Before and After: A Self-Critique in the Wars of African Cinema Criticism

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The following schizophrenic paper represents an attempt at dialogue with myself over what is needed in our criticism of African cinema. It begins with a paper I presented at the AEGIS conference in London in the summer of 2005, where I made the case against the trite evocation of authenticity in African studies, and of the limited usefulness of much of what has been commonplace in African cinema criticism for decades. After I gave the paper, I spent a year in Senegal teaching at l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop. In Dakar I was continually confronted with the effects of globalization writ large on the urban landscape. I couldn’t leave my apartment without witnessing the encroachments of the buildings erected by the wealthy along the Corniche; without being accosted by talibes begging in the street; without witnessing the realities that drove thousands of young men to brave the open sea on a voyage of 1000 miles or more in order to try to gain access to Europe. This profoundly marked the way in which my preoccupations emerged, placing me in some critical space at odds with where I had been in London in 2005.
The paper that follows will present that dissonance in the form of a dialogue, with my ripostes to myself inserted in italics into the original text I had written for the AEGIS Conference. To begin, then, in London, where my original title was: « Out with the Authentic, In with the Wazimamoto »

It is time for a revolution in African film criticism. A revolution against the old tired formulas deployed in justification of filmmaking practices that have not substantially changed in forty years. Time for new voices, a new paradigm, a new view-a new Aristotle to invent the poetics we need for today.
Time for whom? Whose critical voices are the ones that matter? The view from Dakar continually poses this question. While in the west, one assumes that the dominant critical tendencies are universal, that what is currently being read is assumed to be read everywhere, and that, in the final analysis, it is the western academy that is the locus for real critical work.
What were the problems with the old approaches? The formulaic thinking of Ferid Boughedir and Teshome Gabriel belonged to a period whose commitments against colonialism and neocolonialism were widely shared by the left, and in a sense formed the backbone for progressive thinking. If the problem is that some have not rethought those commitments, that doesn’t eliminate their original situational validity. On the other hand, they came with costs that weren’t appreciated at the time, and with assumptions about national liberation made as though the nation state itself didn’t require examination. It might well be the case that rather than the didacticism being the problem, it was the our targets that were misplaced,, that is, the targeting of the old, declining colonial metropoles, the secondary western powers, the receding nation-states, rather than what we have come to appreciate more as the wider systemic forces of late capitalism.
Targets are difficult to identify meaningfully, especially with hindsight. The dogmatic certitudes that now appear so dated were of a piece with the cinemas created by Sembène Ousmane, Haile Gerima, Sarah Maldoror, and Med Hondo, and formed the backbone for a cinematic practice that shared in the mobilization of an entire intellectual class. On the other hand, they left us with no tools for an understanding of the cinema of Djibril Diop Mambéty, Abderrahmane Sissako, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, and Mahamat Salah Haroun, not to mention all that is currently exploding in the various forms of video films, starting with Nollywood.

It is time for something trashy, to begin with, straight out of the Nigerian video handbook. Something sexy, without the trite poses of exotic behinds spinning the ventilateur for the tourists. Time for something violent, without the obscenity of trivializing brutality, trivializing phallocentric abuse, without the accompanying violence of Truth holding the whiphand over thought or difference. Most of all, it is the retreat into safe and comfortable truisms that must be disrupted by this new criticism, this new third cinema challenge.
Trite for whom? For Europeans because African dances exemplify the folkloric, and are thus expected in « African » films, and because eroticism in western visual culture is practically de rigueur. In much of Africa, open expressions of the erotic are culturally offensive, if not taboo. This is still an issue linked to past and present European misrepresentations of Africa, especially when it comes to highlighting female sexuality.
The taboo in Senegal and elsewhere in Africa still obtains; it is largely vitiated in Europe. Throughout much of the continent, Culture Wars become Moral Wars, in their least illuminating forms as Evangelicals and resurgent Muslim movements, like the Ibadi, abound. The call for the challenge to such militant conservative movements is always made more easily from abroad.
