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Identity in Postmillennial German Films on Africa


Shikuku Emmanuel Tsikhungu

This book is a literary and cultural investigation of the different levels of identity as revealed in German films on and about Africa. Taking sexual, spatial, linguistic and body identities as its core concern, the book elucidates how the contemporary German film narratives on Africa binarize bordeline cultural and geographical identities. While this binarism assigns the metropolitan status to the German, the African is relegated to the margins in the human socio-geocultural aspects. The book contradicts this kind of binary narration as it argues that trans-border identities are fraught with complexities that cannot be simply straitjacketed. It celebrates those moments where the narratives challenge the existing boundaries at the interstice between the North and the South. It further celebrates the moments where the film narratives recognize the complexity of cultures by acknowledging the disruptiveness and continuities of linguistic, cultural, sexual, spatial and body identities especially at the contact zone of Germany and Africa.
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6.0 Geo-poetics and Spatial Representation


Spatial identity is one of the concerns of postcolonial literary studies since the re-creation of space has always been a site fraught with both cultural and contextual meanings. How artists package space that their characters live in and the spaces that they either yearn for or are repulsed by; what features are included or omitted in the packaging is a key feature in discourse analysis. Spatial analysis is even more significant especially because a film narrative more than any other narrative mode plays out in the field of the visible. While in other non-visual arts, the consumer of art relies on the inner eye (of the mind) to see the spaces constructed by the artist, consumers of visual arts are afforded the advantage of exciting both the real and the inner eye. That is why filmmakers pay close attention to the articulation of the visible fields more than the articulation of the spoken. Again one of the ways in which film narration emulates prosaic narration is through the articulation of space since they both use a narrator to describe or see things that they narrate. The novelist and the filmmaker place a narrator in space as simultaneously the observer and the render of the narrative they present to the audience. How the narrator translates the space and articulates it is heavily reliant on the possibilities, chances and skills that the novelist and filmmaker afford them. Therefore spatial articulation goes back to the creator of art who uses it as a...

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