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Katarina Hedren: African Filmmakers Spend Most of Their Time Trying to Find Money (Gaze Regimes Excerpt)

Gaze RegimesRead an excerpt from Gaze Regimes: Film and Feminisms in Africa, in which editors Antje Schuhmann and Jyoti Mistry interview Katarina Hedrén about the challenges of filmmaking in Africa.

Gaze Regimes is described as a “bricolage of essays and interviews”, focusing on the experiences of women working in film on the continent.

Hedrén, who describes herself as “a Swede of Ethiopian origin based in South Africa”, is a film programmer, festival organiser, writer and translator. In the interview, she refers to some of the difficulties faced by African filmmakers, who she says “often spend more time trying to find money than focusing on aesthetics and storytelling concerns”.

She also refers to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s theory of the danger of the “single story”, which the Nigerian author – who’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun was adapted into film - explained in an excellent TED Talk a few years ago.

“That story is one that portrays Africa as a place of misery without nuance or subtlety,” Hedrén says. “Films like The Constant Gardener (2005) by Fernando Meirelles or Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning film In a Better World (2010), both made by accomplished filmmakers, illustrate this danger.

“This single story is a threat both to Africans who are reduced to tired stereotypes, and filmmakers, who become so distracted by fantasies that they lose the capacity to skilfully portray countries and human beings who happen to be African in nuanced and complex ways.”

Read the excerpt:

Women, use the gaze to change reality by Books LIVE

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