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.


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Director/Directrice, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema | Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinéma


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31 December 2020

Recent Films. Maimouna N'Diaye: Madjigui

Maimouna N'Diaye

Burkina Faso - 2020 - 18:27

En français : Voaafrique

In an interview with Yacouba Ouedraogo for the Festival Dakar Court, where the film is in competition, Maimouna N'Diaye has this to say:

Madjigui is a term in Dioula, a language spoken in several Western African countries, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, among others, it is the commercial language of West Africa. It means catch your heart, calm down, be still. Do not go in the direction of violence. The film is a form of resilience, in fact. It is about the resilience of a woman. I wanted to show the force, the power of women, who do the heavy lifting, who carry the weight of the household, who get things moving. Everything depends on women. She is the pillar of the household, everything evolves around her. That is what I wanted to present.


Amina, business manager, is a dynamic and modern woman. Married to August, a geologist, for the past fifteen years, they live happily together with their children. While on a mission, August's car is caught in an ambush, he is hospitalized in a coma. To save his life he must undergo an amputation, a decision left to Amina to make. At the hospital Amina discovers that August has a double life. She is in shock, will she save the father of her children? (Source: - translated from French)

Amina, femme dynamique et moderne, Business Manager est mariée à August un géologue depuis 15 ans. Ils vivent heureux avec leurs enfants. Au cours d’une mission, le véhicule d’August est pris en embuscade. Il se retrouve à l’hôpital dans le coma. Pour le sauver, il doit être amputé et cette décision revient à Amina, sa femme. Amina découvre à l’hôpital qu’August a une double vie. Elle est sous le choc. Va-t-elle sauver le père de ses enfants? (Source:



29 December 2020

Sisters of the Screen, twenty years later--and beyond

 Sisters of the Screen
Twenty years later, and beyond (1)

“African women must be everywhere. They must be in the images, behind the camera, in the editing room and involved in every stage of the making of a film. They must be the ones to talk about their problems.” (2)

Sarah Maldoror’s words inspired me to do just that, discover the voices and experiences of African women in the myriad sectors of screen culture: directors, producers, actors, DPs, screenwriters, editors, and the numerous technical crew members, and also, to extend that idea to encompass those in front of the screen as cultural readers, scholars, critics and theorists of African women in cinema studies; as they too have a vital function in the study and analysis of cultural production as it relates to women’s role in creating, shaping and determining the course of their cinematic history, the intellectual and cultural capital that it produces, and the intangible cultural heritage to which it contributes.
Hence, I took on this call, initiating the African Women in Cinema Project in 1996 as a postdoctoral study, which includes the book (Sisters of the Screen, Women of Africa on Film, Video and Television), published in 2000, and the film (Sisters of the Screen, African Women in the Cinema) completed in 2002. Sisters of the Screen, a title that envisioned a veritable screen culture in which the moving image visualized on myriad screen environments from white cloth to movie screen, television set, computer monitor, inflatable movie screen, mobile phone, tablet and diverse transmedia platforms that continue to emerge, all of which become the meeting point for African women in cinema to tell their stories. Moreover, the title contemplated an imaginary community where African women’s experiences of cinema may be shared, analyzed, documented, historicized, and archived.  
Following the release of the book and film, the Project developed into the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema whose organizing principle is based on two key elements: the work of the pan-African organization of women professionals of the moving image created in 1991 and the experiences of these individual women recounted in interviews, speeches, artists intentions, mission statements, and in their films. Drawing from the objectives of the organization: to provide a forum for women to share and exchange their experiences and to formulate mechanisms for continued dialogue and exchange, I have worked to develop a historiography in an attempt to chronicle and bring together the disparate parts.

What drew me to “African Women in Cinema” as a study and research focus was its extremely broad range of discourse and practice. Women on, in front, behind the screen—as storytellers, makers, producers, scriptwriters, actresses, role models, consciousness raisers, practitioners, technicians, organizers, fundraisers, social media community managers, bloggers, agents of change, activists, advocates, audience builders, cultural producers, cultural readers, film critics, scholars and researchers—all contribute to the idea of “African Women in Cinema” as a conceptual framework.

In have built on this organizing principle throughout the past two decades in my teaching, presentations, research and writing on African women in cinema. Based on the initial research I have developed materials to be adapted for courses, seminars and presentations in women’s studies, African studies, film studies, communications, modern language and culture, art history and visual culture, to a global public: students, specialists, stakeholders and interested cultural readers.

While the book has only been published in English, though the women included also gave interviews in French, I was able to broaden the conversation linguistically in the film version with both French and English subtitles, and in 2017, a German version was available to viewers based in Germany and to other German speakers. Through the African Women in Cinema Blog and the numerous social media platforms that have emerged since the publication of the book and release of the film, I have been able to present a variety of resources, as I have not been bound by the limitations of accessing materials and to linguistic restrictions. Thus drawing from a range of languages, information and technologies.

Moreover, I have attempted to frame the tone of my work within a spirit of affirmation in order to show the empowering and positive visual representations, voices and discourse, from the pioneers and trailblazers to the students and newcomers—all have their story to tell and their place on the continuum of the ever-expanding timeline of African women in cinema history.

What I learned above all from the experiences of teaching and developing materials on this sub-discipline was the irrefutable fact that when African women’s historiography is mined, structured and archived, their rich experiences are available and accessible for all to draw from.

My work throughout these two decades has centered on nine broad themes in order to highlight the breadth and scope of women’s experiences:

1.    Towards an African Women Cinema Studies: Theory and practice
2.    Women voices
3.    Women's stories, experiences and realities
4.    Visual representations of African women
5.    Interrogating identities, bodies, sexualities, femininities
6.    Intergenerational perspectives
7.    Social media, new technologies
8.    Global and transnational diaspora
9.    Gendered sensibilities
10.    Women researching, mentoring, organizing

Hence, I have been able to bring together women across disciplines. One of the regrettable downsides to this endeavor, and even with the ubiquity of the Internet, is that those whose work are accessible, whose presence is visible, who are studied, focused on, talked about, written about, promoted, are often the ones who are most likely to be included in courses, studies, chapters, on websites and pages as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Hence, I consciously avoid any “starification” encouraged by gatekeepers and self-promoters. And thus, my objective is to give visibility to as many as possible, no matter how tiny their (online, researched, written, English-language) presence, by a variety of methods, and above all, by my own acknowledgement and recognition of their work.

The Sisters of the Screen project has been the point of departure for my work going forward, as a means to highlight women speaking for themselves, about their experiences with cinema.

Women Filmmakers' Voices: In the initial project, diverse women filmmakers spanning the continent and its global diasporas talk about diverse themes, from how they came to cinema, the specificities of being women directors, to the hazards of the profession. In recent interviews and discussions with women of the current generation, one finds similarities with many of the women interviewed in the mid- 1990s, in terms of themes, approaches and the reasons that brought them to cinema and the roles they want to play. This is not to say that there have not been changes and mutations in the past two decades. In fact there have been an incredible dynamism and phenomenal progress. Nonetheless, the commentary by women reflecting their desire to tell stories about the conflicts in their societies are echoed in the contemporary works of their compatriots, about the courageous women who are continuing to fight for their society. The women who spoke of their desire to makes films about women, their accomplishments, perspectives and experiences as a way to highlight women as role models, is in tune with current perspectives on women’s desire to tell stories to highlight the dearth of women as role models for their daughters.

