Gaze Regimes is a bricolage of essays and interviews showcasing the experiences of women working in film, either directly as practitioners or in other areas such as curators, festival programme directors or fundraisers. It does not shy away from questioning the relations of power in the practice of filmmaking and the power invested in the gaze itself. Who is looking and who is being looked at, who is telling women’s stories in Africa and what governs the mechanics of making those films on the continent?
The interviews with film practitioners such as Tsitsi Dangarembga, Taghreed Elsanhouri, Jihan El-Tahri, Anita Khanna, Isabel Noronhe, Arya Lalloo and Shannon Walsh demonstrate the contradictory points of departure of women in film – from their understanding of feminisms in relation to lived-experiences and the realpolitik of women working as cultural practitioners.
The disciplines of gender studies, postcolonial theory, and film theory provide the framework for the book’s essays. Jyoti Mistry, Antje Schuhmann, Nobunye Levin, Dorothee Wenner and Christina von Braun are some of the contributors who provide valuable context, analysis and insight into, among other things, the politics of representation, the role of film festivals and the collective and individual experiences of trauma and marginality which contribute to the layered and complex filmic responses of Africa’s film practitioners.
Foreword by Katharina von Ruckteschell, Goethe-Institut sub-Saharan Africa
Introduction: By Way of Context and Content
Jyoti Mistry and Antje Schuhmann
1 African Women in Cinema: An overview
2 ‘I am a feminist only in secret’
Interview with Taghreed Elsanhouri and Christina von Braun by Ines Kappert
3 Staged Authenticity: Femininity in photography and film
Christina von Braun
4 ‘Power is in your own hands’: Why Jihan El-Tahri does not like movements
Interview with Jihan El-Tahri by Jyoti Mistry and Antje Schuhmann
5 Aftermath – A focus on collective trauma
Interview with Djo Tunda wa Munga and Rumbi Katedza by Antje Schuhmann and Jyoti Mistry
6 Shooting Violence and Trauma: Traversing visual and social topographies in Zanele Muholi’s work
7 Puk Nini – A Filmic Instruction in Seduction: Exploring class and sexuality in gender relations
Antje Schuhmann and Jyoti Mistry
8 I am Saartjie Baartman
9 Filmmaking at the Margins of a Community: On co-producing Elelwani
10 On Collective Practice and Collected Reflections
Interview with Shannon Walsh and Arya Lalloo by Jyoti Mistry
11 ‘Cinema of resistance’
Interview with Isabel Noronha by Max Annas and Henriette Gunkel
12 Dark and Personal
13 ‘Change? This might mean to shove a few men out’
Interview with Anita Khanna by Antje Schuhmann and Jyoti Mistry
14 Barakat! means Enough!
15 ‘Women, use the gaze to change reality’
Interview with Katarina Hedrén by Antje Schuhmann and Jyoti Mistry
16 Post-colonial Film Collaboration and Festival Politics
17 Tsitsi Dangarembga: A Manifesto
Interview with Tsitsi Dangarembga by Jyoti Mistry and Antje Schuhmann
Acronyms and Abbreviations
List of Contributors
Max Annas is an author, journalist, film curator and filmmaker currently the SARChI Chair in Social Change at the University of Fort Hare in East London, South Africa.
Tsitsi Dangarembga is a writer, filmmaker, teacher and cultural activist. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe where she directs the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust.
Beti Ellerson is founder and director of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.
Taghreed Elsanhouri based in Britain, is a Sudanese-born documentary filmmaker.
Jihan El-Tahri is an author and documentary filmmaker. She lives in France.
Henriette Gunkel is a lecturer in the department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Katarina Hedrén is a freelance writer and the co-programmer of the Johannesburg-based First Wednesday Film Club.
Ines Kappert works as the editor of the opinion section in the taz, a Germany-wide newspaper.
Rumbi Katedza is a writer and filmmaker. She lives in Zimbabwe.
Anita Khanna was born in India and studied in Great Britain. She is a producer and writer as well as the director of the Tri Continental Film Festival.
Arya Lalloo is an independent filmmaker based in Johannesburg.
Nobunye Levin is a filmmaker and lecturer in the Film and Television division in the School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Jyoti Mistry is a filmmaker and associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in the School of Arts.
Isabel Noronha is a Mozambican documentary filmmaker.
Antje Schuhmann works as senior lecturer in the Political Studies department and the Centre for Diversity Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Christina von Braun is a film maker, professor emeritus of cultural theory and representative of The Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg.
Katharina von Ruckteschell is the director of the Sao Paulo Goethe- Institut and regional director for South America and former director of sub-Saharan Africa.
Djo Tunda wa Munga runs his own film production company, Suka Productions! in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker and assistant professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
Dorothee Wenner is a freelance filmmaker, writer and film festival curator based in Berlin.
"From the north to the south of the African continent, this intricately woven collection presents nuanced images of the contemporary state of women’s representation, roles and engagements in the film world." – Lindiwe Dovey, Senior Lecturer in African Film, SOAS, University of London and Honorary Associate Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal