CFP – Myths and Fairy Tales in African Cinema

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Africa in Motion 2011 Symposium CFP
Symposium on Myths and Fairy Tales in African Cinema

Africa in Motion Film Festival 2011 will focus on films and events that open doors to children and youth in Africa. As the young represent the future as they learn from the past, we will be looking at representations for, by and about children and young people in the rural areas and the sprawling urban centers of Africa. As a vital aspect of children’s lives is their education both within and outside of the family structure, we will look at how (his)stories and myths are told, changed and exchanged through time, and how they influence the form, style and structure of film in the relatively young cinemas from Africa.

This forthcoming symposium on 29th October 2011 invites renewed reflection on stories, myths and tales as a means of inheriting and reflecting on Africa’s past, present and future. Storytelling is an essential aspect of African cinema as the role of the African griot and the legacy of history as a story or myth has deeply influenced filmmakers such as Ousmane Sembène and Férid Boughedir.

The symposium seeks to interrogate the dramatic, poetic and visual character of culturally foundational stories (fairy / mythic / classical / religious etc), the formal operations and cultural force of their diverse tellings and showings across media, and the ways in which their psychological, social, political and aesthetic functions have been interpreted and employed.

Panels could include themes such as: the identity of the African griot, the performativity of stories and myths, the intervention of tales and myths in the narrative structure, adaptation from story to screen, fairy tales for children, fairy tales for adults, anti-tales, the transculturing of inherited myths. Contributors are welcome to submit with these proposed panels in mind, or in any other field that speaks to the theme of the conference.

Abstracts are solicited for individual 20-minute papers on the theme of the conference. We are looking for submissions from scholars at all levels (postgraduate students are most welcome) and invite contributions from as wide a scope of research areas and disciplines as possible. Unfortunately, AiM is unable to sponsor any flights or accommodation for the visiting scholars. You are encouraged to obtain sponsorship from your home institution.

We invite abstracts of 250-300 words as well as brief biographical details to be sent to the symposium organizers at symposium@africa-in-motion.org.uk by Monday 1 August 2011. The bio-sketch (not more than 100 words) must include institutional affiliation, current appointment, stage of study (for postgraduates), and main research interests.