Imaging Africa: Gorillas, Actors And Characters

Africa is defined in the popular imagination by images of wild animals, savage dancing, witchcraft, the Noble Savage, and the Great White Hunter. These images typify the majority of Western and even some South African film fare on Africa.
Although there was much negative representation in these films I will discuss how films set in Africa provided opportunities for black American actors to redefine the way that Africans are imaged in international cinema. I conclude this essay with a discussion of the process of revitalisation of South African cinema after apartheid.

The study of post-apartheid cinema requires a revisionist history that brings us back to pre-apartheid periods, as argued by Isabel Balseiro and Ntongela Masilela (2003) in their book’s title, To Change Reels. The reel that needs changing is the one that most of us were using until Masilela’s New African Movement interventions (2000a/b;2003). This historical recovery has nothing to do with Afrocentricism, essentialism or African nationalisms. Rather, it involved the identification of neglected areas of analysis of how blacks themselves engaged, used and subverted film culture as South Africa lurched towards modernity at the turn of the century. Names already familiar to scholars in early South African history not surprisingly recur in this recovery, Solomon T. Plaatje being the most notable.

It is incorrect that ‘modernity denies history, as the contrast with the past – a constantly changing entity – remains a necessary point of reference’ (Outhwaite 2003: 404). Similarly, Masilela’s (2002b: 232) notion that ‘consciousness of precedent has become very nearly the condition and definition of major artistic works’ calls for a reflection on past intellectual movements in South Africa for a democratic modernity after apartheid. He draws on Thelma Gutsche’s (1972) assumption that film practice is one of the quintessential forms of modernity. However, there could be no such thing as a South African cinema under the modernist conditions of apartheid. This is where modernity’s constant pull towards the future comes into play (Outhwaite 2003). Simultaneous with the necessary break from white domination in film production, or a pull towards the future away from the conditions of apartheid, South Africans will need to re-acquire the ‘consciousness of precedent’, of the intellectual and cultural heritage of the New African Movement, such as is done in Come See the Bioscope (1997) which images Plaatjes’s mobile distribution initiative in the teens of the century. The Movement’s intellectual and cultural accomplishments in establishing a national culture in the context of modernity is a necessary point of reference for the African Renaissance to establish a national cinema in the context of the New South Africa (Masilela 2000b). Following Masilela (ibid.: 235), debates and practices that are of relevance within the New African Movement include:
1. the different structures of portrayal of Shaka in history by Thomas Mofolo and Mazisi Kunene across generic forms and in the context of nationalism and modernity;
2. the discussion and dialogue between Solomon T. Plaatje, H.I.E. Dhlomo, R.V. Selope Thema, H. Selby Msimang and Lewis Nkosi about the construction of the idea of the New African, concerning national identity and cultural identity;
3. the lessons facilitated by Charlotte Manye Maxeke and James Kwegyir Aggrey in making possible the connection between the New Negro modernity and New African modernity;
4. the discourse on the relationship between Marxism and modernity within the context of the Trotskyism of Ben Kies and I.B. Tabata and the Stalinism of Michael Harmel, Albert Nzula and Yusuf Mohammed Dadoo; and
5. the feminist political practices of Helen Joseph, Lilian Ngoyi, Phyllis Ntanatala and others.
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Journal Of Anthropological Films

Film cameras, video and sound recorders have for decades been used by anthropologists as research tools, for collecting data, for documentation, for advocacy, for representing a case or a group of people, for disseminating empirical insights and for communicating research findings. For the first time in the history of Visual Anthropology anthropological film can now be published on par with written articles, assessed by peers, and inscribed in international credential systems of academic publication as the Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) has launched this first edition of Journal of Anthropological Films (JAF)

Go to: http://boap.uib.no/index.php/jaf/index

Editorial

The Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) has launched the Journal of Anthropological Films (JAF)

Film cameras, video and sound recorders have for decades been used by anthropologists as research tools, for collecting data, for documentation, for advocacy, for representing a case or a group of people, for disseminating empirical insights and for communicating research findings. For the first time in the history of Visual Anthropology anthropological film can now be published on par with written articles, assessed by peers, and inscribed in international credential systems of academic publication as the Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) has launched this first edition of Journal of Anthropological Films (JAF) published by Bergen Open Access Publishing (BOAP).

JAF publishes films that combine documentation with a narrative and aesthetic convention of cinema to communicate an anthropological understanding of a given cultural and social reality. JAF publishes films that stand alone as a complete scientific publication based on research that explore the relationship between “contemporary anthropological understandings of the world, visual and sensory perception, art and aesthetics, and the ways in which aural and visual media may be used to develop and represent those understandings” to borrow words from Paul Henley (in Flores, American Anthropologist, Vol 111, No.1, 2009:95). While most films will stand for themselves, only accompanied by an abstract, supplementary text will be accepted when it adds productively to the anthropological analysis and in case the peer-reviewers will ask for it. Read more

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Health Communication In Southern Africa: Engaging With Social And Cultural Diversity

Contents

Introduction: Health Communication In Southern Africa; Engaging With Social And Cultural Diversity – Luuk Lagerwerf, , Henk Boer & Herman Wasserman (Eds.)