« Truisms » mean something like trite, clichéd, or overstated points. What Europeans have heard over and over may be things never really stated much in Africa since the intended audiences normalize the « truths » concerning « the dark continent » to suit their own assumptions. Whereas European audiences are treated as though they need to be informed about Africa, African audiences don’t need to be informed about themselves. On the other hand, « being informed » could mean exposing issues, like incest or homosexuality, that are taboo subjects in Africa, whereas exposing them to Europeans becomes a form of exposing one’s own dirty linen to strangers.
In the Festival de Cinéma du Quartier in 2006, in Dakar, a film dealing with incest won the grand prize for students of cinema schools. In the film, the girl who had been abused spoke with her back to the camera, and the subject was regarded as one not seen before. This, despite the fact the
Vehi Ciosane (1965) had been published sixty years earlier.
Perhaps there is nothing more in the nature of the truism than the notions used to combat modernism, notions we have used to create a curriculum of major sacred cows. I will list some of them and suggest ways to shake them to pieces taking unfamiliar paths to the ultimate freedom of the new jugglers, the new tightrope walkers.
Here I set out my major points: ones whose problematic nature as dominant critical shibboleths remains pertinent for me.
1. African film is important in the communication of history, in the correction of past misrepresentations of history
2. African film is important in writing back to Hollywood and back to misrepresentations of Africa in mainstream media
3. African film represents African society, African people, African culture
4. African film should be the site for truth
5. African film is African
Representations of history are marked by two issues: 1.History, from the western point of view, assumes the status of a universal History. This is Edouard Glissant’s issue in Caribbean Discourse (1989), in which he sets local histories against the western notion of univeral « History » (1); and 2.historical truth is framed by notions of misrepresentation versus accuracy, which glosses over the problems with the notion of representation itself. Here we have a limited concept of false consciousness which fails to deal with the critical issues involved in essentialist notions of authenticity.
Western poststructuralism is suspicious of identity politics, of representation as being capable of enunciating truth, of truth itself. This is what calls Neil Larsen (1990) identifies in modernism as the crisis in and of representation (2). In Africa, there is a sense that the dangers are too great and immediate for questions that turn us toward textuality rather than to reality, that « il n’y a pas de hors-texte » hasn’t any purchase in the face of the immediacy of the real. It is as though North and South are not sharing a common discourse, unless we can take into account a film
Aristotle’s Plot (1996), which begins as an ironic engagement of the two.
In Appiah’s
In My Father’s House (1993), the meeting ground he proposes is located in humanism, but that occludes both poststructural questions about truth and afrocentric questions about adequate political mobilization (3). The postcolonial apparatus itself is radically divided in its discomfort over poststructural attacks on the metaphysics of presence and Enlightenment notions of the unitary subject. Subjectivity within the disintegration of the community enters into its own dystopic crisis, as Mbembe (2001) points out. In Senegal, the vexed issues of representation return each time the political xenophobia of the North is directed at Islam.
The current form of this issue might be seen in the Danish cartoons about Muhammad. In 2006, in Dakar they were taken as particularly insulting, and newspapers that had been censored and repressed by President Wade now called for the suppression of these cartoons despite their own appeals to freedom of the press earlier in the year when Wade cracked down on
Sud for publishing an interview with a rebel leader from the Casamance. It is harder to ignore the pain caused by these cartoons, or by words used by western leaders that are denigrating of Africans (words like « black tide » employed by Chirac, or » emigration choisie » employed by Sarkosy) in Senegal than in the west where they are often treated as marginal issues.
An inversion of the major shibboleths set out in my original essay might entail five new takes on the key issues, something we might dub an African set of concerns.
1. The Replacement of History. There is one version, which is given by Jean Marie Teno in
Afrique je te plumerai (1992), in which he wants to counter colonial history. Sembène does the same in Emitai (1971). Yet the light comedies and social romances that are most popular on Senegalese TV don’t consider this at all. And if history ever arises, it is likely to be a tedious Official Version. The heritage of Senghorian negritude still appears in plays that present noble, important figures in the African past, and are shown at the Sorano theatre, or in more intellectual forms, like Boris Boubacar Diop’s novel Les Tambours de la mémoire (2000). These are texts that still can form to expectations of high culture.
