25 mars 2022 @ 14 h 30 min – 16 h 30 min
SÉMINAIRE « Faire communauté(s) face à l’écran de cinéma »
Interventions de Firat Oruc et Fernanda Pinto de Almeida
Firat Oruc (Georgetown University SFS Qatar): “Cinematic Spheres in the Gulf: A Cultural and Political History”
The history of the moving image in the region was shaped by different political and cultural agents, including British colonial officers, oil companies, government bureaucrats, private amateur cineastes, and foreign entrepreneurs. The core political issue of the emergence of a cinema culture in the Gulf was the restriction of cinematic medium and space to certain populations. Film experience in the Gulf was thereby refracted through three spheres of moving image culture: private, corporate-sponsored, and commercial public cinemas. Although these moving-image practices are often examined separately, I show that in the Gulf context they were intricately connected. What was common to these three spheres was a certain logic of exclusion and restricted access norms. The private cinema sphere was exclusive to the colonial and indigenous elite; the corporate cinema was confined to the Euro-American staff of the oil companies; and the commercial public cinema was reserved for the local and labor migrant audience. These cinema spheres and the processes of socialization, interaction, and acculturation they facilitated were regulated through legal codes as well as restricted access norms, adopted, in particular, from the patterns of colonial paternalism already well established in British India.
Fernanda Pinto de Almeida (University of the Western Cape): “Of ‘Bioscopes, Balls and Boys’: Children in the Making of South African Cinemas”
In early twentieth century South Africa children were at the center of public concerns about the popularity of cinemas. Fire outbreaks and the spread of disease as well as the supposed threat of so-called « non-European » audiences prompted civil society groups and colonial administrators to push for policing and regulation. Later, during Apartheid, public concerns about child audiences motivated legislation that imposed strict racial and age classification of films. My paper is an attempt to make sense of the experience of early cinemas in South Africa through the lens of children. Mapping an evocative assemblage of photographs, life stories and films I ask what might be gained from a rarely explored and highly speculative memory-archive of childhoods in and of South African cinemas. I ask, moreover, how the erasure of children from public spaces and leisure venues came to characterize racialized ‘communities’ in an incipient segregationist state.
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