Part I: Individual And Social Network Factors
– 1. Condom Use In Tanzania And Zambia: A Study On The Predictive Power Of The Theory Of Planned Behaviour On Condom Use – Merel Groenenboom, Julia van Weert, & Bas van der Putte
– 2. Using Social Network Information To Design Effective Health Campaigns To Address HIV In Namibia – Rachel A. Smith
– 3. Social Capital And Communication On HIV Prevention With Young Adolescents In Kayamandi Township, South Africa – Henk Boer & Tessa A. Custers

Part II: Social Representations and Entertainment Education
– 4. The Portrayao Of HIV/AIDS In Lesotho Print Media: Fragmented Narratives And Untold Stories – Cecilia Strand
– 5. Social Representations Of HIV/AIDS In South Africa and Zambia: Lessons For Health Communication – John-Eudes Lengwe Kunda & Keyan G. Tomaselli
– 6. Edutainment Television Programmes: Tackling HIV/AIDS On The South African Broadcasting Corporation – Viola C. Milton
– 7. Edutainment Radio Programmes: The Importance Of Culturally Relevant Stories – Mia Malan

Part III: Patient Information
– 8. Using Pictograms In A Patient Information Leaflet To Communicate Antiretroviral Medicines Information To HIV/AIDS Patients In South Africa – Ros Dowse.
– 9. Understanding Motion In Static Pictures: How Do Low- Educated South Africans Evaluate Arrows In Health-Related Pictures? – Hanneke Hoogwegt, Alfons A. Maes & Carel H. van Wijk.
– 10. ‘Come, Let Me Show You’: The Use Of Props To Facilitate Communication Of Antiretroviral Dosage Instructions In Multilingual Pharmacy Interactions – Jennifer Watermeyer & Claire Penn.
– 11. Understanding South African Patient Information Leaflets: Readability And Cultural Competence – Daleen Krige & Johann C. De Wet.

Part IV: Supporting People: Practical Approaches To HIV/AIDS Communication
Individual and Social Network Factors
– 12. An Aids Awareness Programme In A Rural Area Of South Africa To Promote Participation In Voluntary Counselling And Testing – Hugo Tempelman & Adri Vermeer.

Patient Information
– 13. The Employment Of HIV Positive Young People For Health Promotion In Higher Education: A Case Studiy Of The Dramaide Health Promoters Project, South Africa – Emma Durden.
– 14. Cell Phones For Health In South Africa – Tanja E. Bosch. Read more

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Health Communication In Southern Africa: Engaging With Social And Cultural Diversity ~ Introduction

Introduction
A focus on Southern Africa as an area where more and better HIV/AIDS communication is needed cannot be better underlined than by recent figures on adults living with HIV (15-49 years): In Sub-Saharan Africa the figure stands at 11%, whereas the global percentage is 3.25% (UNAIDS, 2008). The rise in these figures over recent years can partly be accounted for by the introduction of antiretroviral therapy, which means that statistically people living with HIV have a higher life expectancy.

Still, 67% of the global HIV prevalence in 2007 was accounted for by Sub-Saharan Africa, as was 72% of the global AIDS deaths (UNAIDS, 2008). The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa affects women more than men (60% of people living with HIV were female in Southern Africa in 2007; UNAIDS, 2008), especially regarding HIV prevalence among youth. It is within this context that this book wants to consider the role that health communication may play in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Positive outcomes of health communication
How can health communication benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS? This positive influence may apply at different levels. Communication is an important part of prevention campaigns like in the case of the ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms) motto, which could contribute to a decline in HIV infections. Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa typically affects women more adversely than men, gender relations form an important contextual dimension of health communication. Prevention messages have to be reinforced by the empowerment of women, enabling them to change their vulnerable position in sexual relations and negotiations.

Prevention and treatment go hand in hand and both aspects should be addressed in health communication. Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is a desirable outcome for several reasons. If people are infected they can get treatment and guidance. The spreading of infections may be controlled by more knowledgeable and responsible behaviour by HIV-infected people. Being more open about VCT might also change the perceptions of people living with HIV. Health communication can take the form of campaigns for better drug regimens and adequate state support. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) need to take antiretroviral medicine to avoid AIDS, and their Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) compliance might be improved by good instruction and motivation. New media technologies have created opportunities to develop support networks for social movements and non-governmental organisations working to ensure better access to anti-retroviral medicines for PLWA.

