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African Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies

Project description

Bringing marginalised African cinema into the spotlight

After more than half a century since its establishment, film and screen studies remains a colonised field, mostly Eurocentric in its historical, theoretical, and critical frameworks. Films and scholarship by Africans, in particular, and by people of colour, in general, are frequently marginalised, if not completely excluded. The EU-funded AFRISCREENWORLDS project aims to bring into the spotlight the most marginalised regional cinema through the study of 'screen worlds', with a focus on Africa. Drawing on diverse global contexts, the project explores the complexities of audiovisual narratives and their production and circulation in our contemporary moment, embracing scholarly as well as creative and activist methods.


A half century since it came into existence, the discipline of Film and Screen Studies remains mostly Eurocentric in its historical, theoretical and critical frameworks. Although “world cinema” and “transnational cinema” scholars have attempted to broaden its canon and frameworks, several major problems persist. Films and scholarship by Africans in particular, and by people of colour in general, are frequently marginalised if not altogether excluded. This prevents exciting exchanges that could help to re-envision Film and Screen Studies for the twenty-first century, in an era in which greater access to the technological means of making films, and circulating them on a range of screens, means that dynamic “screen worlds” are developing at a rapid rate. AFRISCREENWORLDS will study these “screen worlds” (in both their textual forms and industrial structures), with a focus on Africa, as a way of centring the most marginalised regional cinema. We will also elaborate comparative studies of global “screen worlds” – and, in particular, “screen worlds” in the Global South – exploring their similarities, differences, and parallel developments. We will respond to the exclusions of Film and Screen Studies not only in scholarly ways – through conferences and publications – but also in creative and activist ways – through drawing on cutting-edge creative research methodologies (such as audiovisual criticism and filmmaking) and through helping to decolonise Film and Screen Studies (through the production of ‘toolkits’ on how to make curricula, syllabi, and teaching more globally representative and inclusive). On a theoretical level, we will make an intervention through considering how the concept of “screen worlds” is better equipped than “world cinema” or “transnational cinema” to explore the complexities of audiovisual narratives, and their production and circulation in our contemporary moment, in diverse contexts throughout the globe.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 828 524,86
WC1H OXG London
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Camden and City of London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 828 524,86

Beneficiaries (2)