Printer Friendly

The Semeiotic of Africanicity in Gaston Kabore's film Buud Yam.

The film Buud Yam (Gaston Kabore, 1997) articulates a discursive character suitable for illustrating a semiotics of "Africanicity" in black African cinemas. Through the triadic relation of the signs proposed by Charles S. Peirce and the conjunctural articulation suggested by Stuart Hall, this article wants to unpack the discursive modality of the scriptural articulation, recurrent in Black African cinema. With this methodology, the author illustrates a semiotics overloaded with cultural ideologies that uses the body of the Africans as a transnational vehicle from where materializes the political condition of possibility of Africanicity, as an oppositional expression to the nationalist frameworks and the nationalism paradigms. Key words: Africanicity, black cinemas, cultural ideologies, conjunctural articulation.

**********

Buud Yam: Contesting traditional ideologies with a subjective ideology

In the film Buud Yam (1997), Gaston Kabore follows up with one his previous success narratives, Wend Kuuni ("God's Gift", 1982). In Buud Yam, Wend Kuuni (the main character) sets off on a journey in search of a traditional doctor (Joseph Yanogo) to cure his sister Pughneere (Assmatou Maiga) bed-down by a mysterious disease. As I will argue in this paper, the film, Buud Yam uses the African conception of traditional medicine to expose specific cultural semiotics of the Burkina Faso's society. More specifically, the narrative of Buud Yam represents the body of the Africans as an articulation exposing specific signs, contesting the practice of ideology in African traditional societies and acting as a window through which contemporary cultural expressions of identity are unpacked.

The story of Buud Yam takes place around the Niger River, in the beginning of nineteenth century. In the film, the body of Pughneere exposes the footprints of traditional ideologies. These footprints belong to three different levels of sign that, however, intertwine between each other, in the same way as in Peirce's triadic theory of semeiotic. In this theory, a sign (the visible material world, represented), an object (what the sign stands in for or represents), and an interpretant (the meaning of the represented object) work together in the practices of producing meaning. (1) In the same ways, Pughneere's dreams illustrate the process of producing meaning. For example, the sign "dream" represents the motive of and inspiration to the plot. At the same time, the dreams are also the object supporting the surface within which the traditional structure of Burkina Faso's society emerges. For example, Pughneere is a legitimate child, whereas his brother, Wend Kuuni, was adopted. As such, this situation brings forth a struggle of identity, that of an authentic native born versus an adopted alien.

Furthermore, the ways in which the story of Buud Yam is articulated follows the structures of a socio-critical narrative, raising questions of the social conventions that define cultural identity. The film establishes the socio-critical tone by showing a scene of a group of men gathered under a tree, and gossiping about punishing Wend Kuuni whom they believe brings sorrow to his adoptive parents. In a parallel shot to that scene, Pughneere's best friend discretely listens to the men and reports their plot to her friend. It is significant to note that an elementary binary opposition of good/ bad and male/female is set out with this sequence. However, such an analysis remains at the level of tragedy and is therefore limited. The motive in the middle of both moral and gendered groups, nonetheless, is not about a man, Wend Kuuni, or about a woman, Pughneere, neither about good and bad. As I will argue, the relationship between Wend Kuuni and his sister Pughneere, which Gaston Kabore articulates at the level of diacritical cultural discourse exposes the most interesting social struggles recurrent in almost all African societies. This analysis is legitimated by the structure of the narrative rewriting of the identity of both characters as a perpetual process of questioning that Homi Bhabha (1994: 201) defines as "a continual slippage of categories".

The subsequent sections of this paper shall pose the following questions: (1) How does the discursive articulation of identity in the film Buud Yam expose the ideological semiotics of Burkina Faso's traditional structure of gender relations? (2) How does the narrative of this film work as a criticism, disarticulating the social context under which these traditional ideologies are produced, transformed, and reproduced? (3) Finally, what does the plot in this film expose and potentially conceal?