The best-known example of such a network in Southern Africa is the one built around the group Treatment Action Campaign (Berger, 2006; Wasserman, 2005). The portrayal of PLWA may be changed in a more positive direction. Mass media and government policies need to be analyzed critically to detect and change negative or undesirable social representations of HIV/AIDS, or of individuals or groups associated with the disease. Health communication may serve to counter stereotyping, vilification or marginalisation of PLWA in sections of society who are seen as undeserving of state support, e.g. prisoners, migrants, asylum seekers, or sex workers (Berger, 2006). Read more

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Health Communication In Southern Africa: Social Representations Of HIV/AIDS In South Africa And Zambia: Lessons For Health Communication

Abstract
For people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS various linguistic representations have arisen, which create discourses as coping mechanisms and as systems of significations in order to make sense of HIV/AIDS. The AIDS epidemic has invited scientific efforts to revisit language and its role in the construction, positioning and repositioning of identities within cultural systems. This chapter highlights the relationships between language, culture and human experience. In studying the linguistic constructions of meaning vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS, this chapter heightens our understanding of the role of language and meanings in the creation of stigma. The chapter shows that language use with regard to HIV/AIDS is not neutral but has an ideological function. It plays on existing ideological conceptions as well as brings novel discourses into the sphere of interpersonal interaction. The acknowledgement of the power of language is critical for health communication, especially in multi-lingual ethnic groupings, who share similar linguistic forms. People engage with HIV/AIDS in their daily experiences by using familiar symbols, images, words and proverbs. It is argued in this chapter that this discourse of representation hinders the progress of public health interventions, especially with regard to HIV prevention and treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Public health communication and health promotion cannot merely rely on ‘normative’ linguistic labels to persuade, inform or negotiate health ideals, using the taken-for-granted myths/assumptions about the nature of HIV/AIDS and its effects. Listening to, and adapting the audience’s appropriation of language, especially in contemporary times of HIV/AIDS, is important for audience-tailored messaging in order to achieve effective and meaningful negotiation with individuals and communities, so that collective efficacy is strengthened.

Introduction
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has covered the world in a cloud of despair. The Panos Institute expresses it thus: “so much energy for so little hope” (Scalway, 2002). By the year 2001, 36 million people were living with HIV worldwide (Piot, Bartos, Ghys, Walker & Schwartlander, 2001), while sub-Saharan Africa shared the largest burden of the disease (DFID, 2003; Piot et al., 2001; The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004). By 2004, sub-Saharan Africa was home to 66 (25 million) of people living with HIV/AIDS (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004). In 1999, this figure was representative of the entire population of Africa, 23.5 million out of an adult population of 268.9 million (Kelly, 2002). Contrary to the optimism of the Kelly-led report, the battle is far from being won (Kelly, 2002). Latest updates from UNAIDS give little hope of abating the epidemic, though stability is being recorded in some areas:

The global epidemic continues to grow and there is concerning evidence that some countries are seeing a resurgence in new HIV infection rates which were previously stable or declining. However, declines in infection rates are also being observed in some countries, as well as positive trends in young people’s sexual behaviours (UNAIDS, 2006). Read more

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Health Communication In Southern Africa ~ Edutainment Television Programmes: Tackling HIV/AIDS On The South African Broadcasting Corporation

Abstract
The last couple of decades have seen an increase in the use of edutainment to intervene in the socio-political problems faced by people in the developing world. Drama, soap operas and even children’s programmes are used to educate citizens about issues ranging from sanitation to safe sex. In South Africa today, edutainment is especially utilised to intervene in the country’s ongoing battle with HIV/AIDS. While many studies laud the success of these programmes, this article argues that the programmes are not without flaws. Though great strides have been made in terms of de-stigmatizing the disease in certain communities by encouraging open discussion and in some cases even nationwide policy changes, the often racialised, gendered and classist portrayal of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS remains problematic. To some extent, much of these portrayals are a manifestation of the increasing ressure on South Africa’s public service broadcaster (SABC 1 & 2) to commercialise. This article explores the representation of HIV/AIDS on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (the SABC) in the context of the SABC’s increasing dependence upon advertising revenue.

Introduction
This chapter evaluates the role of the SABC in South Africa’s fight against HIV/AIDS through an ideological analysis of television texts and qualitative interviews. It asks what happens to HIV/AIDS when it is mediated through a public service broadcaster in a highly politicised country. In this respect, the chapter explores the extent to which the SABC functions as an empowering public sphere, with regard to HIV/AIDS intervention in South Africa. Can the SABC play an advocacy role in the fight against HIV/AIDS that would be true to its public service mandate without marginalizing certain groups or stigmatizing others? The chapter argues that the SABC’s role in the fight against HIV/AIDS is strained by the difficulty to develop focused messages for specific groups as the country’s history of segregation makes it difficult to distinguish and define risk groups and other addressees in ways that would avoid old apartheid divisions of issues, groups and people. This chapter therefore concentrates on the SABC’s constitution of audiences for development communication and the implications thereof for edutainment. Read more

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