5.0 Identity and the Representation of Bodies
If you wish to know who I am, if you wish me to teach youwhat I know, cease for the while to be what you are andforget what you know.1
This chapter interrogates reiterative performed acts of constituting characters as subjects within the language and ideologies in the German and African locations using the films selected as a microcosm. I look at the ways in which, in defining their own sense of identity, individuals tend also to fix the identity of others working within long established binary modes of thinking. I also interrogate the presences and/or absences of the colonial tropes and imperial imagination that are restaged from the historical negative representations of Africans as has been discussed in chapter four of this book. Lastly, I look at some of the counterdiscourses in the representation of bodies that are inherent in the films.
In chapter two of this book, I have noted that within the German films on Africa there is a recurrent structural aspect of flight which spurs the German to leave Europe. Within the postmillennial corpus of German films, German filmmakers give different German characters different conditions that compel their urge to fly off to African spaces. Some are restless and suffering from fernweh like Margareta von Trappe in Momella and Hans Merensky in Der weisse Afrikaner, others are in search of wealth like Albrecht Sterenberg in Der weisse Afrikaner, Katharina Coburn in Kein Himmel über Afrika and Carl Houwer in Eine Liebe in...
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