African films are enduring windows that could have the power to influence the way Africans see the world and represent their own identities. Together with other media, African films are thus an important source of generating and circulating specific practices of ideology and meaning. The notion of ideology, in the Marxist sense, refers to the dominant set of meanings accepted by the masses and furthered by any ruling class in order to fix the structure of ideas and traditions. In this case, the African "ruling classes" would be the traditional patriarchy (whether it be colonialism, nationalism, or tribalism) and one of its main ideologies would be to ensure the "fixing of meaning" in African societies. According to Stuart Hall (1990: 11) "the media are especially important sites for the production, reproduction, and circulation of ideologies." Furthermore, Hall suggests that: "ideologies work by the transformation of discourses [...] and the transformation of subjects-to-action" (10). The film Buud Yam is not an exception, because it does recycle specific ideological practices in the Burkina Faso's traditional society, to disarticulate and rearticulate them into anew discourse that would become a social critic.

The historical context of this representation and recycling of former ideologies into a new set of ideas is central to understanding its cultural impacts. Early African images were constructed through the lenses of the White colonial gaze dominating African societies; and African traditions were treated as disappearing practices under this colonial rule. Strategically, however, the ethnographical production and perpetration of African traditions has had an important impact in maintaining--fixing--certain African cultural practices into a linear historicism presented "as an empirical sociological category or a holistic cultural category" (Bhabha 1994: 201). An ethnographical representation such as The Mad Master (Jean Rouch, 1954) or a fictional narrative such as Princess Tam-Tam (Edmond Greville, 1935) are two well-known examples of external colonial gaze apposed upon African cultural practices and identities. Both films mirror an outside world, that of colonial Africa, in which colonized "objects" (the Africans) signify an inability to re-present what was going on in their life or to become civilized, despite their appreciation of modernism. It has been argued that neither Rouch nor Greville were capable of relinquishing their social perceptions of black people, because this perception was shaped by the colonial and imperial discursive principle of civilization that reified and perverted the African traditions as a linear cultural mythology. However, I want to argue that such linear historicisms that represented the Africans as an ontological achieved entity, illustrates not only the "ironic-adequacy" of the colonial gazes but also, to some extent, the perpetration of certain mythological values by the African traditional ruling classes.

Cultural mythology is one of the key frameworks of traditional and colonial historicism because it provides the images and stories that unite a variety of disparate individuals and helps make them feel that they are a part of a cohesive group. [Cultural mythology] helps provide a mirror in which [people] can recognize themselves, as it can provide patterns of behavior upon which they can model themselves (Harcourt 1977: 2).

The cultural mythology that has represented African cultures can be seen as a distortion of history. A distortion that is necessary to the achievement of not only colonial projects, but also of some traditional values aligned with (or able to legitimize) colonial interests, by virtue of the fact that like historicism, cultural mythology "is not defined by the object of its message, but by the way it utters this message" (Barthes 1973:2).

Most colonial and African traditional narratives make the potential disappearance of some cultural practices one of the central components of their language and aesthetics. The image and language used in such narratives construct a spectacle of the "African-Others" or the "Other-self " and mobilize the binary concepts of "us" and "them" or "modernity" and "tradition" through which, even most African scholars have widely framed the starting point of their African film analysis, what I termed the Other-self. Through such analysis, consequently, African cultures have been represented in terms of hierarchy-identity, within the popular consciousness, to the point where the African public would perceive itself according to the images that have been constructed and presented by the colonial/traditional historicism. For example, in Gaston Kabore's film Buud Yam, the group of men gathered under a tree and gossiping about punishing Wend Kuuni illustrates the production of a hierarchy identity of pure (us) and impure (them). Hence, throughout the history of representation of Africans in films, binary oppositions such as man/woman, culture/nature or savage/civilized, we/them, and tradition/modernity have been used to organize meaning. According to Jacques Derrida (1976), however, binary oppositions are reductive ways of viewing the complexity of "difference" and are encoded with signifying values and concepts of power and superiority. For Derrida, any opposition is defined not in and of itself, because the meaning it produces "not so much a matter of an 'either/or' proposition in which the semantic territory covered by a signifier is clearly marked", but rather a construction of power relation (Derrida 1976: 268). Thus, the act of looking, automatically gives the observer an awarding power of reifying those who are being looked at whether it be done from a traditional African insider (e.g., an Other-self) or from a colonial outsider (Other-other). Moreover, through this act of looking, meaning is constructed in relation to the specific social codes, instituted by the closing referent of language, the telos operating infinitely and without closure in the social universe of signification.

