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november, 2018

07novallday16alldayBlackness in French and Francophone Film


Event Details

Blackness in French and Francophone Film

A Film Series Presented by the Columbia Maison Française, co-sponsored by School of the Arts and curated by Nora Philippe with the participation of Maboula Soumahoro

Films are free and open to the public. Subtitles are in English.

France doesn’t have an equivalent word for speaking about “blackness” and has just removed the word “race” from its Constitution. However, a new generation of black French women directors is creating documentaries, news reports, and fiction films about the black experience in all its plurality, from more recent immigration of Africans to France, to intimate searches for genealogical identity in the Caribbean, to feminist and political struggles in today’s troubled times.  Around a selection of films directed by award-winning artists of African descent, this series will explore experiences of mostly female subjects and characters in France, but also in French-speaking Africa and in the diaspora, in the U.S. and the Caribbean. This film series includes a classic film by Ousmane Sembène (Black Girl) and many recent ones, some being shown for the first time in the U.S. Five women directors are travelling from France to be present for the series, and screenings will be followed by discussions with the director, an invited scholar from Columbia, and curator Nora Philippe or special guest moderator Maboula Soumahoro. The selected films and discussions to follow focus on the articulation between film creation and political engagement. “Ouvrir la voix,” as Amandine Gay’s film title says: a pun which means both “speaking up” and “paving the way” – may surely be the motto of this series.

Screenings take place in two locations, as indicated on the event page. Full screening list also available.

This film series is presented in connection with an exhibition at the Wallach Gallery, Posing Modernity: the Black Model from Matisse to Today, opening October 24, 2018.

Columbia University co-sponsors of Blackness in French and Francophone Film:

Maison Française; School of the Arts; Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality; Institute for African Studies; Columbia Global Centers/Paris; European Institute; IRAAS (Institute for Research in African-American Studies) and Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Film series presented with support from the Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, la Scam, and the Knapp Family Foundation.


november 7 (Wednesday) - 16 (Friday)


Varies, check event description for more information.



The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University.

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