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Digital Medias, New Cinemas, and the Global South

Saturday, April 5, 2014
4:00 AM
Forum Room, Palmer Commons (4th Floor)

Digital media has changed the everyday lives of millions of people, yet the focus on these recent technological developments tend to emphasize the lives of those in first-world nations. But what about the impacts of new technology across the digital divide? How is it that digital media, mobile technologies, and new cinematic forms of representation have changed the production and experience of art, economy, and culture in the global south? Focusing on contemporary developments in digital media, and especially film and the arts, this symposium will explore the creative and tactical integration of digital media and new technologies through diverse topics such as new African cinema, media creation and distribution in South East Asia and South America, and cinemas that engage a minoritarian viewpoint regardless of its geopolitical origins. We seek to address the questions of digital media and the global south in the form of both scholarship and art, bringing together a range of film scholars who work on Africa, Latin American and Caribbean, and South Asian cinemas.

The purposes of the symposium, thus, are to rewrite the conception of the “world” in the term “world cinema,” which has generally given a nod to the global south, or co-opted southern differences into the main “waves” of globalization’s purveyance of the aesthetics of the new. If the new has come on the heels of digital media technologies, its voices and accents are now appearing within southern spheres of culture. The conference will provide an opportunity to view the work of some of the filmmakers and analyze the meaning of that work within a southern global perspective.


Coffee & Breakfast | 9:00

Opening Remarks | 9:30
Abigail Celis, University of Michigan

Panel I: The Cinematic Self | 9:45
Moderator: Charles Gueboguo, University of Michigan
“The Cinematic I: Reclaiming Subjectivity in the Films of Jean-Marie Teno”
Jean-Marie Teno, France and Melissa Thackaway, INALCO, France

Panel II: Cinematic Sites: Frames of Place and Genre | 11:30
Moderator: Silvina Yi, University of Michigan
“New Latin American Cinema Repeats Itself: The Case of Contemporary Venezuelan Documentary”
Nilo Couret, University of Michigan
“Framing the Black Lesbian Body in Contemporary Cinema”
Frieda Ekotto, University of Michigan
“Nollywood’s City, Nollywood’s Dreams”
Onookome Okome, University of Alberta

Lunch & Film Screening | 1:30
Introduction: Abigail Celis, University of Michigan
Grey Matter with filmmaker Kivu Ruhorahoza

Panel III: Cinematic Screens: Producing on, through, and beyond | 4:00
Moderator: Anna Mester, University of Michigan
“African Women and the Cinematic Gaze: On, In Front and Behind the Screen”
Beti Ellerson, Research of African Women in Cinema
“Mobile Phones on Nollywood Screens: Vernacular Theorizing and the Corporatization of Local Movie Production in Ghana and Nigeria”
Carmella Garritano, St. Thomas University
“New Winds in African Cinema"
Mary Ellen Higgins, Pennsylvania State University, Greater Allegheny

Closing Remarks | 6:00
Frieda Ekotto, University of Michigan  

Co-sponsored by the African Studies Center.