The film Buud Yam, expressively tackles this act of looking, by articulating a clear criticism between the native's experience of their self and the alien gaze, but it does not stop at that level. This film uses many symbolic signs to set up this criticism (e.g., the extreme conditions of the Saharan desert and other unknown aspects of life) and to transfer the power of representation to the native's subjectivity. For example, in one scene of Buud Yam, a group of jeering kids, silently observes Wend Kuuni (Serge Yanogo) and the Prince (Hyppolite Ouangrawa) attempting to build a raft to cross over an un-deep part of the Niger River, until an old man passes by them and crosses the river. It is at this point that the territorial "aliens" realize their ignorance and are dumbfounded. With this scene, Gaston Kabore shows that those who know their space the best--the natives--also have the knowledge of social experience, even if they are silenced by ethnographical gazes and practices. This practice of (re)giving back the power of representation to Africans themselves leads them to rewrite their identity. In addition, this articulation posits a critical contesting expression that we can find in many other African films such as Keita! L'heritage du griot (D. Kouyate, 1995), A nous la rue (M. Dao, 1987) or Finye (S. Cisse, 1982) to name a few. Precisely, these films use what I would carefully term as a critical-postmodern approach, because they represent unfixed everyday life practices with question of identity and they eschew "the idea that any single perspective [representing Africa] can proclaim itself foundational by fiat" (Nicholson 2003: 29).

In Burkina Faso, many African filmmakers use this critical-postmodernist filmmaking approach. In his film Yaaba (1987) Idrissa Ouedraogo criticizes the traditional conception of "witch" through the character of Sana (Fatimata Sana), an old woman who uses her traditional knowledge to rescue Bila's (Noufou Ouedraogo) cousin, Nopoko (Woukietou Barry). In doing so, Ouedraogo disarticulates the limits of traditional cultures and the symbolic meaning of class affiliation related to it, to rearticulate a philosophical border located above the categories of tribe and traditional values, but rather of affectivity. Films such as A nous la rue ("To us, the Street"), showing the artisan gestures of manufacturing tools by the children of Ouagadougou or Keita! L'heritage du griot ("Keita! The heritage of the griot"), which deconstructs the condition of the African traditional tales, posits a strong criticism of both the African traditions and colonial representations of the Africans.

The particularity of this critical-postmodern approach in African films is threefold. Firstly, it allows colonial gazes to be challenged and criticized. Secondly, it reveals contradictory ideologies within the African societies and traditional structures, thus opening up issues of cultural identity. And thirdly, it brings forth what Bhabha (1994: 201) has defined as the nationness, articulated as an endless and ambivalent narrative strategy that makes use of symbolic power to produce "continual slippage of categories, like sexuality, class affiliation, territorial paranoia, or 'cultural difference' in the act of writing the nation".

The semeiotic of the body in Buud Yam

The story of Buud Yam is closely connected with the life of Wend Kuuni and Pughneere as it is represented in Kabore's 1982 film, Wend Kuuni ("God's Gift"). The film Wend Kuuni, is about an orphan who experiences a memory loss. The orphan is adopted by a community which later decides to rename him Wend Kuuni. Kabore re-shows in the narrative of Buud Yam, that before Wend Kuuni was renamed, the child was abandoned in the bush by his runaway, dying mother. This is an interesting articulation that I want to define as a point of "intermediality", a connection between the past and the present. This connection of the film Wend Kuuni with the narrative of Buud Yam reopens the African traditional values of kindness and the all embracing nature of African societies. In addition, it provides a gateway through which many problems faced in contemporary Africa can be solved.

Tana, a character presented in both Wend Kuuni and Buud Yam narratives, is Pughneere's father and twice Wend Kuuni's savior, first in Wend Kuuni, more than sixty years ago, second in Buud Yam, sixty years later. Consequently, the on-screen depiction of the Burkina Faso's cultural life, through the life and struggle of Wend Kuuni, inherently riddled with old stereotypes is the basis from which the narrative of Buud Yam articulates a "different" yet progressive view of Burkina Faso's cultures. This articulation of Kabore's ideology allows us to illustrate what Bhabha (1994) has termed as ambivalence of disjunctive locality of cultural meanings under which imagined constructions of in-temporal identity in the same locality are framed and questioned beside and beyond fixed tribal identities. In other words, in the film Buud Yam,
 [The locality of culture] is more around temporality than about
 historicity: a form of living that is more complex than
 "community"; more symbolic than "society"; more connotative than
 "country"; less patriotic than "patrie"; more rhetorical than the
 reason of State; more mythological than ideology; less homogeneous
 than hegemony; less centred than the citizen; more collective than
 "the subject"; more psychic than civility; more hybrid in the
 articulation of cultural differences and identifications than can
 be represented in any hierarchical or binary structuring of social
 antagonism. (Bhabha 1994: 200-201)


