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Flashcards in Post Colonialism Deck (14):

age of empire

coincided with the birth of cinema + psychoanalysis: by 1895 well over half the world’s land mass was under the control of a handful of European powers
•Psychoanalysis: method of studying cinema
•Contemporaries of each other
•ensured global dominance by extracting resources from
•first to establish infrastructure for film
As a result the history of cinema is bound up with the history of colonialism



•Travelogues: lumieres credited for fathers of cinema
oActualites: capture things happening now
•Sent camera operators around the world to capture life
•Indochina, the village of namo: allowed them to be virtual travelers
•French camera was able to bring indochina within french cinema
•Positioned as virtual colonial adventurers
•Ppl able to be part of colonialism without leaving chair


ethnographic films

•Ethnographic: allowed anthropologists to preserve + study ppl they were interested in
•Rough, short, rudementary, low quality
•Interested in capturing rituals, customs of aboriginals they encountered
exercised taxidermy preservation + taxonomy: categorization


Effects of Colonialist Representation

institutionalization of looking relations: white people look + non-white people are looked at
colonized ppl as spectacle, under surveillance


Effects of Colonialist Representation

shoring up certain assumptions about racial difference that were already in circulation by time cinema was invented film in service of confirming white, Western assumptions about white supremacy + rationale by which colonizing cultures often justified their actions: “the white man’s burden.”


Effects of Colonialist Representation

only type of film to regularly feature colonized/Aboriginal during the colonial era was ethnographic cinema commercial features, relegated to supporting roles (usually as sidekick or villain)/“colorful” backdrop


Effects of Colonialist Representation

native become object of romanticization + yearning, but stereotypes that equate him/her with nature, the past, the body + childlike innocence endure.
•Rely of entrenched stereotypes: now celebrated
•Treated with hostile distortion but also affectionate condescension



break from and a continuation of colonialism.
•dissolution of european empires: either through struggle/ diplomacy achieved self government
Many still remained economically dependent
•Exacerbated by international division of labour through globalization



•Effects of colonialism persist in postcolonialism present
•Settler societies: self governing for centuries but assert sovereignty over aboriginals
•Lots of aboriginals think it doesn’t apply to their situation
•Ideologically: Ideas that come from colonialism continue to persist even in wake of struggles of anticolonialism


Film and Postcolonialism

more ppl from formerly/currently colonized nations have started making films to creatively confront the past, ponder the present + imagine a future.
•Giving voice to perspective who have historically been marginalized in cinema


counter-cinematic tradition

The Battle of Algiers + Camp de Thiaroye
Talks back to colonial cinema
•Consistently use shot scales to emphasize different + spectatorial identification
•Promotes spectatorial investigations
•Counter narrative to those that represented rebels as enemies


goal of counter-cinematic tradition

•To counter colonial ideology: primitive demon like children
•To press film tech in service of local narrative traditions
•Rectify omissions to dominant historical accounts


goal of counter-cinematic tradition

•To imagine a precolonial past: thinking about what life was like prior to colonial conquest
•Imagine a truly postcolonial future: how would states negotiate their own identities on their own terms


positive images

-token diversity
-lack of sensitivity to black struggle
-place black in white role
-not focus on presence, but absence of representation of oppressed, culture, story/specificity
-Not just African from different places
-looking for specificity, not just one culture
-specificity + individuality