Presented in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies, Columbia University
Guest curator: June Givanni
The Senegalese filmmakers Ousmane Sembène (1923–2007) and Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945–1998) pioneered cinematic creativity in Africa. Among the many filmmakers they inspired is Moussa Sene Absa (b. 1958), a protégé and former assistant of Mambéty’s. All three directors give voice to the African people through their films: they were screen griots, and their work has much in common. In their films, women are portrayed centrally as agents of change and as risk takers, reflecting their true revolutionary role in Senegalese society. The directors also choose to focus on the “little people” of everyday life. A less central but nonetheless frequent impulse in their work is the recognition and embrace of a pan-African relationship to the continent and the diaspora, a tension between the homeland and the West.