Women Visualizing Their Stories: Several African women discuss their work or provide critical perspectives that are linked to specific excerpts from their films. Film topics include: Experiences of women in the countryside, whose men go to the urban sectors for work; women refugees, the practice of female excision, and also more uplifting positive stories of an adolescent’s dream of becoming a singer. Contemporary films continue to probe the question of migration with a focus on current issues, such as the outflow of young girls from the village who go to the city to be employed as domestic workers, which has similar consequences as other forms of external migration. Moreover, current films reveal that the practice of female excision continues with the same consequences for women and girls.

Actors' Experiences In Cinema includes a continuum of the role of actresses from veteran to beginner, as they talk about their experiences in various internationally acclaimed African films. While African women as actors were not always embraced by their societies, especially during the nascent period of African cinema in the mid-1960s, they have been dedicated artists, playing an important role in the evolution of African cinema. The historic general assembly of African actresses which took place from 12-16 November 2019 at the FESTILAG Festival international du film des lacs et des lagunes (International Lakes and Lagoons Film Festival) in Côte d'Ivoire, highlighted the well-deserved recognition of African women on the screen.

Critical Perspectives of African Women and Visual Representation: Women from diverse areas of the cinema (director, actor, producer, critic) give critical perspectives on the visual representation of African women in cinema as well as the public reception of the African female image on screen. It is from my experience in bringing together the voices of these women that my deeper exploration of African women as cultural readers developed, sketching in broad strokes, African women's engagement with the moving image as stakeholders and participants in both on-screen visual representation of women, and off-screen and behind-the-scene roles throughout and beyond the film production process. The first—on the screen—recalls the initial visual engagement with the film leaving the viewer to contemplate the actor’s role and the filmmaker’s intent. The second—behind the screen—conjures a team of film industry practitioners: screenwriter, director, cinematographer, crew, producer, editor, distributor, festival organizer and other professionals, and the third—in front of the screen— as cultural reader, evoking a discerning audience and the film critic. While African women cultural critics of the moving image have existed as long as African cinema practice, a cadre of African women researchers, scholars and professors is taking shape on the continent and the diaspora.

Identities: The myriad identities of African women are explored in this theme--bi-raciality, immigration, exile, dislocation, transnationality. In the works of some filmmakers during the last two and a half decades, one may find intersecting themes on nationality, racialized identity, especially as it relates to the search for self in the interstices of “in-betweenness”, as well as personal stories of womanhood and femininity, of national identity and transnational hybridity.

Women Coming Together: In the initial project on Sisters of the Screen, a complexity of issues around women organizing and working together is intertwined with a discussion of the place of women of the African Diaspora, especially from the United States. Twenty-five years later, as the U.S. African Diaspora incorporates immigrant and first-generation Africans, the discourse on visualizing diaspora expands and deepens. Moreover, with the coming of age of western-born African women or those who are settled in the west, issues of identity are negotiated in their films. The identity politics brought out through these voices are an important prelude to the discussion on the emergence of a cohort of first-generation Diaspora filmmakers of African parentage. Where is their positionality located? Contemporary women filmmakers who live “in between” cultures, races and ethnicities, problematize and explore this vexed space.

Is There an African Woman Sensibility?: The varying responses to this question reveal the fact that the concept "African women in the cinema" is not a monolith. That there are diverse cinemas and women experience them in different and varying ways. Some agree that there is a sensibility specific to women; others observe a complimentary between women and men; while still others conclude that there is ultimately only a human sensibility. Gauging from the number of women’s festivals and literature that has emerged in the last two decades, there is an implicit “yes” to the question and that the follow up question, “if so, what does a woman’s sensibility look like?” continues to be relevant.  

While the women’s testimonies in the film and book date to 1997-1999, ongoing interviews that I have conducted and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog, as well as those by others—in particular, the impressive collection of interviews in Sierra Leoneon Mahen Bonetti's New York African Film Festival series—provide a continuum of experiences and a measure in which to evaluate the trends, tendencies and evolution of themes attitudes and technologies, and transformations in the world based on myriad phenomena: migration, economic, and intracontinental and global developments.

1. Excerpted from “Teaching African Women in Cinema, Part One”, Black Camera: An International Film Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2015), pp. 251-261.

2. Sarah Maldoror : "Il faut prendre d'assaut la télévision / "We have to take television by storm by Jadot Sezirahiga. Ecrans d’Afrique | African Screens, no. 12, 1995.

Report by Beti Ellerson

21 December 2020

Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Winners 2020

 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Winners 2020

List of winners for AMAA2020 as collectively decided by the Jury

Baxu & the Giant --Namibia
Songs About My Mother - South Africa
Idi Amin’s Boat - Uganda
Yahoo – Nigeria   
SEMA (Speak Out) – DRC
The letter reader – South Africa
A Canvas for a Visa – Senegal
After the War – Egypt


From Here To Timbuktu – Kenya
Malaika (The Warrior Queen) – Nigeria/USA
A Special Gift – Mozambique
The legend of Lwanda Magere – Kenya
FTFO – Nigeria
Sankofa – Cote D’Voire
I am lIving In Ghana Get Me Out of Here – Ghana
A Gugie Day – Nigeria


January 15, 1970: Untold memoir of the Biafran war- Nigeria
Journey to Kenya – Sudan
No gold for kalsaka – B/Faso
Days of Cannibalism – South Africa
Finding Sally – Ethiopia/Canada
The letter – Kenya
Becoming Black- Togo/Germany
Influence – South Africa


Boxed – USA
June 14 – USA
Egun – Brazil
Brick By Brick – USA


Once In Hundred Years – USA
Revolution From Afar – USA
Meeting My Father – France
Becoming Black – Germany
If Objects Could Speak – Germany


Aiyai: Wrathful Soul – Australia
Lola – USA
A day With Jerusa – Brazil
Black and Blue – USA
Joseph – Barbados


Eagles Nest – Olivier Assoua
Two Weeks in Lagos – Kathryn Fasegha
Idemuza – Olaoye Amoke
Between – Daniel Adenimokan
No Shades – Claire Ayiam Osigwe


Milk Maid – Nigeria
Knuckle City – South Africa
This is Not A Burial…it’s a Resurrection – Lesotho
Fiela’s Child – South Africa
The White Line – Namibia


This is Not A Burial, It’s a Resurrection
Heroes of Africa; Tette Quarshie
The White Line
Ibi (The Birth)
Foreigner’s God


Knuckle City
The Milkmaid
Heroes of Africa; Tette Quarshie


Fisherman’s Diary
 Coming from Insanity
Zulu Wedding
 Gold Coast Lounge
For Maria: Ebun Pataki
Walking with Shadows
Living in Bondage


Heroes of Africa; Tette Quarshie
Knuckle City
Living in Bondage: Breaking Free
Foreigner’s God
A Taste of Our Land


Fiela’s Child
Knuckle City
Children of The Storm
The Ghost and House of Truth
For Maria: Ebun Pataki
40 Sticks
Gold Coast Lounge

