Friday, January 11, 2013

Video: Afro Diasporic French Identities

Via Mahogany
The documentary "Afro Diasporic French Identities" of Afro French writer and professor Nathalie Etoke is the result of a research project she began in 2010 in which she studied the relationship between race and citizenship in the specifically French sociopolitical context. She interviewed writers, artists, professors and community organisers who investigate the issue of race and identity in France.

Synopsis: In the French sociopolitical context, the stigmatization of « the other » through the narrow lens of color contributes to a crisis of citizenship and memory. Despite his French citizenship, the individual whose racial features wrongly connect him to far-off lands, is described by the following adjectives: foreigner, immigrant, Arab, black.

Afro Diasporic French Identities responds to the lack of interest in the complexities of black life in France. This documentary shows the challenges of Black French identity and citizenship from a creative and analytical perspective. How do the historical and current tensions inherited from the founding violence coexist with the promise of liberty, equality and fraternity guaranteed by the French Republic? How do musicians, artists, thinkers and writers envision the relation between the racializing of identity and French citizenship? How do they address the legacy of slavery and colonization in constructing their identity as individuals and French citizens? Do discrimination and racism contribute to mold a conflicted citizenship embedded in the legacy of slavery and colonialism? How does this legacy affect experiences of identity formation ? Through interviews of major scholars, activists and artists, Afro Diasporic French Identities sheds a transgressive subversive light on Blacks in France.

Making History - Diasporic identities
Another interesting documentary is 'Making History', it is a debate between French writer Edoaurd Glissant and British poet Linton Kwesi Johnson on identity, politics and how slavery created our modernity. 



"These old friends meet on a summer's day in New York... while a young woman (Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts) is dwelling through the city nighttime, lost in between longing and belonging." You can watch the entire film at cultureunplugged.

Links
Book: Black France / France Noire: The History and Politics of Blackness
Video: "Noirs de France" ("Blacks of France”) - The history of Black people in France


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