This research explores how the cinematic works of Ousmane Sembene is aimed at doing more than just entertain his audience, but that through a study of his films’ aesthetic qualities, the audience can be educated about the politics and social issues significant to them. Some of the questions that will be answered within this research include the following. How do Ousmane’s films become a platform from which its audience can learn of issues surrounding their own lives? What are the characteristics prevalent in Ousmane’s representations of Africa in film? To what extent does Ousmane apply the philosophies of Soviet cinema in his own films? How does Ousmane’s feature length films differ from conventional western cinema? For this research I will analyse all nine of Ousmane’s feature films in chronological order. These films are; La Noire de or Black Girl (1966), Mandabi (1968), Emitai (1971), Xala (1975), Ceddo (1977), Camp de Thiaroye (1988), Guelwaar (1993), Faat Kine (2001) and Moolaade (2004). I will analyse these film for their teachable content as they deal with issues, such as; colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, identity, corruption, religion, feminism, cultures, politics, female genital mutilation and Senegalese history among other topics. Starting chronologically I will analyse all said films and see what information its creator or author Ousmane is trying to disseminate to the largely illiterate Senegalese audience.

The CHR in the time of a global pandemic

In line with protocols introduced by government towards the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 virus, the CHR suspended its public events, seminars, and general fellowship program until further notice.  We wish CHR fellows, students, artists, colleagues and friends, as well as our partners and funders in South Africa and across the world much strength and compassion in these difficult times.


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