Contact Zones: Memory, Origin, and Discourses in Black by Sheila Petty

By Sheila Petty

Created on the crossroads of slavery, migration, and exile, and comprising a world inhabitants, the black diaspora is a various area of various histories, studies, and pursuits. Likewise, black diasporic movie has a tendency to target the complexities of transnational identification, which oscillates among similarity and distinction and resists effortless categorization. in touch Zones writer Sheila J. Petty addresses various filmmakers, theorists, and matters in black diasporic cinema, highlighting their ongoing affects on modern inventive and theoretical discourses.

Petty examines either Anglophone and Francophone motion pictures and theorists, divided in response to this volume's 3 thematic sections-Slavery, Migration and Exile, and past Borders. The function movies and documentaries considered-which comprise Sankofa, Daughters of the dirt, the fellow by means of the Shore, and impolite, between others-represent quite a lot of cultures and subject matters. via shut textual research that comes with the paintings of famous diasporic thinkers like W. E. B. DuBois, objectiveé Césaire, and Frantz Fanon besides modern notables reminiscent of Molefi Kete Asante, bell hooks, Clenora Hudson-Weems, René Depestre, Paul Gilroy, and Rinaldo Walcott, Petty information the original ways that black diasporic movies create meaning.

via exploring quite a few African American, Caribbean, Black British, and African Canadian views, touch Zones presents an in depth survey of the variety and energy of black diasporic contributions to cinema and thought. This quantity can be a great addition to the libraries of students and scholars of movie reviews and Africana studies.

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Extra resources for Contact Zones: Memory, Origin, and Discourses in Black Diasporic Cinema

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6 There she is confronted by Sankofa, a mysterious African man who magically propels her on a journey back in time where she becomes Shola, a house slave on an Antebellum plantation. Through Shola’s evolution from complicit victim to rebel, Mona comes to have a deeper understanding of her own history and innate African identity, which she embraces on her return to the present day. The film possesses a circular narrative that blends past and present in a conception of convergent time. As such, the film’s structure eschews Eurocentric linear conventions of history and storytelling in favor of a narrative system that places Africa at the center of black experience.

The tension between Shola’s visual depiction and her words suggests that she fails to appreciate the full implications of her unquestioning acceptance of her position in Western society. Her lack of self-awareness or, perhaps more accurately, her willful state of denial creates a parallel between Shola and Mona. Both are assimilated into societies that view their bodies as commodities to be exploited without their challenging that construct: although Shola is not in a position to aspire to American citizenship as a means of protecting herself, her passive acceptance of her position is also a refusal of African identity, as evidenced by her acceptance of the inevitable degradation of her race under slavery.

The power of this psychological link is demonstrated when the passageway goes dark and Mona, terrified but drawn against her will toward a flash of firelight, glances into the entrance of the slave pen. She sees a group of slaves: men, women, and children, each wearing heavy metal collars and shackles. Attempting to flee the apparitions by running through the labyrinth of passageways, she is confronted at each turn by another group of slaves. In general, these are medium to medium-long shots of long duration supported by pans that move across groups of slaves creating a sense of social space in which ethnic differentiation is obliterated by shared oppression: similarly shackled and reduced to rags, some of the slaves engage the spectator in direct address, forcing her to face the scope, context, and consequences of such massive cultural disjunction and oppression.

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