Perhaps one side of « history » has moved from correcting the misrepresentations of the past to celebrating personal history, as in the griot’s account. History, in fact, as Jameson would put it, is gone, and the postmodern notion of an eternal present is dominant, as it has always been in popular culture. History has been replaced by the feuilleton, the théâtre (4), the television show. Even Sembène’s late films moved in that direction: the figures of history in
Faat Kine (2000) are now movie poster images in a narrative that is closest to a family romance. Truth, once the goal of higher consciousness, has become part of the marginalia.
So the issue is, with the end of History, what has taken its place? A new criticism of African cinema would have to come to terms with a present that refuses the teleological drives for change that marked past Third Cinema as cinéma engagé. In other words, instead of a cinema of change, it is one that is closer to the status of the object of consumerism with its sense of current style, fashion, and above all, value expressed in terms of commodity capitalism. Conversely, it would bear the mark of a cinema turned toward death, as in
Si Gueriki (2003) and Daratt (2006).
2.The end of Africa as Other. The issue of misrepresentations of Africa in Europe’s regard of Africa is also gone. What has taken its place is Africa’s regard of Europe, and that regard is fed by popular media, TV, movies. It is informed by a concrete material order packed with expensive cars, large houses, airplanes, along with TV images of the west. Many Dakarois are no longer obliged to remain at a distance from the wealthy, as in the pas. Though they may view the lifestyle of the wealthy as being in conflict with traditional African ways, as in eating during Ramadan, they also regard it as a sign of success and prestige to be sought. In short, poverty drives Africa’s gaze, and the globalized economy imposes this issue on every corner of the continent. We’ve moved then from concern over false representations to living with the real effects of globalization.
3.The Need for National Leadership. Senegalese are writing novels that are close to popular fiction but that still reflect concern about the national leadership, about a government led by someone who is honest and capable. In short, instead of instituting a revolutionary system like African socialism that will save the day, as was thought by Sekou Toure, Modibo Keita, Julius Nyerere, Leopold Senghor, the FLN in Algeria, Abdul Nassar, Nelson Mandela-those of the generation of the suns of independence-now it is an issue of honest government and especially a leader who can serve as a model for the youth.
4.The Modern African Woman. Women’s issues are tied to this as the portrait of the good leader replacing the bad now suggests that the old, abusive relationship between men and women can now be challenged by the modern African woman. She is seen as one who has left the village for the city, and has become educated, as with characters like Ndella in
Les Tambours de la memoire, or by Rama, the daughter of El Hadj in Xala (1974), or like Faat Kine(2000) and her daughter Aby.
5.The End of Patriachy. The figure of the Old Man, the Mzee, the Wise Guide-le grand timonier who validated the patriarchy following independence-has now become either weak, weakened, vitiated, or evil and thus eventually passé. The crisis is not simply one of representation, as with Neil Lazarus’s definition of modernism and postmodernism as exhibiting a crisis of representation itself, but a crisis of the figure of the patriarch who is being replaced in the popular imaginary by the young women, as in Fanta Nacro’s
Puk Nini (1996) or Bekolo’s Les Saignantes (2006), by the young tsostis in his Aristotle’s Plot (1996), and most recently by child soldiers, the newest version of the street children of the 1980s and 1990s. And that is evidence of an anxiety over a weakened patriarchy, not its actual overthrowing, since it is still very much present in Africa. Examples can be seen in the figure of the current leadership, men like Wade, and in the social institutions that include the government, the universities with their rectors and professoriate that are largely male, as well as in the ordinary households where the pater familias still sits at the head of the table. Even at the level of students, the student amicales or organizations are led by young men, and more significantly, in class it is typically the males who assert their views more forcefully. Not surprisingly, the patriarchy is tied to a very strong normalizing of heterosexuality, so the taboo over homosexuality remains very dominant, but anxiety over its continuance abounds. The recent attack on Jo Ramaka’s Karmen Gei (2001) attests to this.
