From orality to visuality: the question of aesthetics in African cinema | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1754-9221
  • E-ISSN: 1754-923X


In my essay, I argue against the schism between tradition and modernity in African film criticism that has produced a discourse of the indigenization of the medium based on the economy of African oral traditions and performances. In turn, this discourse of orality has preserved dichotomies that need to be contested in order to address current expressions in African film. My attempt is to shift the theoretical paradigm towards a deconstructive postcolonial project to assess, rework and negotiate the oppositional positions and confrontational practices that have highlighted most critical approaches. My analysis also draws attention to Third Cinema and cinematic semiotics, for the questions of spatiality and temporality are pivotal in the multidimensional and dynamic relationship between the film-maker and the viewer.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): deconstruction; orality; postcoloniality; semiotics; Third Cinema; Third Space
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