Drumbeat: Conversations around African Cinema tend to center on problems and can be paternalistic in their approach. “Normalizing” (a term used ambivalently) discussion that occurs with the same kind of rabid cineastic appreciation that underpins North American, European, and Asian cinema especially, is essential. Additionally, framing conversations about African films and filmmakers in relation to other African films and filmmakers is necessary.
“It is good for the future of cinema that Africa exists.” Djibril Diop Mambety
While the future that one of Africa’s greatest auteurs envisioned 25 years ago — one that is dynamic, introspective, and self-sustaining — remains elusive, it’s attainable. With a multilayered approach, Akoroko.com exists in anticipation of that future.
It’s a challenge embraced by founder TAMBAY A. OBENSON— architect of the similarly forward-looking Black cinema-focused outlet and global community, Shadow And Act LLC (shadowandact.com). Under Obenson’s tenure, Shadow and Act quickly emerged as one of very few English-language press that insisted on a steady dose of African film coverage in all its forms.
“In African cultures, there are no defined places for artists, art is everywhere in life.” Rosine Mbakam
Akoroko employs a multipronged curatorial approach to African cinema based on the notion that the prospect of a new film language that reinvigorates cinema as an art form, lies in Africa. It will not be easily communicated. We’re products of blended cultural influences. But the search needn’t be futile. A creative environment in which genuine attempts are encouraged can produce interesting results. And any evolution of African film and African cinematic language will take a village.
Akoroko.com strives to be the village’s foundation, weaving word, image, and sound into a tapestry informed by an intricate African history. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Join the movement!