Knuckle City
Zulu Wedding
Perfect Picture: Ten Years Later
This is Not A Burial, It’s a resurrection
Foreigner’s God
Gold Coast Lounge
The Ghost and the House of Truth


The Ghost and House of Truth
A Fisherman’s Diary
Knuckle City
Milk Maid
40 Sticks
This is Not A Burial, It’s a resurrection
Gold Coast Lounge


Perfect Picture: Ten Years After
The Ghost and House of Truth
Knuckle City
40 Sticks


For Maria: Ebun Pataki
The White line
4th Republic 
A Fisherman’s Diary
Knuckle City
40 Sticks
Perfect Picture: Ten Years After
3 Days To Go


Cold Feet
Living in Bondage: Breaking Free
4th Republic
For Maria: Ebun Pataki
The Bling Lagosian
Coming From Insanity
The Ghost and The House of Truth
Milk Maid


Faith Fidel – Fisherman’s Diary
Naomi Nemlin – Desrances
Chimezie Imo – Nimbe
Swanky JKA – Living in Bondage: Breaking Free
Wayne Smith – Fiela’s Child
Cina Soul – Gold Coast Lounge
Anthonieta Kalunta – Milk Maid


Arabrun Nyyeneque – 40 Sticks
Adjatey Annang- Gold Ghost Lounge
Narcissus  Afeli – Desrances
Cosson Chinepoh – Fisherman’s Diary
Ramsey Noah Jnr – Living in Bondage: Breaking Free


Maryam Booth – Milk Maid
Chairmaine Mujeri – Mirage
Linda Ejiofor – 4th Republic
Ndano Tramanse – Fisherman’s Diary
Tina Mba – The Set Up
Faniswa Yisa – Knuckle City
Evelyne Juhen – Desrances


Jimmy Jean-Louis – Desrances
Gabriel Afolayan – Coming From Insanity
Kang Quintus – Fisherman’s Diary
Bongile Mantsai – Knuckle City
Alphonse Menyo – Gold Coast Lounge
Eyinna Nwigwe – Badamasi
Robert Agengo/Mwaura Bilal/Andreo Kamau/ Xavier Ywawa – 40 Sticks
Darrin Dewitt Henson – Zulu Wedding


Joselyn Dumas – Cold Feet
Mary Twala Mhlongo – This is Not A Burial, It’s a Resurrection
Stella Damasus – Between
Meg Otanwa – For Maria: Ebun Pataki
Zenobia Kloppers – Fiela’s Child
Elvina Ibru – The Bling Lagosian
Girley Jazama – The White Line
Kelly Khumalo – Zulu Wedding   


Coming From Insanity –  Akinyemi Sebastine Akinropo
Living in Bondage – Ramsey Noah Jnr.
Bling Lagosian - Bolanle Austen- Peters
For Maria: Ebun Pataki - Damilola E. Orimogunje
The Zulu Wedding - Lineo Sekeleoana
A Taste of Our Land -–Yuhi Amuli –
Mirage - Malaika Mushandu
The White Line - Desire Kahikapo


Akin Omotoso - The Ghost and House of Truth
Enah Johnscott - A Fisherman’s Diary
Jahmil X.T Quebeka- Knuckle City
Desmond Ovbiagele- Milk Maid
Victor Gatonye- 40 Sticks
Appoline Traore - Desrances
Jeremiah Lemohang Mosese - This is Not A Burial, It’s a resurrection
Pascal Aka - Gold Coast Lounge


The Ghost and the House of Truth
A Fisherman’s Diary
Knuckle City
Milk Maid
40 Sticks
This is Not A Burial, It’s a Resurrection
Gold Coast Lounge


20 December 2020

New York African Film Festival 2020 in conversation with Ekwa Msangi

in conversation with Ekwa Msangi

A Q&A with Ekwa Msangi discussing her film Farewell Amor along with actors Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah and Jayme Lawson

The film screening and the conversation are part of the New York African Film Festival's Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present 2020 virtual edition.

Follow link:

19 December 2020

Maïmouna Doucouré: Mignonnes [Cuties] at Dakar Court 2020, perspectives from Senegal

Maïmouna Doucouré: Mignonnes [Cuties] at Dakar Court 2020, perspectives from Senegal

Image: Filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré presents her film Mignonnes at the French Institute of Dakar, 11 December 2020. RFI - © Théa Ollivier

Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, born and raised in France of Senegalese origins, directs her camera on the experiences of first-generation-born children of immigrant parents. Her two films, Maman and Mignonnes focuses especially on the experiences of young girls, whose lives in the France often contrast with those of their parents.

In the film Mignonnes [Cuties] eleven-year-old pre-teen Amy discovers in her new elementary school a group of dancers called: “Les Mignonnes”. Fascinated, she begins a sexy dance, the twerk, hoping to join their band and escape a family upheaval.
The audience discussion of the film screening at Dakar Court, offers a Senegalese perspective of the bi-cultural theme explored by the bi-cultural filmmaker.
The following discussion is based on the report by Théa Ollivier of RFI*
During the Dakar Court audience discussion, Maïmouna Doucouré had this to say:
When looking at tradition and society there is a pressure imposed on women to present themselves in a certain way in order to please men, and that is the common characteristic representative of patriarchy.

Malik Diouf, who attended the screening, found the film to be fantastic "with issues such as polygamy to be important points of reflection for our society. The film is right on point."

Professor and scholar Magueye Kassé, also in attendance, found the film to be very strong and refreshing with many lessons to learn. "The film challenges us, both adults and Senegalese. It settles the debate regarding the religious aspect which dictates to women: you must always be in a position of submission, and accept the unacceptable."

* -éma-projection-du-long-métrage-mignonnes-à-dakar

16 December 2020

The White Line (La ligne blanche) by/de Desiree Kahikopo-Meiffre - Namibia | Namibie


Désirée Kahikopo
The White Line (La ligne blanche)
Namibia | Namibie

The White Line is a romantic historical drama, set in 1963 in South West Africa (Namibia), in the height of South Africa’s apartheid rule in Namibia. It tells a story about a black maid who falls in love with a white police officer. Their love for each other grows over time through the letters they write each other. Their love endures many obstacles – one being the colour of their skin.

The White Line is a riveting untold love story about a man and woman who do not see race and colour, subconsciously going against society’s norms and finding solace in love in an era where love was restricted to only loving your kind. The White Line will shed light on the untold love stories of apartheid and what is now the new Namibia.

Dans un Sud-Ouest sud-africain soumis, dans les années 1960,  par l’Afrique du Sud à un renforcement des mesures d’apartheid, les amours interdites et condamnées de Sylvia, une jeune femme de ménage noire, et de Pieter, un officier de police afrikaner.

Bio: Desiree Kahikopo-Meiffret

Desiree Kahikopo-Meiffret is an award-winning director and producer with 12+ years’ experience in the Namibian film and theatre industry as an actress, creative director and playwright.

A Talents Durban alumna, Desiree’s debut film, The White Line, premiered at the Durban International Film Festival last year and went on to win multiple awards at the Namibian Theatre and Film Awards 2019 and the African Emerging Filmmakers Awards 2019. (Source:

Desiree Kahikopo est une actrice, auteure, réalisatrice et productrice namibienne qui a participé depuis plus de 10 ans à de nombreuses activités théâtrales et cinématographiques. Elle a produit, réalisé et écrit sa toute première pièce intitulée Une vie de blues, qui a remporté le prix de la meilleure scénographie aux Namibian Theatre and Film Awards en 2014.