Effectively, in the narrative of Buud Yam, the presence of recognizable symbols likened to tribal traditional identities suggests that former fixed identities are constantly re-negotiated through temporal, disjunctive, and ambivalence discourses which offer anew perspective on contemporary African identities. This new articulation of African identities is established through narrative and on the narrativization of everyday life. Here, the character of Wend Kuuni is pushed to a search that is not really on what the plot of Buud Yam uses as the principal motive of the narrative (i.e., to find the healer able to heal his sister). Rather, the character of Wend Kuuni is set to a subjective quest leading him to discover and construct his personal identity at the same time as he would save the life of his sister, and, above all, demonstrate to his entire adoptive community the boundaries around which their own identity is framed.

Put differently, in this narrative, Pughneere cannot heal herself and needs Wend Kuuni's intervention to find the right medicine for her. By herself, she is not a fulfilling "subject" despite her age. She needs the immediate community and friends, and, particularly, Wend Kuuni to construct her identity. Through this abductive articulation of the plot of Buud Yam, one may have the feeling of witnessing the well-known Disney's structural economy of narratives that usually equals women to unaccomplished characters, a powerless subjectivity which needs men to fulfill its dream.2 The signs and the objects that lead to represent Pughneere's dream and the cultural meaning about her social position remain, if true, an intelligible phenomenon in the Burkina Faso traditional structure. Nevertheless, that abduction is still on the level of the objective signs itself (what Pughneere's dream "stands-in-for" in the depicted plot). To get access to the level of the cultural interpretants in this narrative, or to the locality of Burkina Faso's cultural articulations of meaning, one needs to unpack the maps of social conventions representing both Wend Kuuni's and Pughneere's identity.

Particularly, I want to argue that the practice of representation in the film Buud Yam articulates a new expression-of-identity that is differentiated with the older one. At this juncture, the notion of difference is of particular interest because the film Buud Yam represents the culture of Burkina Faso as being intrinsically made of "differences" and not with a homogeneous center, even within a single tribal setting. In order to demonstrate this articulation of difference, the plot of Buud Yam goes back and forth, reminding us of the meanings and symbols that are associated with the little child found in the film Wend Kuuni, together with his struggle to be accepted in the present days. This third level of analysis suggests the multiple levels of interpretants entangled in Buud Yam's representation of the Burkina Faso's social structure. It is unarguable that the social struggle represented by the tribe of Wend Kuuni and Pughneere crosses over multiple geopolitical spaces: from the local community (the village where Buud Yam's narrative takes place) to the country, Burkina Faso, and even gets above the "patrie". In fact, this narrative intersects through an unlimited number of localities and cultures within Africa. One particular scene from the film illustrates the intermedial interconnection of borders, or the absence of geopolitical borders in a clear cut manner. For example, in his journey, Wend Kuuni arrives at the margins of the Sahara. As he stands alone with his horse, he finds himself in what I have elsewhere described as the "horizontal labyrinth" (de B'beri 2000), which is not similar to the squared gardens of London or Paris, but which provide the paradoxical anxiety, a den of iniquity in which one's struggle and research stand for an indefinite desti(nation)--but rather a destiny; precisely because this den of iniquity is at the center of a nationness, a borderless. In the following sequences, a group of nomads, the masters of the Sahara, would save Wend Kuuni's life. It is useful to mention that the African Saharan nomads are citizenless; they belong to the nature, the Sahara and not to one country.

