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Myths and Fairy Tales in African Art

Africa in Motion 2011 Symposium / 29 October 2011

The Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival 2011 will focus on films and events that open doors to children and youth in Africa. Throughout the festival and at this one-day symposium we will look at artistic representations for, by and about children and young people in Africa. As a vital aspect of children’s lives is their education both within and outside of the family structure, we will look at how (his)stories and myths are told, changed and exchanged through time, and how they influence the form, style and structure of film in the relatively young cinema from Africa.

The forthcoming symposium, to take place 29th October 2011, invites renewed interpretations of stories, myths and tales as a means of reflecting on and inheriting Africa’s past, present and future. Storytelling is an essential aspect of African cinema and literature as the role of the African griot has deeply influenced writers, poets and filmmakers such as Ousmane Sembène and Férid Boughedir.

The symposium seeks to interrogate the dramatic, poetic and visual character of culturally foundational stories (fairy / mythic / classical / religious etc), the formal operations and cultural forces of their diverse tellings and showings across media, and the ways in which their psychological, social, political and aesthetic functions have been interpreted and employed.

Papers could include themes such as: the identity of the African griot, the performativity of stories and myths, the intervention of tales and myths in the narrative structure, adaptation from story to screen, fairy tales for children, fairy tales for adults, anti-tales, and transculturing of inherited myths. Contributors are welcome to submit with these proposed themes in mind, or in any other field that speaks to the theme of the symposium.

Abstracts are solicited for individual 20-minute papers on the theme of the symposium. We are looking for submissions from scholars at all levels (postgraduate students are most welcome) and invite contributions from as wide a scope of research areas and disciplines as possible. Unfortunately, AiM is unable to sponsor any flights or accommodation for the speakers. You are encouraged to obtain sponsorship from your home institution.

We invite abstracts of 250-300 words as well as brief biographical details to be sent to the symposium organisers on by 31st June 2011. The bio-sketch (not more than 100 words) must include institutional affiliation, current appointment / stage of study and main research interests. We will contact all contributors by August 2011.

For further information on Africa in Motion, please see:

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