Elle a beaucoup fréquenté les plateaux de tournage, notamment en tant que productrice exécutive. The White Line La ligne blanche) est son premier long métrage. Il a été présenté en avant-première au 40e Festival international du film de Durban en 2019 et devrait sortir en Namibie en 2020. (Source:

15 December 2020

Recent Films. Madeleine Autet : La Mort, ce cadeau de vie (Death, this gift of life) - Cameroun | Cameroon

Madeleine Autet
La Mort, ce cadeau de vie (Death, this gift of life )
Cameroun | Cameroon
80 min - Documentaire | Documentary - 2020

African traditions correspond to a living environment and a related philosophy. Hence, rituals vary from one people to another. As such, people have a specific perception of death. An interpretation of their own. Thus the perception of death has several elements and parameters which vary from one tradition to another. Why do we mystify Death? Between the cult of the dead and secret societies, what is really going on? Is everyone allowed to get close to a dead person? Does an afterlife exist? Does crying have an influence on the deceased? From Islam to Buddhism, to Christianity, the perception of Death does not always seem to be unanimous. While some view it is the end of life or the last day of a Human being on earth, others view it is the start of a new life or even a transition to reincarnation. Death, what is it? For scientists, there is no life after death. Death is an irreversible state of a biological organism that has ceased to live.

African society has a different look at the mortuary professions which are often considered as mystical professions and those women and men who practice them are viewed as apart from others. Does one have to be initiated to practice a mortuary profession? How do tradition, religion, and society live and support the bereaved families? Some people think that we are born to continue that which, some of those before us could not finish. So we die to allow others to come into the world. Our time on earth must be have an impact, it is up to us to ensure that our death is a gift for the one who will take our place.

Les traditions Africaines correspondent à un milieu de vie et une philosophie y afférente. Les rituels varient donc d’un peuple à un autre. Par conséquent, les peuples ont une perception particulière de la mort. Une interprétation qui leur est propre. La Mort ainsi perçue renferme plusieurs éléments et paramètres qui varient d’une tradition à une autre. Pourquoi mystifions-nous la Mort ? Entre culte des morts et sociétés secrètes, que se passe-t-il réellement ? Tout le monde est-il autorisé à se rapprocher d’un mort ? Existe-t-il une vie après la mort. Les pleurs ont –elles une influence sur le défunt ? De l’Islam au Bouddhisme, passant par le Christianisme, la perception de la Mort ne semble pas toujours faire l’Unanimité. Si d’aucuns pensent que c’est la fin de la vie ou alors le dernier jour d’un Homme sur la terre, d’autres pensent que c’est le début d’une nouvelle vie voire une transition pour la réincarnation. La mort qu’est-ce que c’est ? Pour les scientifiques, il n’y a pas de vie après la mort. La mort, est un État irréversible d’un organisme biologique ayant cessé de vivre.

La société Africaine a un autre regard sur les métiers mortuaire qui sont souvent considérés comme des métiers mystiques et ceux qui les exercent vu comme des femmes et des hommes à part. Cependant, faut-il être initié pour exercer un métier mortuaire ? Comment la tradition, la religion, et la société vivent et accompagnent ces familles endeuillées. Certaines personnes pensent que nous venons au monde pour continuer ceux que certains avant nous n’ont pas pu finir. Nous mourons donc pour permettre aux autres de venir au monde. Notre passage sur la terre doit être impactant, à nous de faire en sorte que notre mort soit un cadeau pour celui qui prendra la relève.

Madeleine Autet Bio

Madeleine Autet is a producer, film director and screenwriter
Madeleine Autet est productrice, réalisatrice et scénariste

14 December 2020

"The Women Blowing up Ethiopia's Film Industry". An essay by film scholar Steven W. Thomas

 "The Women Blowing up Ethiopia's Film Industry". An essay by film scholar Steven W. Thomas

The Women Blowing up Ethiopia's Film Industry. Successful Female Writers, Directors, and Producers Set the Nation Apart From Hollywood, Bollywood, and the Rest of World Cinema. Published September 11, 2020 on

Scholar Steven W. Thomas traces the contributions of Ethiopian women in cinema, adding an important discourse to African Women in Cinema studies on the works of Ethiopian women in the country as well as the Ethiopian diaspora.

Read article at the following link:

Image: Steven W. Thomas

11 December 2020

Moroccan Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture

Moroccan Women in Cinema,
Visual Media and Screen Culture

"As a woman I feel that I am working for the rights of women. Perhaps it does not happen right away, but it is gives food for thought, a pause for reflection, that's what is the most important!" --Farida Benlyazid

Since the 1970s women have been increasingly visible in the myriad spheres of Moroccan cinema, visual media and screen culture: filmmakers, producers, festival organizers, film critics, researchers. Following are examples of the expansive experiences of Moroccan women of the moving image.

Farida Benlyazid, Farida Bourquia and Izza Genini, pioneers of Moroccan cinema who emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, set the groundwork for the generation of women who followed. Feminist, filmmaker, screenwriter, Farida Benlyazid entered the world of cinema in the 1970s, at the forefront of Arab feminist filmmaking, especially from a postcolonial perspective. She is both a role model and voice for the next generation. French-based documentary filmmaker Izza Genini a prolific cultural producer of the documentation of the musical and poetic heritage of Morocco views music as the source that maintains the links between generations. Since the 1980s Farida Bourquia has an impressive repertory of work in TV films and serials, including socio-cultural themes as well as documentary films about women.

Since its inception in 2004, the International Women's Film Festival of Salé, the sister city of Rabat, has been an important institution for the showcasing of women in front, on and behind the screen. Locally, on the continent, and internationally, it promotes the professionalization of women in cinema through workshopping, the organization of master classes and seminars. The roundtables and panels featuring scholarly presentations on issues of gender parity, the woman’s body in cinema and female representation add an important theoretical component to local knowledge production in Morocco.

Similarly, Nouzha Drissi created IFAD Doc'Souss in Agadir, Morocco, the first Festival dedicated exclusively to the documentary. It emerged from her desire to affirm a documentary culture among both professionals and the general public, as well create a platform for South-North collaboration. Her unexpected and tragic death in 2011 left a cinema culture on the continent, though in mourning, determined to continue her work.

Selma Bargach's intellectual and creative pursuit intersects the boundaries of social science inquiry, cinema and gender. In 1997 she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled, "Le statut et le rôle de la femme dans le cinéma marocain" (The status and role of women in Moroccan cinema) at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. She eventually settled for the artistic expression of filmmaking, directing has been much more fulfilling than her academic work: "it has allowed me to ask deeper questions while calling upon my imaginary through creative work".

Living and working in the diaspora in France and as an activist with the association RESF (Education Without Borders Network), it was important for Rahma Benhamou El Madani to take up her camera to document the lives of the people around her. Algerian-born of Moroccan parents, she tries to reconnect with her roots through her films. In addition, she founded the international Non-Aligned Collective of Women Cineastes.