African Cinema as an ideological-building site of anew transnational identity

In his audiovisual lecture, Representation and the Media (1997), Stuart Hall argues that the practices of representation are not limited to showing what an "already-meaningful-object" stands in for, especially because nothing meaningful exists outside of discourse. Consequently, to represent what the Burkina Faso's society stood in for in the film Wend Kuuni and then Buud Yam does not mean that the meaning of the represented society--even the identity of Wend Kuuni--is fixed, essentially; because the practices of representation are also the practices of "giving meaning" to the depicted event (Hall, 1997). To represent is thus not simply to expose a meaningful event, but to construct--articulate--that meaning. In the same way, Wend Kuuni's journey in search for a traditional healer is not solely limited to the motive of healing his sister, but also to a quest for his self-determination as well as the one of his greater community. In addition, this identity cannot be fixed, by virtue of the fact that no event represented has one essential, fixed, or true meaning against which no distortion would be found (Hall, 1997). Equally, the meaning Wend Kuuni makes of his identity in the film Buud Yam depends upon how the narrative constructs and represents the story-taking place in both films, Wend Kuuni and Buud Yam. The last sequence of the film Buud Yam supports this argument. Decidedly, Wend Kuuni says that he will continue to search for his identity, a clin d'oeil Gaston Kabore uses to announce the non-fixity of this quest, a destiny. Even the traditional healer, a man of power and knowledge who is able to heal and save lives of villagers, does not know his own destiny. He declares that he does not know where his next stop will be.

The representation of blackness as a transnational expression of African identities has been articulated in many African films. Nonetheless, those representations of African identities have remained paradoxical. On the one hand, African films have continually been used to construct and instill a sense of nationalism, citizenry, and tribal community. Paradoxically, on the other hand, African films also articulate a sense of identity that is located above fixed national and tribal constructs. In both cases, African films use the power of image to disseminate specific ideologies, representing what I have been calling "the conjunctural practices of Africanicity" (de B'beri 2000, 2001).

The notion of Africanicity is neither a synonym of Africanity nor an accomplished African identity that some have called blackness or Africaness. Rather, Africanicity is a "signifying practice" by virtue of its bricolage characteristic which does not necessarily fit into the fixed definitions of either geopolitical or geocultural identities. Africanicity, in this sense, presents an emerging articulation of identity, a conjunctural process for investigation, which is not a linear historicism; it is actually non-linear in time, and its cultural and spatial boundaries are equally constructible. Effectively, that is why I use the term Africani(city), city as an ongoing process, an ideological articulation and disarticulation; or production, reproduction; and transformation, formed by the intersection of the historical footprint (common past) and contemporary textual affiliation with the art of cinema. Indeed, such narrations of the nation and cultural identity are posed "in the disjunctive time of the nation's modernity--as a knowledge caught between political rationality and its impasse, between the shreds and patches of cultural signification and the certainties of a nationalist pedagogy [...]" (Bhabha 1994: 204).

The film Buud Yam illustrates this articulation of a representation reflecting the transnational experience of African identities through the boundaries of nationalist--tribal--pedagogy. In Buud Yam, those believing to have the native identity and those found on the street (usually characterized to be bastards) are perpetually negotiating between the olden day representations of their traditional identity and the quest for self-determination that would help all of them construct new locations of meaning in the present days. By entangling the past and present experiences into the same narrative and temporality, it is indeed with this specific kind of representation that the film Buud Yam exposes the process of intermediality.

The entire narrative of Buud Yam becomes an intermedial site through which social struggles, distinct social identities, and historical constituent elements such as class and gender relations are articulated, not merely to create a social harmony, but especially to make their different attributes an object of investigation. The notion of intermediality is thus not only a site of "technological convergence" (Gaudreault and Jost 2000), or a "hybridized becoming movement" of artistic creation (Mariniello 2000). Here, intermediality is the "in-betweeness" of fundamental social practices and struggles, the location of disjunctive, ideological cultural meanings emerging through the medium of audio and visual technologies to become conjunctural objects of inquiry (de B'beri 2005). Such an intermedial site of exposition in African cinema makes visible the process through which the narrative does coherently mark on the bodies of its characters, the signs of power and different emerging ideological practices that produce the meaning (de Certeau 1990). As an example, beside the traditional African gender relation, that traditionally gives the power of defining every identity to men, the ways in which the plot of Buud Yam constructs meaning places the body of the African women at the center of this (re)representation of African identity.

