. “Images of Women and Oppression in ‘Francophone’ West African Film.” Canadian Journal of Communication, vol. 14, no. 3, 1989.

Françoise Pfaff . Twenty-five Black African Filmmakers. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1988. Chapters on Safi Faye and Sarah Maldoror, including a filmography and comprehensive bibliography. Click on links above for reprinted chapters.

Françoise Pfaff. " Three Faces of Africa: Women in Xala." Jump Cut, July 1982, pp. 27-31.
Scholarly works from university theses include Zimbabwean Chido Matewa’s 2002, PhD dissertation from University of Manchester entitled, “Case Study of Africa Women Filmmakers Trust in Media and the Empowerment of Communities for Social Change” and Kenyan Wanjiku Beatrice Mukora’s 1999 Master’s thesis entitled “Disrupting Binary Divisions: Representation of Identity in Saikati and Battle of the Sacred Tree” from McGill University in Montreal.

Michael Dembrow, former English professor at Portland Community College was also a member of the committee of the Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, located in Portland, Oregon, and wrote the film notes. Among this very useful resource were films notes for works by and about African women--that have been showcased in the Festival, below is a selection.
  • Kare Kare Zvako by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • Karmen Gei by Joseph Gaï Ramaka
  • Everyone’s Child by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • Faraw! by Abdoulaye Ascofaré
  • Madame Brouette by Moussa Sene Absa
  • Moolaade by Ousmane Sembene
  • Nha Fala by Flora Gomes
  • Sisters of the Screen by Beti Ellerson
  • Taafa Fanga by Adama Drabo
  • Tableau Ferraille by Moussa Sene Absa

Ecrans d’Afrique/African Screen was the first pan-African revue of its kind dedicated to cinema, television and audiovisual producers in Africa. Created by FEPACI, the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers, it was in existence from 1991 to 1998.

Women were visible both on the covers and in the pages of the revue. Following are citations of and links to articles, profiles and tidbits highlighting African women in all areas of cinema: filmmakers, editors, actors, producers, make-up artists, and other positions.


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