North African cinema has suffered from neglect in studies on African cinema. It’s hinge-like geographical position – is it Africa, the Middle East or part of the Mediterranean, or all of these – not only provides a richness in transcultural and historical diversity, it could also be one of the causes of it being inadvertently ignored. The region’s rich transcultural nature – Arab, African and Mediterranean has been such a creative space for film production, both mainstream and politically dissident films, that it can not be ignored any longer.
The Journal of African Cinemas is the ideal platform to address this lacuna in African Cinema Studies. The premise of this special issue is to offer an avenue to coherently explore this neglected field of study over the decades, to integrate North African cinema firmly within African cinema studies, and offer an open space to the North African pioneers as well as the more recent innovators and politically motivated films from North of the continent.
This issue calls for scholarly papers covering issues of the life of film in both the past and the present. The introduction to the special issue will offer a coherent overview of how North African cinema has contributed to the history of African cinema. Papers are invited about, on the one hand, the pioneers of filmmaking in the early 20th century, as well as politically motivated postcolonial filmmakers from the 1960s – and why they remain hidden. On the other hand, the issue will explore the recent emergence of citizen journalism and the power of online distribution channels that have opened up the world to images and their politics from the region. The issue is interested in how these films saw the light of day and where they have travelled (who funded, produced, directed and saw them), and how they entered the collective memory in spite of the lack of written studies. This issue therefore aims to tease out the life of North African films on a local, regional and transnational scale.
The editor would be interested in receiving proposals on the following (non-exhaustive) list of issues:
• Egyptian pioneers in 1900s
• Lumière brothers’ contribution to film in the Maghreb
• France’s influence on Maghreb cinema
• Algerian political documentaries / historical epics and their dynamics
• The role of women in North African Cinemas
• Libyan films and/or lack thereof
• Moroccan cinema since the 1990s
• North African films at FESPACO
• Egyptian and Tunisian films since 2011
Please submit abstracts and metadata to the Guest Editor, including:
Name and affiliation
Title of article
Bio (100-120 words)
Abstract (300 words)
Keywords (6 in low case, one under the other)
Dr Stefanie Van de Peer [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Research Co-ordinator, Department of Film Studies, University of St Andrews
Due Date for Abstracts: 31 August 2013
Submission of Full Paper: 31 January 2014