Critical Interventions Number 8: Special Issue on African Cinemas
Numéro 8 sur les cinémas africains (en anglais)


Critical Interventions #8
Guest edited by Victoria Pasley, CI#8 focuses on African Cinemas through analysis of different contexts of film practices in Africa. The cinematic arts can be defined as the apex of a culture of visuality and it is not by chance that the moving image has become a key technology of narrative in the era of globalization. In this regard, African cinemas of different historical origins, discursive focus and aesthetic orientation are increasingly notable as key aspects of African visual and cultural experiences. The debate over what constitutes African cinemas occupies an important place in these developments, especially in light of the divide between auteur and populist traditions of African filmmaking that seem to divide neatly along colonial lines into Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone cultures of African cinema. However, these categories do not adequately describe the divergent modes of practice evident in how such cinemas are located in the global economy, where
transnational engagements defeat the essentialist idea of a homogenous « Africa ». In this context, the classical definition of African cinema as a mode of practice that adheres to the auteur tradition of French filmmaking confronts the emergent example of Nollywood and related modes of film production that hew to Hollywood’s powerful business-oriented model with its global preeminence. These two contexts present two visions of African cinema that can sometimes seem totally divergent. However, as Kenneth Harrow concludes in his essay in this volume, the lines between the two modes of African cinema are collapsing.

This issue of Critical Interventions therefore investigates the history and disparate locales of African Cinemas through significant articles that take its transnational origins into consideration and also track changing definitions of African praxis within the global discourse of cinema. This edition of the journal features articles by Alexie Tcheuyap, Sheila Petty, Etienne-Marie Lassi, Kenneth Harrow, Amadou Fofana, Cara Duncan-Moyer, Alioune Sow, Scott M. Edmonson, Jonathan Shaw, Stefanie Van der Peer, Toni Pressley-Sanon, Mariam Konate Deme and Dramane Deme. It also features a republication of Teshome Gabriel’s seminal article- « Towards
a Critical Theory of Third World Cinema ».

Editors’ Desk

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie-Mediating Visions
Victoria Pasley-African Cinema


Alexie Tcheuyap-African Cinema(s): Definitions, Identity and
Theoretical Considerations

Sheila Petty-Self-Styling Identities in Recent African
Screen Media


Etienne-Marie Lassi-Worlds behind the World: Filming the
Invisible in Francophone Africa

Amadou Fofana-« Cinefication » in West Africa

Cara Moyer-Duncan-New Directions, No Audiences: Independent
Black Filmmaking in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Alioune Sow-Malian Cinema and the Question of Military Power

Scott M. Edmondson-Akan-esque Niches and Riches: The
Aesthetics of Power and Fantastic Pragmatism in Ghanaian
Video Films

Jonathan Shaw-Filming Kivu, Speaking Nande: Kabale
Syahgiganza and Making Cinema in a Context of Conflict

Stefanie Van der Peer-The Physicalities of Documentaries by
African Women: The Case of Ateyyat El Abnoudy’s « Permissible
Dreams and Responsible Women »

Toni Pressley-Sanon-Raoul Peck’s « The Man by the Shore »,
Orality, Film and Repression

Mariam Konate Deme and Dramane Deme-Aesthetic Imprints of an
Epic Memory: A Pan-African Reading of Three Filmic Tales


Kenneth W. Harrow-In Remembrance: Teshome Gabriel

Teshome Gabriel-Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Cinema

Jonathan Haynes-Nnebue: the Anatomy of Power


Kenneth W. Harrow-Toward a New Paradigm of African Cinema

About the Journal
Critical Interventions, is a peer-reviewed journal of advanced research and writing on African art history and visual culture. Our mission is to provide a forum for cutting-edge scholarship in African art history and for sustained analysis of issues of urgent concern for the discipline that foregrounds both the history of Africa’s modernity and the historiography of African Art History. The journal proposes a critical intervention at a moment of great contradiction, when there are diminishing opportunities for new and in-depth scholarly research on African arts but also a parallel rise in interest in Africa’s modernity among scholars and students. We believe that studies grounded in research in Africa and based on deep knowledge of historical and contemporary experiences of African art and visual culture can illuminate the fields of modern and contemporary art history in ways that are otherwise invisible to specialists in contemporary art in general.

Critical Interventions focuses on the arts and visual cultures of global Africa, which encapsulates African and African Diaspora identities in the age of globalization. It provides a forum for investigating the value of African art/cultural knowledge in the global economy and its mediation protocols, reviewing in particular how this value is created via the politics of reception and commodification. The journal thus inaugurates a formal discourse on the aesthetics, politics, and economics of African cultural patrimony and African ownership of the intellectual property rights of its indigenous knowledge systems and forms of cultural practice. Through this focus it stakes out a ground on what promises to be the principal site of discursive engagement for the field of African art history in this century. Critical Interventions also hopes to make a substantial contribution to the future of African art studies by promoting the highest standards of critical analysis and by encouraging research that engages the intergenerational dynamics of the field.

[Critical Interventions Number 8 is Published]
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