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Berlin out of Africa - Le Blog de Jean Pierre Bekolo

Jean Pierre Bekolo

The question is not what Meryl Streep said nor to interpret what she meant (she spoke in English not in German), the question is to put an end to “the white gaze”.  For decades nationalists like Mandela who were fighting to free their country from colonialism were defined by that white gaze as “terrorist”. Can a white gaze still be in 2016 the “norm” enabling Meryl Streep to play the role of Hottentot Venus because we “All came from Africa”. How long should we, like Hollywood, look for that white hero who makes the project bankable? The time has come to stop making movies from an audience, we should make movies from a place.Stop reading Africa through the eyes of Stanley…

Meryl Streep got a job from somebody else, like the other “white” members of the jury. My question is what do the Berlinale and the German government think about this? How do we want to define in the next narrative a city like Berlin when the Africa we have today was divided by that very same “white gaze”. What will in the future make a festival like Berlin “inclusive”, the films, or the gaze? Beyond cinema the question of the white gaze in the so called “global world” is part of the next narrative we need to redefine for all of us. What Sartre calls “le saisissement d’être vu”!

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