African Movie Night. Celebrating the works of Zola Maseko

AfricAvenir, Windhoek in cooperation with Studio 77 and the South African High Commission, will celebrate Zola Maseko’s work by screening "The Life and Times of Sarah Baartman" and "The Foreigner". The screening is taking place Saturday, 28 March 2009 at 7.30 p.m. at Studio 77. Very special guest is Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Director of the National Planning Commission and former Namibian Ambassador to Germany. nAfricAvenir, Studio 77 and the High Commission of South Africa proudly present: African Movie Night. Celebrating the works of Zola Maseko
nThe Foreigner and The Life and Times of Sara Baartman
Special Guest: H. E. High Commissioner of South Africa, and Prof. P. Katjavivi, DG of the National Planning Commission
nDate: 28th of March, 2009 Time: 19h30
Where: Studio 77, Garten St, Old Breweries Complex, behind Arts Craft Centre
nLight snacks will be served. nAbout the films: nLife and times of Sara Baartman
Sara is the short-name used for Saartjie Baartman, a Khoisan slave woman who at the age of 20 was taken from Cape Town to London and then on to Paris to be displayed naked in their streets and at their circuses like an animal her European audiences viewed her to be. Her story is a tearful and moving one. It is at once the story of an everyday woman, treated in the most grotesque ways, used as "scientific proof" of grotesque ways, used as "scientific proof" of "European white superiority." nBut it is also a story about the widespread "social, political, scientific and philosophical assumptions which transformed one young African woman into a representation of savage sexuality and racial inferiority."n Since this story was published in February 2002, Sara’s remains have been returned to South Africa. Saartjie Baartman’s skeleton and bottled organs – long stored at a French natural history museum – were turned over to South African officials on April 29 at a ceremony in Paris, the culmination of years of requests by countrymen who wanted to bring her home. nZola Maseko’s elegant and rather beautiful film recounts the life and times of Sara Baartman in clear and acceptable terms, using both contemporary and contemporaneous sources. A telling and quite powerful film. By combining the history and tragic destiny of Baartman, with the theories and racist imagination of the period, Maseko’s film presents an implacable plea against racism.
The film was rated the Best African Documentary, 1999 FESPACO African Film Festival, Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, and Best Documentary, 1999 Milan African Film Festival, Italy. nCommenting on the film and the life of Saartjie Baartman, Alex Dodd says this:
"Part of the power of the documentary is that, as a viewer, you cease to think of history as words on a page or abstract theories. Despite the myriad discourses her tale has triggered, one cannot for a second escape the reality that Sara Baartman was a real human being with feelings. (The film) was Baartman’s life…an amazing story of one woman’s life."

The Foreigner
The Foreigner is a 17-minute film about the relationship between an immigrant street vendor and a homeless child. It is a chilling and gripping indictment of xenophobia. The story traces the relationship between the foreigner Koofi and the young boy Vusi, that develops and grows despite the hostility and aggression directed at the foreinger. nShot on location in Hillbrow, in the heart of Joburg, the city which has not only been deserted by white capital but is also perceived to be the Sodom and Gomorrah of the new South Africa, the film deals with the humanity of friendship and the brutality of xenophobic hatred.

Hans-Christian Mahnke
Country Representative Namibia
AfricAvenir International (Douala/Berlin) nAfricAvenir International is a non-governmental organization registered in Cameroon and Germany as a non-profit organization.


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