posted March 1, 2010

Lecture in French to Discuss Francophone African Cinema

 The French Cultural Studies Colloquium at Hope College will host a lecture in French on Francophone African Cinéma Wednesday, March 10, at 4 p.m. in the MaasCenter conference room.

The address, "Interview en direct avec Dramane Deme, Cinéaste et Professeur du Burkina Faso," will be presented by Professor Dramane Deme, visiting professor of French and film at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and Dr. Cynthia Running-Johnson, professor of French and chair of foreign languages at WesternMichiganUniversity.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Running-Johnson will interview Dramane about the African Cinéma with invited participation from the audience. Dramane will also present and explain a scene from one of his own movies, "Tomisun Kôro," and answer questions about his movies and Francophone Cinéma in Africa in general.

"Tomisun Kôrô" ("In the Shade of the Tamarind Tree") is a modern tale about the African conception of knowledge and the way in which it relates to power.  Its narrative and visual styles stem from the exploration of an original cinematic storytelling approach which harmoniously combines the aesthetics of the Euro-American classical narrative film with the poetic allegory of the West African tale.

Dramane Deme, originally from Burkina Faso, is a specialist in cinema and West African cultures.  He has earned a BFA in Audio-Visual Sciences at the Université de Ouagodougou, Burkina Faso, and an MFA in Film from ColumbiaUniversity.  He has extensive experience in film production in West Africa and in the US.  He has worked as writer/director for three short films, including "Tomisun Kôrô" ("In the Shade of the Tamarind Tree"), winner of the Special Prize for Best Short Fiction Film at the 2001 Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO); assistant director on feature and short films; and film editor and script consultant.  He has taught as a visiting assistant professor at Kalamazoo College, the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University and Temple University.  Western Michigan University has invited him to teach courses in film and film history as part of a King/ Chavez/ Parks Visiting Professor Grant during the current spring semester.

Cynthia Running-Johnson is a specialist in 20th-century French literature and has taught French language, culture and literature at WesternMichiganUniversity since 1986.  She teaches and writes about modern and contemporary French and Francophone drama, film and prose, including the work of Jean Genet and Hélène Cixous.  In her writing she focuses on issues of cultural and gender identity and connections between literature and the visual arts.  She is the chairperson of the Foreign Languages Department at Western Michigan University.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.