Ever since 1968 when for the first time, celebrated Senegalese filmmaker and one of the pioneers of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène, decided to use Wolof as the main language of expression in "Manda bi," he consistently used African languages in his films for the remainder of his career. The decision to make "Manda bi" in Wolof was quite revolutionary at the time, and came with many challenges, including the obligation to reshoot the film in French to satisfy the demands of the French authorities who had partially funded the film. For a filmmaker who repeatedly claimed that he came to cinema to establish a dialogue with an African audience overwhelmingly unschooled in French, I plan to examine his language politics and the contradiction that his earlier films were voiced-over in French.
About Amadou Fofana:
Dr. Amadou T. Fofana received a Licence es Lettres and a Maîtrise in English from Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal. He also received a master's in French literature and civilization from Michigan State University, and his Ph.D. in African languages and literature from UW-Madison.
His research and teaching interests include French language and literature, Francophone literatures and cultures, African languages, literature and films.
Monday, February 26 at 4:10pm to 5:00pm
Community Foundation Theater in the Gund Gallery
101 1/2 College Drive, Gambier, Ohio 43022