There is no history to represent, to correct, in film. There is only authority that represents itself, and in its power represents its images and narrative as authoritative, as authorized, as official, or worse still, as real. The archives might vary from those in London to those in Dakar, and periodically one will hear the call for a new perspective, an African centered view. But the understanding of the past as a rationalization for unstated assumptions about history itself, and the epistemological assumptions built into historicism, never surface. « It happened this way » is the telos of this filmmaking, as historical narratives are becoming dominant in the current effort to correct the ills of the past. Nonetheless, the correction is a blind one since it is based on the same progressivist values, same understandings of teleological movement in history as the narratives it means to challenge. This same argument is used by Catherine Belsey (1980) in her analysis of classical realism as reinforcing dominant values as the « common sense « discourse employed in realism is what is responsible for our seeing the world through the eyes of what appears to be familiar, i.e., the dominant symbolic order. Realism doesn’t lose its conservative epistemology by changing the subject who is viewing the world; rather it reinforces the dominant ideology by defusing the power of critique while sustaining shared assumptions about the real.
Whereas standpoint epistemology can account for the point of departure in the creation of a text or the deployment of a discourse, it cannot undo the work of refamiliarization and reterritorialization effected by the generic conventions of realism. That said, it is now apparent to me that the magic of magical realism is grounded in the defamiliarizations of the western canon, and is substantially carried out by expatriate writers rather than those still residing and publishing on the continent.
In « Cars Out of Place, » Luise White (1997) demonstrates how popular African accounts seeking to make sense of emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances gave rise to widespread « urban myths » taking the form of « wazimamoto » stories-motor-wizardry or vampire stories. White calls for a revision of our notions of authenticity, and states, « The study of colonial vampires is authentic not because of any particular legitimacy of the voices I quote, but because it involves writing about the colonial world with the images and idioms produced by the subjects themselves » (438). However, it is not only the western, « authorized » historical accounts that need to be subverted, but all notions of authenticity themselves, since there is no site where one can stand from which to evaluate the authentic. This is a central notion of deconstruction, and it concords with the equally subversive Lacanian notions of misrecognition that unsettle all claims of identity. If one is « authentic, » knowledge of oneself would have to come from standing outside of oneself and reflexively observing one’s own « authenticity. » Where then comes the knowledge about the one who stands outside and observes himself or herself, or observes the observing self? That model of the divided subject, fundamental to all poststructuralist thinking, demolishes any attempts to assert the presence of the authentic. Butler carries this argument further in her claims that subject identities are performed, that the metaphysics of presence rest conventionally on patriarchal assumptions that function like ideology, i.e., that naturalize, or authenticate existing systems of power.
In current scholarship, performativity trumps essentialism. Despite the presence in the Senegalese academy of notions like performativity, or even evolution, they are generally met with a certain skepticism. This disbelief is grounded in an understanding of the tenets of Senegalese Islam as well as the ideological notions of what is natural and normal that reinforce gender difference.
Rather than authenticity, we might turn to the act of domestication, with the notion that every cultural production, every image and idiom is the product of a process that involves taking what is other and rendering it familiar or same. This would seem to be especially true of images. The advent of the camera in the 19th century, and then the cinematic image in 1895, brought new technologies to old styles and modes of expression. It took time for Seydou Keїta and then Malick Sidibé to appropriate the images of the French African studio photographer and then produce their own work. Similarly, the cinematic image in Africa was not invented as much as recreated, represented anew, as the African context for understanding and producing knowledge-images made itself felt.
The anxieties over authenticity and political commitment that current and past African film criticism must attempt to negotiate have to be read through the continuing dogmatic insistence that serious films respond to the false images and the false history generated by the west. In evaluating the work of conscientization, of disabusing an audience of its false consciousness, as this commonly accepted project implies, we must evaluate the anxieties to be dislodged in terms of the authenticities they are intended to protect. This accounts for all five shibboleths cited above as indicative of the continuing preoccupation with authenticity in African film criticism: authenticity in the representation of history, of the culture and people, of the screen image, of the truth, and of Africanity. Rather than authenticity, we might consider the sites of power, the institutional apparatuses that account for what controls the production of the image, of the « real » truth, that is the idiom and its content. « Who speaks » becomes here « who can produce the speech, » « who can disseminate the discourse, » « who can control its production. »
Recent African film criticism repeatedly poses the same questions posted above: what really happened and who gets to tell the real story; who really are these people, and what are their lives really like; what are the real problems to be faced and overcome today; how can we confront the real forces that keep our people subjugated or from developing, etc. These questions are now dead ends.