Journalist Amina Barakat, an avid film critic is actively involved in Moroccan-based cultural events and numerous film festivals on the continent.

An expanding list of Moroccan women in cinema, visual media and screen culture, which is not exhaustive, includes:

Nora Azeroual, Selma Bargach, Violaine Maryam Blanche Bellet, Khiti-Amina Benhachem, Dounia Benjelloun, Farida Benlyazid, Meryem Benm'Barek, Touda Bouanani, Farida Bourquia, Hiba Chaari, Sofia El Khyari, Rahma Benhamou El Madani, Asmae El Moudir, Nouzha Drissi (1965-2011), Dalila Ennadre (1966-2020), Izza Genini, Tala Hadid, Aisha Jabour, Leïla Kilani, Fatima Matousse, Imane Mesbahi, Zineb Tamourt, Maryam Touzani, Malika Zairi

Articles on Moroccan Women in Cinema, Visual Media and Screen Culture from the African Women in Cinema Blog

Rétrospective et Masterclass Izza Genini - 39e édition du Festival International Jean Rouch en ligne du 24-29 novembre 2020

Dalila Ennadre - Nous venons de perdre l'une des nôtres | We have just lost one of our own (Communiqué : CNNA Cinéaste Non-Alignées Collectif)

Festival Films Femmes Afrique 2020 - Maryam Touzani : Adam

Festival Films Femmes Afrique 2020 - Sofia El Khyari: Ayam

Fatima Matousse: Family in Exile (Afrika Film Festival Köln 2019)

Livre/Book: Pratiques et usages du film en Afriques francophones: Maroc, Tchad, Togo, Tunisie (Practices and uses of films in Francophone Africa: Morocco, Chad, Togo, Tunisia) - eds. Claude Forest, Patricia Caillé

In/en conversation with/avec Selma Bargach (Morocco | Maroc)

FESPACO 2019 : Indigo by/de Selma Bargach (Morocco | Maroc)

FESPACO 2019: Au-delà de ce mur | Beyond this wall de/by Aisha Jabour (Morocco | Maroc)

Mis Me Binga 2018 – Zineb Tamourt : Riad de mes rêves | Riad of my dreams (Morocco | Maroc)

Mis Me Binga 2018 – Malika Zairi : Assia (Morocco | Maroc)

Sofia by/de Meryem Benm'Barek : Cannes 2018 - Un Certain Regard (Morocco)

Cannes 2018 : Sofia by/de Meryem Benm'Barek. Analysis /analyse : Falila Gbadamassi (Africiné)

Report | Compte-rendu: Festival International du Film de Femmes de Salé | International Women’s Film Festival of Salé - Edition 11, 2017 - Maroc | Morocco

Behind the Wall | Derrière le mur (2016) by/de Karima Zoubir (Morocco | Maroc)

FESPACO 2017: Hyménée by/de Violaine Maryam Blanche Bellet (Morocco | Maroc)

FESPACO 2017: Hiba Chaari - Behind the Imaginary | Derriere l’imaginaire - Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech (Morocco | Maroc)

LAFF 2015 – Asmae El Moudir : A Blessed Friday | Mémoires Anachroniques ou le couscous du vendredi

LAFF 2015 - Tala Hadid: Narrow Frame of Midnight | Itar el-Layl

LAFF 2015 - Nora Azeroual: Agmmu N Ugdal | The Forbidden Fruit | Fruit Interdit

Rahma Benhamou El Madani launches a crowdfunding campaign on Kisskissbankbank for the film “One Day in Marrakech”

FESPACO 2013 - Maryam Touzani : Quand ils dorment | When They’re Sleeping

Asmae El Moudir : « Le cinéma c’est mon rêve de petite fille »

Asmae el Moudir: Filmmaking has been my dream since childhood

Clôture de la 6ème édition du festival international du film de femmes de Salé

Rahma Benhamou El Madani : « Je tente de renouer avec mes racines à travers mes films. »

Rahma Benhamou El Madani: "I try to connect to my roots through my films"

Nouzha Drissi, le monde du cinéma marocain lui rend hommage

The world of Moroccan cinema pays tribute to Nouzha Drissi

A critique of Leïla Kilani’s film Sur la planche (On the Edge)

10 December 2020

Recent films. Soussaba Cissé : Bogo Ja - Mali

Soussaba Cissé
Bogo Ja
2020 - 52 min - Mali

 "Bogo Ja" follows five women, Rokia, Sali, Aminata, Mariama and Djénébou for five months, in their daily life in the village of Siby in Mali. Why these women? Why this village? They are the living heritage of an ancestral tradition: the decoration of houses.

Every year, for a month, they become exceptional artists. Several hundred women participate in the Bogo Ja art and architecture competition for decorated houses by painting more than 400 houses.

But beyond the competition, what are their realities? Their dreams? What do all these works mean? Why are these paintings only done by women? Where did their inspiration come from? What do their families think? What is the impact on the community? Can we talk about art?

An exploration of these exceptional women and their know-how that has endured for millennia. The film "Bogo Ja" is an immersion journey with these five women.


Bogo Ja" suit pendant plusieurs mois cinq femmes, Rokia, Sali, Aminata, Mariama et Djénébou, dans leur quotidien au village de Siby au Mali. Pourquoi ces femmes ? Pourquoi ce village ? Elles sont l’héritage vivant d’une tradition ancestrale : la décoration de maisons.

Chaque année, pendant un mois, elles deviennent des artistes d’exception. Plusieurs centaines de femmes participent au concours d’art et d’architecture des maisons décorées Bogo Ja en peignant plus de 400 maisons.

Mais au-delà du concours, quelles sont leurs réalités ? Leurs rêves ? Que veulent dire toutes ces œuvres ? Pourquoi ces peintures sont-elles uniquement réalisées par des femmes ? D'où vient leur inspiration ? Que pensent leurs familles ? Quel impact sur la communauté ? Pouvons-nous parler d'art ?

Explorons ces femmes d'exception et leur savoir-faire qui perdure depuis des millénaires. Le film "Bogo Ja" est un voyage en immersion avec ces cinq femmes.



Réalisatrice et Scénariste malienne.
Née en 1988 à Bamako, Mali. Elle est la fille de Souleymane Cissé. Soussaba Cissé a étudié au Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français, à Paris et a réalisé plusieurs courts métrages. Elle a réalisé N'gunu N'gunu Kann (115 min) en 2013.

Malian director and screenwriter.
Born in 1988 in Bamako, Mali. She is the daughter of Souleymane Cissé. Soussaba Cissé studied at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français in Paris during which she directed several short films. She directed N'gunu N'gunu Kann (115 min) in 2013.

Extraits "Bogo Ja" - De Soussaba Cissé, Banko Production from Bougou Saba on Vimeo.

09 December 2020

Film Africa. Ines Johnson-Spain: Becoming Black

Ines Johnson-Spain
Becoming Black
Documentary - 2019 - 91min

Image: idfa
Film Africa: Director's Intro []

A white couple living in the German Democratic Republic in the 1960s, tells their Black child that her skin color is purely by chance and has no meaning. This is also what the girl prefers to believe, until she accidentally discovers the truth as a teenager.

