Towards an African Women in Cinema Studies
Abstract from Journal of African Cinemas 4:2, pp. 221-228, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jac.4.2.221_1
The focus of this article is the conceptualization of an approach to the study of African women in cinema, proposing tenets for constructing a historiography, developing a theoretical framework and formulating a feminist critic of African women’s cinematic practices, as well as gendered representations as a whole. The article considers the extent that African transnational expression has influenced its makers from the very beginning of African cinema history. Avoiding reductive declarations of a monolithic African women in cinema studies, the article attempts to discern key components that are representative of African women and their cinematic gaze.
As a practice, professional body and network, and conceptual framework, and field of study, “African women in cinema’ has been informed by diverse local, regional, continental, and world-wide movements during the last several decades: the global independence movements notably in Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, the international women’s movements and initiatives of the 1970s and 1980s, third cinema and postcolonial theory emerging in the 1970s, the global focus on multiculturalism and gender during the same period, and during the last decades of the twentieth century onward, the dominance of digital technologies, new media and the Internet. Key to this study is the examination of these movements and events as integrated phenomena.