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Book Talk: Boukary Sawadogo

January 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Genre in African Screen Media: Comedy and TV Series

Film history shows that the medium developed from popular cinema to art house cinema. However, the historical trajectory of African cinema shows a reverse pattern, going from art house to popular cinema. The often assumed polygeneric nature of African cinema has remained for several decades the default approach to genre studies in the scholarship on African cinema.

The book talk is a discussion on comedy and other popular genres in West Africa. In contrast to art films or “auteur films” which tend to be confined to the festival circuit, comedies, TV Series, and other popular genres are reaching today a far wider audience through local distribution networks, satellite TV channels, pirated DVDs, and online distribution platforms. The development of video and digital technologies has also contributed to the production and distribution of popular genre cinema in Africa. The culturally rooted comic traditions of koteba theater and joking kinship have shaped West African comedies through various forms of humor. Débrouillardise (hustle) has turned the urban scene into a comic scene, a site for individual realization.


Location: New York University 14A Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003
14A Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003 United States
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