Ines Johnson-Spain is an independent German/Togolese filmmaker based in Berlin.
She studied Scienes of Religions at Freie Universität Berlin (FU) and was a guest student for Fine Arts and Painting at University of Arts Berlin.

She worked for many years as a scenic painter and in various positions of the art departments of national and international filmproductions. (e.g. Peter Greenaway The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Anders Thomas Jensen Men and Chicken, Lana Wachowsky Sense8, Andrej Swjaginzew Die Verbannung).

07 December 2020

New York African Film Festival 2020: Marwa Zein in conversation

 New York African Film Festival 2020 

in conversation with Marwa Zein Marwa Zein and Sarra Idris

Marwa talks about her film Khartoum Offside (2019) with Sarra Idris, also a filmmaker from Sudan. The film screening and the conversation are part of the New York African Film Festival's Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present 2020 virtual edition.

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NYAFF 2020: Ngozi Onwurah in conversation

New York African Film Festival 2020
Ngozi Onwurah and Karen McMullen in conversation
UPDATE: Also see below a conversation with Ngozi Onwurah and Beti Ellerson

Ngozi talks about her films Coffee Colored Children (1988) and Shoot the Messenger (2006).

The film screening and the conversation are part of the New York African Film Festival's Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present 2020 virtual edition.

Follow link:

On this post I will take the opportunity to present excerpts from our interview in 1997 published in my book Sisters of the Screen: Women of Africa on Film, Video and Television, 2000--Beti Ellerson.

During the interview Nigerian-British filmmaker elaborated on a diversity of themes: being a woman, filmmaker, bi-racial person, her transnational upbringing. Below are excerpts exploring these themes.

Identity as a transnational filmmaker:

As a black woman filmmaker, I get invited to a lot of different things and sometimes they want me to wear different hats.  Sometimes I am a woman filmmaker and that's the priority at that particular event.  Where it gets particularly muddy is when it has to do with being an African filmmaker.  Because the way that black America has appropriated the word African American, the context in which people refer to Africa gets very muddy.

As a filmmaker who works out of London, the problems that I have making films are completely different to a woman who, say, lives in Nigeria, who lives and works in Zambia, or Zaire, or Tanzania.  The problems that she has as a filmmaker are completely different to the problems that I have as a filmmaker, or the people who we make the films for are different.  So, in terms of who I am on a professional level, it gets very complicated.

It is less complicated on a personal level.  On a personal level, I know who I am; I know where I am from.  But in terms of talking about it, you cannot lump together a woman who lives in London, who gets funding from the BBC to make films, with someone who is living in Nigeria, where literally the budgets, the facilities, everything, would be completely different in terms of how she has to work.  So it gets complicated and sometimes I don't think there is enough differential made between black people or people of African descent working outside of Africa and people of African descent working in Africa.  It is two different experiences.

Mixed-race, bi-cultural identities:

The fact that I have a white mother and a black father is essential to my identity.  Obviously, it gives me a unique perspective politically.  Politically I am black; emotionally I'm black.  But once you say that "unequivocally, I'm black," there are specifics that come out of the fact that I have a white mother and a black father and that I lived half my childhood in Africa and half my childhood in an all-white neighborhood in Newcastle in England, that give me a specific viewpoint on everything I see.

On another level, there are issues around a kind of polarization, especially in America, but also in England, though nowhere near to the extent as in America: The two races are incredibly polarized in America, there's black and there's white and they seem to very rarely mix.  They seem to very rarely live in the same neighborhoods, and that's not the case in England.

My work has always been specifically about being three or four things simultaneously.  It's about being black British, it's about being bi-racial, it's about being African and it's about being all those things, because that is what I am.

...I have these three identities that are concurrent with each other and yet the only natural one, the only one that was natural and not forced on me in any way was the one I had in Nigeria up until the age of twelve.


…What I inherited coming from Africa and living in Africa until I was twelve, the thing that was the most important to me, was storytelling.  I was told a lot of stories.  My whole approach to storytelling comes from what I grew up on in Africa.
...In Africa, stories are neither realism nor non-realism, there is no line between what is real and what is non-real.  So the spirit's world, or whatever, co-exists side-by-side with the real world.  And they are not one thing or another.  And what I think about European filmmaking, even African-American filmmaking, is that it is very much lodged in realism.

Storytelling is realism, so that if you are walking down the street, you are real, you are three-dimensional and what is going on in your brain is something that you cannot see.  If you look at all of my other work apart from Mondays' Girls there is a certain amount of mixing of reality, what's called reality, and what's called non-reality.

In The Body Beautiful, the mother is having the love scene with the younger man.  That didn't really in actual fact happen; that happens in her head, but you bring it to life and the daughter is watching it.  In Welcome to the Terrordome, the Africans go underneath the water because they are trying to walk back to Africa and we see what their life is like underneath the water.  These are all things that are absolutely comprehensible to Africans.  If you look at a lot of African literature, it deals with the spiritual world side by side with the real world….

06 December 2020

Ladima Foundation Women of Influence Zoom Panel: Overcoming Gatekeepers (tearing down the gates in the film industry)


Ladima Foundation Women of Influence Zoom Panel: Overcoming Gatekeepers (tearing down the gates in the film industry)

One of the issues that gets raised again and again for aspiring (and even professional) filmmakers, particularly those already disadvantaged or facing exclusion, such as women, is the topic of gatekeeping and lack of access and inclusion.

Gatekeeping and gatekeepers refer to a process where through actual obstructions to access, or the perception of obstruction to access, certain groups or individuals are excluded from accessing opportunities.

The panel will address the importance of recognizing both the actual and perceived barriers to entry, and the even more important need to address and redress these obstacles. The panel will speak to those who may inadvertently be acting as gatekeepers, and also to those who may have been faced gatekeepers in their professional journeys.

The discussion will include women from a diversity of backgrounds who now hold significant roles within some of the more recognized organisations in the industry.

Time: Dec 10, 2020 05:00 PM in West Central Africa

Webinar Registration

05 December 2020

African Diasporas. Afropolitaine, la websérie 100% afro french touch - Réalisée par le duo de réalisatrices mère-fille | created by the mother-daughter duo Aline Angelo Milla et Soraya Milla (Cote d'Ivoire - Benin - France)

Afropolitaine, la websérie 100% afro french touch - Réalisée par le duo de réalisatrices mère-fille | created by the mother-daughter duo Aline Angelo Milla et Soraya Milla (Cote d'Ivoire-France)

La série raconte ce que c’est d’être en permanence entre deux cultures, parle de l’expérience de la multi-culturalité, montre la vie des noirs-es en région parisienne, et la vie de noirs-es dans une capitale africaine aujourd’hui--Aline Angelo Milla et Soraya Milla

The series presents the experiences of living constantly between two cultures, experiences of multiculturalism. It recounts the everyday lives of black people residing in greater Paris and that of those in a contemporary African capital--Aline Angelo Milla et Soraya Milla


Afropolitaine est une web série humoristique de 10x4 minutes qui a pour ambition de mettre en lumière la culture Afro-française. L’intrigue tourne autour d’Yvoire, jeune femme afro-descendante âgée de 24 ans, et sa soeur cadette Janis , toutes deux en pleine construction identitaire. Leurs divergences d’opinion entraînent régulièrement des disputes qui ne manquent pas de sel, de piquant et plus encore. Des personnages attachants, des histoires amusantes bien que réflectives, pour tous ceux qui souhaitent découvrir l’afro-french touch.


