Cinema and Development in West Africa

Cinema and Development in West Africa

Genova, James E.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/25/2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01008-7
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Cinema and Development in West Africa shows how the film industry in Francophone West African countries played an important role in executing strategies of nation building during the transition from French rule to the early postcolonial period. James E. Genova sees the construction of African identities and economic development as the major themes in the political literature and cultural production of the time. Focusing on film both as industry and aesthetic genre, he demonstrates its unique place in economic development and provides a comprehensive history of filmmaking in the region during the transition from colonies to sovereign states.

Author Bio

James E. Genova is Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University-Marion. He is author of Colonial Ambivalence, Cultural Authenticity, and the Limitations of Mimicry in French-Ruled West Africa, 1914-1956.


This is an authoritative book on the history of filmmaking in colonial and postcolonial Francophone West Africa. It is a detailed historical analysis of the politics, aesthetics, and economics of cinema emphasizing the critical role of French colonial administrators, African film pioneers, and the custodians of West Africa's postcolonial states.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Cinema as Art and Industry
1. The Cinema Industrial Complex in French West Africa to the 1950s
2. The Colonialist Regime of Representation, 1945-1960
3. West African Anti-Colonial Film Politics, 1950s-1960s
4. The Post-Colonial African Regime of Representation
5. The West African Cinema Industrial Complex, 1960s-1975
Postscript: Francophone West African Cinema to the Present

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