Indeed, in the narrative of Buud Yam, every female character plays an intermedial role (e.g. being at the center of everything going on in the narrative). For example, although Wend Kuuni is directly the savior of Pughneere's life, Pughneere is also Wend Kuuni's consciousness. She is always, virtually, behind his back to protect him against his potential enemies, and to allow him to overcome everyday life temptation. Her dreams speak, lively or actually, to Wend Kuuni when he faces the female "jinn-of-water", who hypnotically invites Wend Kuuni to join her. With such an articulation, the narrative of Buud Yam represents the completeness of male/female gender relation, by subverting the traditional role of women as solely depending on men. Here, the survival of Wend Kuuni depends on the security provided by his sister. This level of discourse illustrates Gaston Kabore's inductive ideology, contesting certain fixed social perceptions of his society. Here, Kabore admits the possibility of a testable hypothesis, which cannot be fixed with one single ideology, but rather which can be constructed with multiple possible interpretants. Through this narrative, Gaston Kabore shows that the African traditional gender relation that underestimates the subjectivity of women is to be inverted to include a crystallized view. Such a disarticulation and re-articulation of traditional meanings and practices exemplifies the Deleuzian framework of "crystallization".

Gilles Deleuze (1996) analyzed the notion of crystallization between actuality (everyday life practice) and virtuality (historical experience) as an "individuation" of distinctive practices, or multiplicity. In Deleuze's terms, "multiplicity" of sites is intimately connected--or getting close to each other to the level of immanence--in creating the coalescence between their distinctive categories, actuality and virtuality. However, this relationship constitutes an oscillating trajectory containing, at the same time, specific "virtual" and "actual" units, which become the "crystal". Deleuze illustrates the formation of this crystal through the metaphor of marriage, thus subverting these categories and their intrinsic potential identity. In other words, the "destiny" of the actual is to become virtual, at the same time as the virtual becomes actual. It is, according to Deleuze, "a double capture", not unlike the sexual relationship between a bee and an orchid. Both coexist at the same time. It is not something that will be inside something else--hybridity--where an exchange absolutely takes place; it is simply something (in)between and out of the in-between, at the same time (Deleuze 1996: 8-10). (3)

With a film such as Buud Yam, the narratives in some African films do not only provide the Africans with the opportunity to escape temporarily the harshness of traditional ideologies, i.e., social turbulence or family discord. With some escapist dramas that owe no apologies to its critics, African cinema represents--brings forth--socio-critical and cultural issues, in a way that is not set to be resolved definitively, but rather to be questioned. Similarly, the narratives in African films use the stories of marriage, love, and family to reinforce African cultural heritage through their depiction of various rituals, ranging from perpetual quest for freedom to religious traditions of healing mysterious diseases, including those that infect cultural identity such as the gossips. These narratives and stories provide a backdrop of a diacritical quest for social justice and knowledge, even in films that do not involve overtly religious or social class themes.

If I may conclude!

This analysis of the film Buud Yam leads us to illustrate the ways in which African cinemas act not only as a preserving tool of African cultures, but also as a conjunctural site through which African traditions are being constantly questioned with the struggles and challenges of twenty-first century. Furthermore, the ideological practice in the narrative of Buud Yam shows an affective construction of Africanicity. This ideological construction carried out by the body of contemporary Africans has allowed us to open up the more complex conjunctural articulation of its semeiotic, which is marked with specific historical constituent elements, i.e., gender relations, colonialism, traditional politics of representation, and, of course, identity. As a notion of cultural analysis, articulation combined with semeiotic helps to connect differentiated practices and experiences to specific expressions of struggle, or to the space of the construction of anew-collective as well as subjective practice. I have termed this practice of representation to be an expression of Africanicity, a movement of becoming or a process of questioning, rather than a fixed, ontological definition of Africanity. Both frameworks have allowed us to illustrate the conjunctural possibilities of emerging formations of meaning, not limited to a single geopolitical or cultural location (e.g., Burkina Faso), but that could be framed as a trans-localized signifying practice, which uses the medium of cinema to become an object of inquiry. In addition, the notion of articulation has allowed us to show, methodologically, the ways in which the symbolic power of cinema works to narrate African practices of Africanicity. The ideological process of this narration disarticulates and articulates conjunctural meaning, transfers, as well as constructs all the processes, thereby, "producing a different meaning: breaking the chain in which it is currently fixed" (Hall 1990: 9). I have called this process of articulation (interconnection of time and struggle) and transference a practice of intermediality.

African cinemas, thus, use the modality of multiple temporalities, to intersect the relationship between the virtual and the actual, and to make visible historical constituent elements as part of the discursive regularities of African everyday life. Such an articulation permits us not only to navigate, perceptually, through time (past, present, and the future), but more importantly, it produces "linkages" revealing the rhythmic punctuation and struggle of African people through the participation of agencies freed by the flow of mnemonic information and telling in-temporal experiences. This articulation of knowledge production through in-temporal practices of expression represents what this paper has presented as being an intermedial locality of cultural meaning.

