Gathering a nation

The Cinema.

“The cinema’s institutional ritual of gathering a community – spectators who share a region, language, culture – homologizes, in a sense, the symbolic gathering of a nation. ” – The Imperial Imaginary (p.119)

I agree with the statement, except for the subtle fact that cinema-goers in many communities may share a region, but not a language or culture. Apart from that subtle fact,  I think the point stands. We go to the cinema as individuals (or groups of individuals who are friends). We may not have much in common with the people sitting next to us, apart from the fact that we share the same zip code. However, we watch a movie like Amistad, and we all leave the cinema with the same feelings: “Transatlantic slave trade was an atrocity.”

A more personal example: after watching The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (a poignant, provoking yet simple film about the Holocaust–WATCH IT IF YOU CAN!!!) last semester, I can remember the lights in the cinema coming on while the credits were rolling. Continue reading

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Africa and the Media

Mall in South Africa

Mall in South Africa

The first few chapters of Mistaking Africa that we have read this week have resonated strongly with me as an African who has been exposed to western media representation of Africa since I was a kid. When I’m back home in Nigeria, I am constantly bombarded with news from all over the world, whether on local news channels, or on satellite TV, and now, Being a Nigerian a long way from home, I constantly try to keep up with news and popular culture from back home. In retrospect, Continue reading