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Grant number like: FEL-267414-20

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Rachel Gabara
University of Georgia (Athens, GA 30602-0001)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021

Reclaiming Realism: From Documentary Film in Africa to African Documentary Film

Completion of a book about the history of documentary filmmaking in West and Central Africa, from the French colonial period to the present.

The first book in English to focus on African documentary, “Reclaiming Realism” will explore the aesthetic, sociopolitical, and historical development of nonfiction film in West and Central Africa. For over half a century, French colonial documentary claimed to capture the truth about Africa and Africans. After independence, African filmmakers reclaimed the cinema and their cinematic image by experimenting with documentary content, voice and style. This project will demonstrate the vital importance of documentary first to French colonialism, then to a post-independence reframing of African identities and modes of filmic discourse. A transnational study that highlights the complex interactions between colonial and postcolonial cinemas, “Reclaiming Realism” intervenes in contemporary critical debates about global documentary and the very nature of filmic representations of reality.