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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Lecture 1 - Abderrahmane Sissako

November 12, 2020

Register here.

One of the foremost thinkers on Global South cinema as well as one of its leading practitioners, Abderrahmane Sissako’s films are unsparing, visually innovative indictments of the global forces that shape African lives. Sissako is a Mauritanian-born Malian film director and producer whose themes include globalization, exile and the displacement of people. His films have received global recognition: Waiting for Happiness (Heremakano) screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival official selection under Un Certain Regard, winning the FIPRESCI Prize. His next film, Bamako (2006), received the first Film Award of the Council of Europe. In 2014 Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the  Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Sissako joins scholars of film and African Studies for a conversation on world cinema, post-colonialism, thinking ‘Africa’ beyond the confines of the continent, and in particular his 2014 film Timbuktu. Conversation will be in French and English.

Timbuktu is available to stream via Kanopy with your UW library account  or through the Seattle Public Library.

Panelists:

Catherine M. Cole is Divisional Dean of the Arts and Professor of English and Dance at the University of Washington. Her books include Performance and the Afterlives of Injustice (U. of Michigan P., 2020), Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (Indiana U.P., 2010) and Ghana's Concert Party Theatre (Indiana U.P., 2001). She has received fellowships and grants from the National Humanities Center, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Freie Universität Berlin, NEH, Fund for U.S. Artists, American Association of University Women, and the ELA Foundation.

Danny Hoffman is the Bartley-Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence in the Jackson School of International Studies and Chair of the UW African Studies Program.  An anthropologist by training, Danny’s research focuses on youth and violent conflict in the West African nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

berette s macaulay is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and writer from Jamaica and Sierra Leone, and MA Cultural Studies graduate from UW Bothell. Her practices and research interrogate conditions of cultural be/longing, identity-performance (class, language, race), illegibility, love, memory, and mythmaking.  Her work has been published, exhibited, and collected nationally and internationally. Recent curatorial work was MFON in Seattle (2019/20), a project she organized with MFON Women, Frye Art Museum, Jacob Lawrence Gallery (UW), and Photographic Center NW.  Awards include a Research Cluster Grant from the Simpson Center as founder of Black Cinema Collective (BCC); a 4Culture Artist Grant; the Ottenberg-Winans Fellowship for African Studies (UW Seattle); and the 2020 Champion of Seattle Arts (COSA) Award. www.berettemacaulay.com

Sudhir Mahadevan is the author of A Very Old Machine: The Many Origins of the Cinema in India (SUNY Press, 2015; Permanent Black India, 2018). He has published in scholarly journals such as Framework, Screen (U.K), and TransAsia Photography. His most recent forthcoming publications focus on photography in 1930s India, and 1970s queer Indian cinema. His teaches frequently on the cinemas of the global South, including films from West Africa. 

Jazmyn Scott is the Program Manager of LANGSTON; Seattle’s hub for Black arts and culture, co-founder of 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide, a digital “time capsule” highlighting Seattle and Northwest Hip-Hop, and co-curator of The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at the Museum of History & Industry; which won the 2016 American Association for State & Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History award.

Richard Watts is associate professor in the Department of French & Italian Studies, affiliate faculty in Comparative History of Ideas, director of Canadian Studies, and co-director of the Translation Studies Hub at the University of Washington Seattle. He is the author Packaging Post/Coloniality: The Manufacture of Literary Identity in the Francophone World (Lexington Books, 2005). His current project examines how the pollution, privatization, and manufactured scarcity of water are rapidly altering its symbolic value in literature, cinema and other forms of cultural production.