Ousmane Sembène: Writer, Filmmaker, and Revolutionary Artist


Ousmane Sembène: Writer, Filmmaker, and Revolutionary Artist



Ousmane Sembene: Writer, Filmmaker, and Revolutionary Artist explores the disillusionment and disenchantment occasioned by the reversal of expectations of post-independent African societies. Prominent as motif in the essays selected for inclusion in this collection is Sembene’s denunciation of neocolonialism and African complicity in the political and psychological colonization of its people. Using his native Senegal as socio-political microcosm of post-independent African societies and film as aesthetic medium to examine corruption, nepotism, oppression of women, and religious intolerance, Sembene focuses on education as instruments of colonial domination and agents of destruction of African cultural heritage. The essays unveil his condemnation of the western media for its misrepresentation and dehumanization of indigenous African peoples and systems and for promoting a culture of inferiority and sub-humanity that accentuates binaries inherent in western ideologies of racial superiority and civilization. By an exploration of themes relating to the allegorical; the development of the nation state and national consciousness; language and resistance; translation, adaptation, and critique; satire and irony; the reimaging of gender in traditional African practices; orality and performance; naturalism and temporality; imitation, gestures, still life; realism and otherness; these essays demonstrate Sembene’s craftsmanship in both writing and film as well as his ideological and political stance (in so far as colonialism, womanhood, the anti-colonial struggle, working class consciousness, Negritude, and neocolonialism are concerned). Indeed as Sembene contends, African art, and filmmaking in particular, must work to reverse the binaries and deconstruct the structures of hegemony, domination, and control.



Publication Date



Africa World Press, Inc.




ousmane sembene, neocolonialism, filmmaking, negritude


African History | African Studies | Film and Media Studies

Ousmane Sembène: Writer, Filmmaker, and Revolutionary Artist