This is even more the case the more we consider the totally debilitating effects of globalization on the ground throughout Africa, and the total inadequacy of the old doctrines in addressing them.
The questions that have been preoccupying much contemporary film criticism in major western journals like Screen, such as the role of desire, the technologies of production, of gendering, of institutional power; the subversion of the dominant capitalist or corporate machinery, or of the dominant masculinist values, are often dismissed as western, feminist, universalist, etc. How we might move beyond these incompatible positions?
***
Before setting out for Africa in 2005, my goal was to reverse the patterns of dominant thinking that controlled and limited approaches to African cinema since the earlier publications of Teshome Gabriel (1982) and Ferid Boughedir (1976)-didactic, reductionist, dogmatic, all too limited critical models. The notion of filmmaking as griotology exemplified this approach from the start. In the early years of African filmmaking, it was assumed that the superficiality of entertainment that indulged in the display of subjective feelings, fantasy and emotions should be subordinated to the greater social needs identified by an engagé criticism, an engagé cinema. Achebe’s notion of author as teacher went unchallenged. In restoring fantasy in our critiques, we can obtain a more meaningful relationship to ideology than that deployed in the 1960s. The work of fantasy, as Žižek reminds us, emerges in the gap at the center of the symbolic order, « the lack, the void in the Real setting in motion the symbolic movement of interpretation » (1991: 8). In an attempt to deal with that fundamental gap in our ways of making sense within our symbolic orders, an excess is generated that results in fantasy, and in that process the edifice of ideology is constructed. The original critical repudiation of fantasy as mere entertainment only resulted in the reinstantiation of the very dominant symbolic order the engagement was intended to subvert. The relationship between ideology and fantasy should point to a new approach to African cinema.
Following White, I would seek in the African images and voices not a higher form of the authentically African creator, but something more akin to the « critical work » of Bekolo’s « tsotsis, » those youthful gangsters so enamored of a cinema of action that it names them, gazes at them, speaks them in such a way as to account for their own world and for their rebellion against the « fathers » of African cinema. There results a tension between past and present that destabilizes the magisterial voices of « the ones who know, » and that clears room for the sarcastic, silly, fantasmic ones who stand there now in the ruins of the crumbling cinema halls, holding in their hands the latest pirated productions of Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood.
***
One can hear in these words that I wrote in 2005 the influences of Cultural Studies, with the focus on popular culture and marxist or progressivist politics. At the same time, this is a poststructuralist position that insists upon moving beyond the metaphysics of presence, thus following in the path of Derrida first, Butler second, and ultimately Spivak and Bhabha. None of this strikes me as extra baggage to be discarded; but it leaves me inadequately prepared to deal with what one first encounters in arriving back in Dakar, and that is the dramatic impact of neoliberal policies. The immediacy, if not the « reality » of the opulence, wealth, and power of the upper classes in contrast with the considerable degradation of the lives of the vast majority of poorer people, calls out for action, action in the face of a globalization that is experienced in its crude immediacy. The politics of old are inadequate to deal with this; the comfortable stances of Sixties engagement are now useless as the opponents defined so clearly in films like
Xala (1974) as French neocolonialists, or elsewhere simply as rich Europeans or Americans, have been displaced by faceless, bureaucratic global entities like the World Bank and the IMF. Multinational corporations, NGOs, the « international community » often associated with the UN or with the west, have replaced the older forms of external power. The old, prosthetisized Linguere Ramatou in Djibril Diop’s Hyènes (1992) has replaced the youthful, androgynous Anta and the refrain of « Paris, Paris » in Touki Bouki (1973). This impossible transition from the one period to the other is what a current cinematic practice must accomplish.
