Lecture : 14 November 2012 01:01

Semesterplan – Autumn 2012: Lectures :

`On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa' : Lecture by Manthia Diawara

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OCA hosts the Director of the Institute of Afro-American Studies Programme at New York University (NYU) Manthia Diawara within OCA’s International Studio Programme. During his stay in Oslo, Diawara presents a lecture at OCA, about the influence of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s négritude on the development of African film, the New Art Wave of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène’s cinema, and the new video phenomenon of Nollywood in Nigeria. This lecture is part of ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’, a programme that takes place at OCA through 2013. The programme focuses on the influence of the négritude movement and its political and cultural legacy in the continent. The series of events and the solo exhibition by the Senegalese artist Issa Samb, which will open in winter 2013 at OCA's public space, are made possible with O3-funds*.

Diawara’s lecture took as its departure his book African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics (Prestel, 2010), in which he explores the cinematic languages and modes of production of African cinema from the 1960s until today, beginning with the work of pioneers such as Ousmane Sembène, Diop Mambéty and Lionel Ngakane. In his lecture at OCA, Diawara traced Africa’s film culture to the political independence movements and the urge to construct a new national identity for the African continent – a process that developed against the background of négritude, its humanist, modern message of shared African heritage and consciousness on one side, and the drive to a national cultural revolution on the other.

The lecture is organised in collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and in tandem with Afrikan History Week in Oslo. OCA’s lecture was followed by a screening programme of Sembène’s films at the Deichmanske library, Oslo. Manthia Diawara introduced the programme on Thursday 15 November to be followed by the screening of Black Girl (La Noire de..., 1966).

This programme is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professional artists in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to contribute to the development of the work of artists, independent cultural producers and organisations located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to 'professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators', 'short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists', 'seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries', and 'project development on an international scale'.

Photo: OCA / Espen Hagestrand