From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Cinemafrodiscendente, la memoria e il futuro dei cineasti afrodiscendenti in Italia

Leonardo De Franceschi


Cinemafrodiscendente , the memory and the future of Afrodescendant filmmakers in Italy. This paper aims at clarifying the methodological, operational frameworks and the genealogy of a blog on the experience of Afrodescendant filmmakers in Italian cinema, called Cinemafrodiscendente (, online since 1st October 2015. This blog was born as an ideal spin off of a collective book, titled L’Africa in Italia (For a Postcolonial Counterhistory of Italian Cinema, Aracne 2013), in order to have almost 600 bio-sheets freely searchable and implementable in open access. How to approach the project of a new archive, after all the shadows raised by critical thinkers like Derrida, Mbembe, Kundera on the notion itself of archive, showing its coextensivity with patriarchal,
economic, political power? Here I will try to open an excursus, highlighting a tradition of subaltern archives, which record the activity of resistant groups such as workers, women, migrants. This kind of archive entered a new phase with the advent of the digital era and the web, which helped the emergence of a new model of archive – digital, decentered, non-linear and open to contributions coming from users – useful to promote a postcolonial shift of digital humanities as such. Cinemafrodiscendente was born to record the contribution that hundreds of, often unrecognized, figures of the Afrodescendant panorama gave to the Italian film industry since the silent era. The blog follows a cultural policy of affirmative action, aimed to empower the agency of dozens of African and Afrodescendant filmmakers, and is driven by the belief that a more efficient promotion of those figures may represent an added value for Italian film and creative industries.




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