The Cameroonian city of Douala is the stage for a myriad of popular art initiatives, which originate outside the official circuits of cultural production. They are low-cost digital films and TV series, theatre performances, music and video clips made by ordinary people such as teachers, petty traders, bookkeepers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, itinerant peddlers, who live and work in the city disadvantaged districts. This essay focuses on a specific form of this urban creativity ‘from below’ – namely digital films and TV series, locally known as ‘stories of society’ – in order to show how it takes part in the re-imagination of collective life conducted by ‘official’ cultural producers. While I argue that the film practitioners – like the public art promoters – are committed to the construction of a better city, I also contend that the hardships of their everyday life penetrate in their works, undermining their efforts to visualize better prospects.

Santanera, G. (2017). Looking for a better city: videos from the neighborhoods of Douala. In I. Pensa, M. Pucciarelli, F. Siegenthaler, M. Douala Bell, K. Verschuren, X. Nibbeling, et al. (a cura di), Public Art in Africa: Art and urban transformation in Douala (pp. 60-69). Genève : Métis Presses.

Looking for a better city: videos from the neighborhoods of Douala

Santanera, G
2017

Abstract

The Cameroonian city of Douala is the stage for a myriad of popular art initiatives, which originate outside the official circuits of cultural production. They are low-cost digital films and TV series, theatre performances, music and video clips made by ordinary people such as teachers, petty traders, bookkeepers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, itinerant peddlers, who live and work in the city disadvantaged districts. This essay focuses on a specific form of this urban creativity ‘from below’ – namely digital films and TV series, locally known as ‘stories of society’ – in order to show how it takes part in the re-imagination of collective life conducted by ‘official’ cultural producers. While I argue that the film practitioners – like the public art promoters – are committed to the construction of a better city, I also contend that the hardships of their everyday life penetrate in their works, undermining their efforts to visualize better prospects.
Capitolo o saggio
Cameroon, Douala, urban life, video, urban creativity, public art
English
Public Art in Africa: Art and urban transformation in Douala
9782940563166
Santanera, G. (2017). Looking for a better city: videos from the neighborhoods of Douala. In I. Pensa, M. Pucciarelli, F. Siegenthaler, M. Douala Bell, K. Verschuren, X. Nibbeling, et al. (a cura di), Public Art in Africa: Art and urban transformation in Douala (pp. 60-69). Genève : Métis Presses.
Santanera, G
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/146363
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