the commemoration will take place from October 19 to 25

the commemoration will take place from October 19 to 25
the commemoration will take place from October 19 to 25

The very particular context imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic will not prevent the holding of the fourth edition of “Sembène across Africa”. It will be commemorated this year 2020, from October 19 to 25, via screenings and online and face-to-face seminars, produced in collaboration with hundreds of African institutions.

Initiated by the Senegalese director Samba Gadjigo, a few years ago, the project “Sembène through Africa”, which already occupies a good place in the cultural agendas of the continent, aims to materialize the unrealized desire of filmmaker during his lifetime, his 50 years of continuous work, and to restore African stories to Africans.

In its programming, this event intends to prevent the “annihilation” of the work of the man who spent decades producing a cinema entirely dedicated to Africa and Africans in a context where the histories of the continent were marginalized and criminalized by colonial schools, newspapers, televisions, films and the languages ​​of Europe.

Two cult films and a documentary by Ousmane Sembène in attraction
The 2020 edition of “Sembène through Africa” ​​will be dedicated to two films by Sembène Ousmane and a documentary about his life and work. This is “Le Mandat” (Mandabi, 1968) telling “the tragi-comic story of a Senegalese man of the people who tries, in vain, to perceive a providential mandate from France”, “Xala” ( 1975), a “biting satire on the first decades of African independence” and “Sembene!” (2015), “a documentary that has won several awards around the world and celebrates the life of the great man who was Ousmane Sembène”.

The organizers inform of the availability online (free of charge), throughout the period of the event, of the films “Le Mandat”, “Xala” and the documentary “Sembene!” . Also, seminars and live broadcasts of Sembene films and the documentary “Sembene!” on and YouTube are scheduled.

Dates, countries and cities of screenings and panels
In Senegal, Dakar, Thiès, Kaolack, Saint-Louis, Ziguinchor and Bakel will host the screening series. Elsewhere in Africa, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde will screen Sembène’s two films and the documentary on his life and work.

In the United States, in New York, three panels on the work of the late filmmaker are scheduled from October 23 to 25. The first is on the theme “Senegal seen by Sembene: Understanding his country, through his books and films (in Wolof)” directed by Boubacar Boris Diop and introduced by Samba Gadjigo (Mount Holyoke College).

The second “Power Struggle: Sembene and the Black Power Movement, Yesterday and Today (in English)” will be moderated by Sada Niang (University of Victoria), Pervaiz Khan (South Africa) and Jihan El-Tahri (Egypt ).

The third panel, which will take place on Sunday 25 October, on the theme “For a Rewriting of History: Afro-centric stories of Sembene (in French)” will be led by Fatou Kandé Senghor (Waru Studio, Thiès), with the participation by Manthia Diawara (New York University), Prof. Ambroise Kom (Cameroon) and Catherine Ruelle (Radio France).

Small presentation of the person of Sembène
Having become one of the cultural giants of the twentieth century, Sembène was however the son of a fisherman who had been expelled from school in the fifth year. After having worked for 15 years as a worker, he reinvents himself as a self-taught writer at the age of 30 and at 40, he becomes a filmmaker.

Over the last 50 years of his life, Sembene has dedicated his moments to galvanizing and inspiring his people, creating deep and subversive visionary stories. His 1960 novel, Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu, remains in the canon of world literature. With classic films including Borom Sarret (1962), La Noire de … (1966), Mandabi (1968), Emitaï (1971), Xala (1975), Ceddo (1977), Camp de Thiaroye (1986), Guelwaar ( 1993), Faat Kine (2000) and Moolaadé (2004) awarded at Cannes, Sembene has earned the well-deserved nickname “father of African cinema”. Ousmane Sembène who died in 2007 was determined, fighting against the status quo, to continue making films independently. His stories were intended to serve as an evening school for African workers and to inspire visions of a just, prosperous and free Africa.

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