Call for Papers: ‘African Film and Social Change’ conference, University of Westminster, 7-8 November 2015

Conference organised by the Africa Media Centre, University of Westminster

African film and related screen cultures have grown rapidly across the continent and are increasingly implicated in both directed and non-directed social change. Surprisingly, film’s significant role in social change processes in Africa is hugely understated. Not only are film and videos a source of daily entertainment for many in Africa, they also affect and reflect ongoing struggles for social justice, social activism, civic engagement, civic dialogue, community building, social capital, community development and cultural vitality. Films made by African directors such as the Oscar nominated ‘Timbuktu’ seem to provide an alternative to the Western media’s perspective on how terrorism affects the lives of ordinary people in some countries in Africa, as part of a new trend. New and old African film and screen cultures are increasingly important for public and private life on the continent and yet this has not been sufficiently reflected in academic work. Specific films have raised awareness and understanding and enhanced civic participation and contributed to social change. Arguably, the new ICTs and social media environments are making moving images in Africa more effective. Evolving policies, attitudes and use patterns of screen cultures in Africa have potential for increased access, participation and empowerment.

block10This 7th African Film Conference, organised by the Africa Media Centre, will bring together academic scholars and practitioners to discuss how policymakers, filmmakers, and audiences are implicated in changing social relations, affecting the kinds of moving images they can make or want to be made. Key questions relate to how film screen cultures in Africa have advanced or subverted social change in Africa. We are concerned to bring to the fore sub-themes of changing film production environments, shifts in funding mechanisms for African film, the role of audiences/users, regulation debates and African film’s potential for human development.

To address these and similar issues relating to film, screen cultures and social change in Africa, we invite scholars to submit panel proposals and/ or abstracts in the following and related areas:

  • Theoretical Issues on Screen Cultures and Social Change
  • Citizen empowerment and film in Africa
  • Film Music and Social Change in Africa
  • The effectiveness of Comedy and Satire in promoting change
  • African Film in the era of digital platforms
  • Human development and Film in Africa
  • Film and politics, persuasion and electioneering
  • Film and Anti-Corruption Campaigns in Africa
  • Health Communication and Film in Africa
  • Old Media and New Film Practices in Africa
  • Gender Politics in African Film
  • Regulation of Film in Africa
  • Resistance, Activism and Film Cultures in Africa
  • Film Practices and Non-Governmental Organisations in Africa
  • Film and Television Education in the Digital Age
  • From Audiences to Consumer-content Producers
  • Mobile Film Practices in Africa

Deadline for abstracts

The conference organizers welcome abstracts that feature high quality conceptual papers, as well as qualitative and quantitative empirical research papers. Abstracts from individuals including graduate students are welcome

The new deadline for abstracts is Wednesday 31 August 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 15 September 2015. Abstracts should be 300 words long. They must include the presenter’s name, affiliation, email and postal address, together with the title of the paper. Please send abstracts to

Programme and registration

This 2-day conference will take place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 November 2015. The fee for registration (which applies to all participants, including presenters) will be £150 with a concessionary rate of £75 for students, to cover all conference documentation, refreshments and administration costs.

Registration will open at the end of September 2015.

For more information, please visit:

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