in the Time of Covid-19
The sad news of the passing of pioneer Sarah Maldoror on 13 April due to complications of the novel coronavirus came at the moment that the cinema world was adjusting to the emergence of the Covid-19 epidemic, forced into lockdown mode and social distancing. Film festival events already scheduled throughout the remainder of the year, quickly adjusted to the new reality. Some were postponed or cancelled, others spontaneously converted to online versions. The pandemic underscored the ubiquity of digital technologies, which quickly restructured the platforms and resources needed to support the ever-expanding transmedial practices of the moving image. The virtual event has become the norm. Zoom meetings, panel discussions and interviews, on-line festivals and film streaming and other transmedial events appear to be part of the future post-Covid-19 screen culture landscape.
African women in cinema-focused events and initiatives immediately emerged on the virtual screen scene. As a tribute, on 12 May 2020, the feminist film journal Another Gaze hosted the Zoom panel presentation, The Legacies of Sarah Maldoror, which was followed by hundreds of spectators. The first Zoom e-conference of the Pavillon des Cinémas d'Afrique in a Programme of Roundtables organized by the ACA-Agence Culturelle Africaine, was held on 22 June 2020. Producer, director, actress, film critic, came together to discuss their experiences and concerns in the world of cinema. Also in June, Ladima Foundation and DW Akademie sponsored the African Women in the Time of COVID-19 Short Film Competition, the films of the winners were screened via the internet. In August during Women's Month, the Gauteng Film Commission organized the Virtual Women's Audio-Visual Festival showcasing the work and efforts of women in the film and television sector in Gauteng, South Africa using virtual platforms across popular social media channels. The New York-based Reel Sisters 2020 held theVirtual Film Festival and Lecture Series from 24-25 October through 17 November. The above are among the many others that continue to emerge.
Following is a selection of related articles published on the African Women in Cinema Blog
Fanta Régina Nacro : We are destined to come together to prevail against Covid-19 | Nous sommes condamnés à gagner ensemble contre le Covid-19
The Gauteng Film Commission on Women’s Month 2020 - South Africa
African Women in the time of COVID-19 : 10 selected films announced
Conférence du Pavillon des Cinémas d'Afrique : Programme Tables Rondes : "Porter haut et fort la voix des femmes dans les cinémas d'Afrique" (Women's voices heard loud and clear in the cinemas of Africa)
African Women in the Time of COVID-19 : A Short Film Competition | Les femmes africaines aux temps de COVID-19 - Un concour de courts métrages
iFilm Conference: The Future of Women in African Cinema 2020 organized by the PanAfrican Film Consortium. May 29.
Reflections on Another Gaze presents: The Legacies of Sarah Maldoror (1929–2020) - 12 May 2020