Afropolitaine is a web-series focused on Afro-French culture. Afropolitaine tells the story of two Paris-based millennial sisters and their family dynamics.  Afropolitaine introduces the universe of Yvoire, a 24-year-old business student and her sister, Yanis, a 20-year-old budding activist. The show also features their feisty mother, Therese, a tough love mother whose traditionalist views on life are always challenged by her daughters antics.

Afropolitaine Facebook Page
Cinewax interview

04 December 2020

Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo, Honorary President of the Galian Awards | Presidente d'honneur de de nuit des Galian (Burkina Faso) 2020

Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo, Honorary President of the Galian Awards | Presidente d'honneur de de nuit des Galian (Burkina Faso) 23 Oct 2020
The main objective of the Galian Awards is to celebrate journalistic excellence and to promote journalists and professionals in the communication sector. As such, the initiative provides support to them in their daily work and helps them position their journalistic productions as well as the entire Burkinabè media landscape, among the best in Africa.

Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo, retired Journalist-Communicator, as well as filmmaker has to her credit, 33 years of successful service ... Holder of a Masters in International Business Law and a License in Audiovisual Sciences and Techniques, she respectively occupied the positions of Secretary General of the Ministry of 'Information, Inspector General of Services of the Ministry of Information, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Information, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Communication, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism.

Honorary president of the Galian 2020, she also has other professional experiences that has enhanced her professional career: Expertise in Participatory Communication for Development - CPD / CS; Expertise in developing a communication strategy and plan; Communication expertise for behavior change; Expertise in monitoring and evaluation, Expertise in communication technique, Expertise in Gender and Development and Marriage Counselor.

As part of her cinematographic experience, Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo has produced four (04) short films, one of which received a special prize at FESPACO 89. She is also the first and only woman Director of National Cinematography of Burkina Faso, the first and only woman president of the Board of Directors of FESPACO.

In addition, Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo is also the very first Director of the International African Cinema Market (MICA). Director representing the State Board of Directors of Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (R.T.B.).

Besides her professional commitments, Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo is involved in various leisure activities.The rich career of Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo is crowned with several honorary distinctions: Knight of the National Order, Officer of the National Order, Commander of the Order of the Stallion. Through her choice as honorary president of Galian 2020, the Ministry of Communication and Relations with Parliament is paying tribute to this personality who has greatly contributed to the development of the media in Burkina Faso.


On this post I will take the opportunity to present excerpts from our interview in 1997 published in my book Sisters of the Screen: Women of Africa on Film, Video and Television, 2000--Beti Ellerson.

Beti Ellerson: Within the discourse on women and the cinema, there is much discussion about a woman's gaze or a woman's perspective.  Do you feel that there is a certain sensibility that women bring to their films?

Aminata Ouedraogo: If you mean sensibility in the popular sense of the word, I would say yes, there is a certain woman's sensibility.  Evidently, sensibility depends on the personality of each individual.  The fact that we are women means that we have a sensibility that is different from men.  And then, it depends on the subject…I think this sensibility spans all spheres…
However, when it comes to cinematic creativity, I do not think there are subjects that have especially a female orientation. I think women may treat any subject. There is no male or female subject matter. The subjects are the same and we treat them according to the message that we want to get across, for the reasons that drive us to do the film. Whether we are women or men, we may deal with any subject, but it is true that the process would be different.

Even if we were to take into account the nature, character, or the treatment of a subject, the process would be different according to the person. Take for instance a written essay. When you give a topic to a class of twenty-five students, you will receive twenty-five different ways of treating the same topic. It is informed by the person's temperament and individuality.

However, I do not feel that there is a subject that is designated only for women. Moreover, I think that it is also up to us women to rectify this impression. To use the term "feminist film" or "woman's cinema" does not mean that there is a cinema exclusively for women. When there is a minority, it is always this minority which has to speak out, to protest or make a call for action. It is simply due to the fact that in the field of cinema there are not many women. People have always thought that cinema was a male profession. Thus, attitudes had to change, there had to be a great deal of evolution, and women had to be encouraged to go into film..."Women's films" or "images of women" as a concept must be interpreted in a positive way, and not in a sense that will ghettoize or pigeonhole women because they have made a certain film.

I do not know if you are familiar with the filmmaker Kitia Touré. He made a film and, though a man made it, it made a significant proclamation to women. It spoke of the role of the woman in the home, the household, as educator of the children, and he also addressed women's negligence in certain areas. Though it is a film open to criticism, it is a positive film. One must look at it and discuss it. Yes, the film was an expression of his sensibilities, and though there are questions that may be posed about it, there is still something valuable that can come from it.

When one speaks of "women's films, it is principally to let people know that in the area of cinematic creativity, there are women, women make films—not women's films, but films made by women and this must be encouraged.  It is equally important that women enter in this domain.

In the area of film criticism, there is much discussion about the visual representation of women.  What are your impressions of the image of women in African cinema?

I think that people focus too much on the image of the woman. I do not think that initially filmmakers really made their films thinking, "I must have a 'feminine' presence." Human beings are composed of man and woman. The woman is everywhere, so you cannot make a film without her. There are two images, a positive image and a negative image.

Let us take the film La noire de... as an example, the position of maid in our culture, at least in Burkina Faso, is held by girls. In Europe—though I am not in a position to talk about it in a detailed way—generally women are the maids. It is for that reason that [in French] they are called femmes de ménage, because one thinks that housework is women's work. Nowadays we see men doing housework. One can also do a film where a man does the housework, and then ask men how they view the image of men.

However, in general, I think that we have certain images because men are the ones who have made films. They are behind the camera, and women are in front of the camera.  I do not think this was a preconceived idea, it was not consciously done.

We do see African films where the woman's body is objectified.  There is no apparent reason for the nudity or the specific attention that her body is given....

It is true there have been male filmmakers who have used the woman as an object of pleasure, and that is due also to the influence of Western films that they see.  It is in the West that we see the woman nude, the woman kissing a man, the woman making love with a man on the screen. Individuals can be influenced and filmmakers are also influenced, because we see these films on television, on the screens, and these are films that are commercialized to make money. Films that are now being made have been influenced by these images in order to be sold.

In Africa, sexuality is not banalized as it is in the West. There is modesty and a sense of respect. This distinction must be understood. Westerners think that it is because we are "primitive" and "uncivilized" —and of course I ask, "civilized in relationship to what?"—or not liberated or evolved that we don't view sex in a banal, common way.  Nevertheless, it is a question of understanding. In their societies it is acceptable, and they do it. In our societies, we do not. In addition, I totally disagree with the notion that we must imitate them. I do not see how that helps us. When we think it is useful or good for our population, we will do it.  We do not take all from the West; we take what is good and leave what is not.  I do not see at this stage of our evolution, of our civilization, that these images are actually good for us.