Works cited

Barthes, Roland. 1973. Mythologies. London: Paladin.

Bhabha, Homi K. 1990. DissemiNation: Time, Narrative and the Margins of the Modern Nation. In

Homi K. Bhabha (ed.). Nation and Narration. London/New York: Routledge.

--. 1994. The Location of Culture. London/New York: Routledge. de B'beri Boulou Ebanda 2000. (dir.). Ecritures dans les cinemas d'Afrique noire. Cinemas, 11 (1): 1-30.

--. 2001. Africanite: Au-dela du discours academique, une realite. In Olivier Barlet (ed.). La revue d'Africultures (Dossier special) no. 41: 80-81.

--. 2005. Intermedial Location of Meaning in Muna Moto: A Metalanguage of Cultural Discourse. In A. Tcheuyap (ed.). Cinema and Social Discourses in Cameroon. Bayreuth (Germany): African Studies Series 69: 63-82.

--. 2006. Mapping Alternative Expressions of Blackness in Cinema: A Horizontal Labyrinth of Transgeographical Practices of Identity. Bayreuth (Germany): African Studies Series 80.

de Certeau, Michel. 1990. L'invention du quotidien, Vol. 1. Art de faire. Paris: Gallimard.

Deleuze, Gilles & Parnet, Claire. 1996. Dialogues. Paris: Champs/Flamarion.

Derrida, Jacques. 1976. Of Grammatology. Transl. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hall, Stuart. 1990. The Whites of their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media. In M. Alvarado & J. O. Thompson (eds.). The Media Reader. London: BFI, 7-23.

--. 1997. Representation and the Media (Audiovisual). Massachusetts: Media Education Foundation.

Harcourt, Peter. 1977. Towards a National Cinema: Movies and Mythologies. Toronto: CBC Publications, Hunter Rose Company.

Hartshorne, C, Weiss, P. & Burks, A. (eds.) 1931-1958. Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. 8 vols. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Houser, Nathan & Kloesel, Christian. 1992. (eds.). The Essential Peirce, 2 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Mariniello, Silvestra. 2000. Presentation. Intermedialite et cinema. Cinemas 10 (2-3): 7-11.

Nicholson, Heather N. 2003. Screening Culture: Constructing Image and Identity. New York: Lexington Books.

Peirce Edition Project 1982. Writings of Charles S. Peirce: a Chronological Edition. Vol I. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

--. 1984. Writings of Charles S. Peirce: a Chronological Edition. Vol II. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

--. 1986. Writings of Charles S. Peirce: a Chronological Edition. Vol III. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

--. 1989. Writings of Charles S. Peirce: a Chronological Edition. Vol IV. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

--. 1993. Writings of Charles S. Peirce: a Chronological Edition. Vol V. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Notes

(1.) For an extensive study of Peirce's work, see Hartshorne, Weiss & Burks; Houser & Kloesel: The Peirce Edition Project (1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1993).

(2.) It is useful to point that the structural economy of most Western films, Disney films particularly, represents women as being dependant of men. Women in Disney films are not free and their ultimate goals are to marry a prince who will free them. To name a few examples, Cinderella is imprisoned by her evil stepmother. She is a slave, yet when a prince asks to marry her, she is freed. Sleeping Beauty is under a sleeping spell, until her prince kisses her and wakes her up. The Little Mermaid is trapped under water, and is not free until Prince Eric wants to marry her, and her father sets her free. Princess Jasmine in Aladdin is a prisoner in her palace, until the law is changed and she can marry Aladdin.

(3.) I made an extensive analysis of these Deleuzian frameworks in de B'beri (2006).

Boulou Ebanda de B'beri is a Professor of Film, Communication, and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of Mapping Alternative Practice of Blackness in Cinema (2006). E-mail: b.debberi@uottawa.ca
COPYRIGHT 2007 Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:de B'beri, Boulou Ebanda
Publication:Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:5621
Previous Article:Literature and translation in Burkina Faso: the case of Fidele P. Rouamba's novel Le Carnaval de la mort.
Next Article:The visual arts at the biennial Burkinabe National Cultural Week.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters