African Diasporic Cinema: Aesthetics of Reconstruction analyzes the aesthetic strategies adopted by contemporary African diasporic filmmakers to express the reconstruction of identity. Having left the continent, these filmmakers see Africa as a site of representation and cultural circulation. The diasporic experience displaces the center and forges new syncretic identities. Through migratory movement, people become foreigners, Others—and in this instance, black. The African diasporic condition in the Western world is characterized by the intersection of various factors: being African and bearing the historical memory of the continent; belonging to a black minority in majority-white societies; and finally, having historically been the object of negative, stereotyped representation. As a result, quests for the self and self-reconstruction are frequent themes in the films of the African diaspora, and yet the filmmakers refuse to remain trapped in the confines of an assigned, rigid identity. Reflecting these complex circumstances, this book analyzes the contemporary diaspora through the prism of cultural hybridization and the processes of recomposing fragmented identities, out of which new identities emerge.
“Daniela Ricci brilliantly incorporates sociopolitical, psychological, and philosophical tools in her study of innovative aesthetics created by contemporary filmmakers of African descent. Ricci’s well documented book, beautifully translated by Melissa Thackway, highlights personal journeys and diverse representations of global issues. This is a must-read for researchers in film, African studies, and diaspora studies, as well as other areas of the humanities and social sciences.”
—FRANÇOISE PFAFF, Professor Emerita, Department of World Languages and Cultures, Howard University