Some will say that it is because it is not allowed or because we do not make these kinds of films that people want to see sex. We can show sexuality, but it is how it is shown. There is a way of portraying it.  To go even further, I will note that in Europe today, unwanted pregnancies are not known as they are in Africa. The practice of abandoning infants is not known in Europe as it is in Africa. The young Western woman who becomes pregnant, wants to become pregnant. She has decided what she wants, she knows her body, she knows what sexuality is, and she goes into sexual relationships aware of the consequences. She lives her life freely.

How many parents here in Africa talk about sexuality with their children? We must first start to speak about sexuality correctly with our children, without resorting to vulgarity. We can speak with them about any subject because we are their parents. We are the ones who have a direct interest and are the only ones who can tell the truth and speak objectively to our children. No one else can do it for us. Parents must prepare their children for this and not let them learn about life from the exterior, through films and television shows. Though I am mainly talking about girls, I include boys as well—because respect for the girl cannot happen if the boy does not know that he is supposed to respect her. There is a lot of work that has to be done and ground that must be covered.

What part do women play as filmmakers?

We who create, who are behind the camera, who want to get a message across, whether we are women or men, if we want to use women, it is not sex that should be the dominant feature. Nothing in particular adds to a film or enhances it by using sex; on the contrary, it often does a disservice to the film. If you were to ask people what kinds of films they would like for the youth, they would readily say educational films. The violent or risqué films are not as popular, though people do watch them privately. It has to be discussed because each person has a point of view on the subject.

I am a filmmaker, but I do not know if a film with a black woman or white woman used as an object of pleasure would be a subject that I would want to focus on one day. Perhaps if I were to do so it would be done in a manner much more respectable, more subtle, without—if I can express myself in this way—lowering myself, as I have seen done in other films, and I don't agree with this portrayal in these films.

You have raised some interesting points in the context of images of women. I do not often hear or read film criticism by African women or critiques of images or films by African women. African women as film critics are not very visible, at least not to me in the United States. Does a visible film criticism by African women exist here on the continent?  If so, how does it manifest itself? If not, do you see it emerging?

Of course, it will come. Do you know why you do not see African women in the area of film criticism?  Because in the film arena in general women are not well represented. And as long as this is the case, there will not be women visible in the various spheres within the field of cinema. When women enter in larger numbers in these different areas, you will then see women film critics doing objective criticism and analysis of films.  It is not because you have not seen any that there are none. If you were to attend the debates that take place after the film screenings during FESPACO, you would see that when women take the microphone to talk they do critique the films that they have seen, they give their opinions about the films that they have just seen.  Perhaps there are no written essays, but there is a critique.

To return to what I said earlier about African films and even Western films where women are used as objects of pleasure, this is not the image that we want of women. When making a film there is often more emphasis on women than men, and I do feel that it is done unconsciously, because what actually attracts people's attention is the woman. A man may pass by nude and it will not be as shocking as the same scene with a woman. People will turn to look because it is a woman.

Women are symbols and represent something for a society, no matter what society. Women inspire respect and consideration. If a woman lowers herself to a certain level, it is shocking to a society. It is also a rejection of that society. I think it is in this way that the image of women should be interpreted. Fundamentally, the image of woman is positive. We must not render it negative, whether we are women or men; I am speaking of the society in general. We must insist on this.

What do you see as the future of the organization of African women in cinema?

The project that we are working on at the moment, and that was one of the objectives at the time, is to compile an index of women in the cinema. This document will include a list of women filmmakers and their needs, a list of the names of partners, a list of organizations who are interested in promoting women and their works, a filmography of works by women, a list of organizations that are interested in the promotion of women, and a list of the various festivals.

Since the first meeting, at each subsequent FESPACO we have met to talk about the association, and to support the women.  It is a slow process, it is true, and there is even the impression that we are not doing much; but in reality the association does work, and we see an increasing number of women just about in every sphere of the cinema.

We are working towards the promotion of women in cinema. If you read the revue Ecrans d'Afrique/African Screen, you will notice that each time that a woman has done something, we talk about her, we promote her work.  However, the work that we do is not yet visible today. The Italian organization, Centro Orientamento Educativo (COE), based in Milan, also plans to do something regarding African women. In 1996, in Harare, we had a women's workshop and the women of Zimbabwe have formed an association. Every time the opportunity comes, we must seize it. Though it is not only up to women to do this work, men too must do it because the work that we do benefits everybody, men as well as women.

And you, in terms of the work that you are doing, you are in some way a mouthpiece. Others will know that this association exists and that there are women filmmakers, editors, scriptwriters, and other women in the cinema. Consequently, more people will know about African women in the cinema and about the films made by women.


Presidente d'honneur de de nuit des Galian (Burkina Faso) 23 Oct 2020

Les Prix Galian ont pour objectif principal de célébrer l’excellence journalistique et de donner du souffle aux journalistes et aux professionnels du secteur de la communication. A ce titre, ils les accompagnent dans leur travail quotidien et les aide à positionner leurs productions journalistiques mais aussi l’ensemble du paysage médiatique burkinabè parmi les meilleurs d’Afrique.

Aminata Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo, Journaliste-Communicatrice à la retraite, mais aussi cinéaste, a à son actif, 33 années de bons et loyaux services… Titulaire d’une maîtrise en droit des Affaires Internationales et d’une Licence en Sciences et Techniques de l’Audiovisuel, elle occupera respectivement les postes de Secrétaire Générale du Ministère de l’Information, d’Inspectrice Générale des Services du Ministère de l’Information, de Conseiller Technique du Ministre de l’Information, de Conseiller Technique du Ministre de la Communication, de Conseiller Technique du Ministre de la Culture des Arts et du Tourisme.

Celle qui est présidente d’honneur des Galian 2020 a aussi connu bien d’autres expériences professionnelles qui lui ont permis d’alimenter son background : Expertise en Communication Participative pour le Développement – CPD/CS ; Expertise en élaboration de stratégie et plan de communication ; Expertise en communication pour le changement de comportement ; Expertise en suivi et évaluation, Expertise en technique de communication, Expertise en Genre et Développement et Conseillère Conjugale.

Au titre de son expérience cinématographique, Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo a, à son actif, quatre (04) courts métrages dont un a reçu un prix spécial au FESPACO 89. Elle est aussi la 1ère et unique femme Directrice de la Cinématographie Nationale du Burkina Faso, 1ère et unique Femme Présidente du Conseil d’Administration du FESPACO.

Et ce n’est pas tout. Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo est également la toute 1ère Directrice du Marché International du Cinéma Africain (MICA). Administrateur représentant l’Etat Conseil d’Administration de la Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (R.T.B.).

A côté de ses engagements professionnels, Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo meuble son quotidien de loisirs divers. Membres de plusieurs associations de la Société civile, elle a un penchant pour le Scoutisme, le Guidisme le Secourisme, mais aussi pour les sports tels que le Volley Ball, le tennis et le football. 
La belle et riche carrière de Aminata Ouedraogo/Bakayogo est couronnée de plusieurs distinctions honorifiques : Chevalier de l’Ordre national, Officier de l’ordre national, Commandeur de l’Ordre de l’Etalon. A travers son choix comme présidente d’honneur des Galian 2020, le ministère de la Communication et des relations avec le Parlement rend ainsi hommage à cette personnalité qui a fortement contribué au développement des médias au Burkina Faso.

Source: Galian Prix Facebook Page

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