Ecocinema in Senegalese documentary film

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In this article, I argue that the Senegalese cinema of the last two decades has embodied many aspects of today’s much-discussed ecocinema. It is particularly in documentary film that the ecological conundrum that Africa faces is revealed in the most subtle and compelling way. How does Global consumer culture affect the lives of African local artists and craftsmen in African cities? Samba Felix Ndiaye’s films Trésors des poubelles/The Treasures from the Trash (1989), and Ngor, l’esprit des lieux/Ngor, the Spirit of the Place (1994), provide an ecological focus on fast changing Dakar. These films address the social and economic effects of global consumerism from a unique perspective anchored in trash and its second life, as well as the spiritual resistance of small communities towards globalization. Ndiaye’s documentaries focus closely on the different economic and social processes of resistance to the spectral disappearance of the local culture.

Keywords: Ndiaye; Ngor; Senegalese; arlit; ecocinema; ecological; trésors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The College of New Jersey

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film. 
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