Postscript, post-2005
In Guelwaar (1992), Sembène created the figure of Hélène, the prostitute friend of Guelwaar’s daughter. She is represented positively, unlike Oumi, El Hadj’s assimilated, Frenchified second wife in Xala shot 17 years earlier, and functions as a forerunner for the eponymous protagonist of Faat Kine, the modern emancipated woman. Both are represented within the economy of a heterosexist norm whose assumptions are never challenged-the gulf between notions of western feminism and African feminism remaining considerable.
The final vision of Guelwaar presents the spirit of revolution as being passed onto the enlightened youth who are ready to reject western aid.. If the film’s implied solution is self-sufficiency, along with communal harmony based on cultural nationalism and afrocentrism, and the elimination of corrupt, dependent leadership, one has to ask what assumptions about authenticity and originary thought are now governing this updated version of resistance or revolutionary thought. A turn to third wave African feminist politics would actually address the core of the issues since authenticity and originary thought are predicated upon essentialist and logocentric assumptions about identity
My reaction to the film’s call to refuse foreign aid has changed considerably after I witnessed time after time evidence of the aid of the international community blatantly written across the African landscape: disenabling, humiliating, much as Sembène proclaimed it through Guelwaar. The unforgettable scene that depicts this is in the speech Guelwaar gives, where he concludes by extending his hand, in mockery of the state as a beggar, saying « Thank you, thank you, » to the international donors-whose representatives were watching from the stands.
Sembène positions himself as the African griot whose narration speaks for the community. Critics like Teshome Gabriel and Frank Ukadike see this as differing from the westernized focus on the individual. However, what we have seen is that the community problems in African cinema are expressed through protagonists whose function, like that of the hero, is to stand in for the group. We could argue that the Hollywood formula creates a focus on individual psychology in contrast to the social dramas in African film or literature, but the structure remains the same, viz., that of the presentation of a problem focalized through a protagonist, the development of a crisis in conflict with others, inhibiting the resolution, and then an intervention that permits resolution. Catherine Belsey provides this key description of the closure that characterizes the classic realist text-a description that works with Things Fall Apart as well as Guelwaar or Sembène’s other films: « [T]he story moves inevitably towards closure which is also disclosure, the dissolution of enigma through the reestablishment of order which is understood to have preceded the events of the story itself » (70). She adds further that « the movement of classic realist narrative towards closure ensures the reinstatement of order, sometimes a new order, sometimes the old restored, but always intelligible because familiar » (75). It is my contention that this movement is characteristic of the school of Sembènian cinema, and this is because the embracing of a fixed ideological position precedes the characters’ embarkation into the plot. In other words, the Sembènian director is in the position of what Lacan calls the one supposed to know, and that positions the viewer in the place of the passive receiver of that knowledge rather than an active participant in the discovery of knowledge, as the advocates of Third Cinema like Tomas Alea Guttierez or Solanas and Gettino would have it.
The question is, what has been the price paid by classic social realist African filmmakers, like Sembène, Hondo, Maldoror, Cisse, Kabore, Ouédraogo, et al since the 1960s and 1970s? Has their approach to the questions of dependency, social and political domination, and the struggle for liberation led them to a series of closures that are now incompatible with current theoretical models? And is there an opening provided by third-wave feminism that permits us to move beyond this bind? Within what Derrida might term the excess of the occluded term one can locate the possibilities for a new ethical perspective. This is the opposite of the tired anti-theoretical chestnut that equates postmodernism with relativism. Rather it is closer to Bhabha’s position that looks for différance as the site for resistance to colonialism. I am proposing that it is in the occluded, off-frame, unspoken moments or gestures that we must look for the new ethical position. This runs counter to half a century of revolutionary African rhetoric of liberation that has been built upon an insistence of writing back, speaking back to colonialism’s loud contradictory claims of humanism, with Africa’s own version of the unified and justified subject. More recent filmmaking in Africa indicates we have entered into the time when other voices can emerge in the cracks of the text, and we can discern such voices in the works of filmmakers like Djibril Diop Mambéty or Jean Pierre Bekolo, opening the way for Abderrahame Sissoko, Mahamat-Salah Haroun, Jo Ramaka, Mora Kpai, Fanta Nacro, and Khady Sylla.

1. This is taken up by Robert Young in White Mythologies: Writing History and the West (1990);
2. Larsen’s definition of modernism encompasses all the difference in perspective I have been trying to establish. In this case, as in that of Jameson, for whom late capitalism is viewed entirely from the perspective of London, New York, or Los Angeles, the defining economic base marks culture as if it were inscribing Culture. Larsen writes, « My thesis… is that modernism, as an ideology dominated by but not spefici to the realm of aesthetics, is the inversion… of a historically objective’crisis in representation’ affecting the construction of what are initially social and political identities. This crisis… is the result of the modernization of capital itself during the nineteenth century, especially in the period leading up to the transformation of’classical’ free market capitalism into monopoly/state capitalism and imperialism… the’crisis in representation’ also entails’crisis in agency’: the sense that social and historical agency is exercised by subjects linked to society as a whole by representational bonds of identity… falters in the face of events that indicate that the traditional’heroes’ have been usurped by anonymous forces. Modernism stems from this crisis-which it in turn grasps as stemming from an intrinsic falsity residing in a purely conceptual operation, representation-and inverts it. The crisis in representation becomes a crisis of representation: representation no longer’works,’ no longer appears to offer the subject any cognitive access to the object » (xxiv).
3. Whence Spivak’s call for strategic essentialisms, and Gilroy’s appeal for black solidarity and political exigencies in Black Atlantic.
4. The Senegalese term for soap operas with individual episodes.
Works Cited
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. « Is the’Post-‘ in’Postcolonial’ the’Post-‘ in’Postmodern’? » In My Father’s House. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Belsey, Catherine. Critical Practice. London: Routledge, 1980.
Bekolo, Jean-Pierre. Aristotle’s Plot. 35 mm. 70 min. JBA Production, BFI. France/Zimbabwe. 1996. Bekolo, Jean-Pierre. Les Saignantes. Digital betacom. 92 min. Quartier Mozart Films, é4 Television. France/Cameroon. 2005.
Diop, Boris Boubacar. Les Tambours de la mémoire Paris: L’Harmattan, 2000.
Glissant, Edouard. Caribbean Discourse. Trans. Michael Dash. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1989.
Haroun, Mahamat-Salah. Daratt. 96 minutes. Chinguitty Films, Entre chien et loup, Goi-goi productions, Fonds sud cinéma, New Crowned Hope, Tele-Chad, Arte France Cinéma. Chad. 2006.
Kpai, Idrissou Mora. Si Gueriki. 62 minutes. Centre National de la Cinématographie, France 5, Les Films de raphia, Lichtblick Film und Fernseh produktion (1), Noble Films. Benin, France, Germany. 2003.
Larsen, Neil. Modernism and Hegemony: A Materialist Critique of Aesthetic Agencies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990.
Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. (2000). Trs. Murray Last, Steven Rendall, and Janet Roitman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
Nacro, Fanta. « Puk Nini. » 32 minutes. Burkina Faso 1995.
Ramaka, Jo. Karmen Gei. 86 minutes. Canal + Horizons, Canal +. Senegal.2001.
Sembène Ousmane. Emitai. 103 min. Films Doomireew. Senegal. 1971.
Sembène Ousmane. Faat Kine. 35 mm. 120 min. Doomireew. Senegal. 2000.
Sembène Ousmane. Guelwaar. 35 mm. 115 min. Channel IV, Doomireew, France 3 Cinéma, Galatée Films, New Yorker Films, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). Senegal. 1992.
Sembène Ousmane. Vehi Ciosane, ou Blance-Genèse. Suivi du Mandat. Paris: Présence africaine, 1965.
Sembène Ousmane -. Xala. 123 min. Société Nationale de Cinématographie/ Filmi Doomireew. Senegal, 1974.
Teno, Jean-Marie. Afrique, je te plumerai. 16 mm. 88 min. Les Films du Raffia.Cameroon,1992.
White, Luise, « Cars Out of Place. » In Frederick Cooper and Ann Laura Stoler, eds. Tensions of Empire. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997.
Young, Robert. White Mythologies: Writing History and the West. London and New York: Routledge, 1990.
Žižek, Slavoj. Looking Awry. (1991). Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press, 1998.///Article N° : 9463

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