Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Decolonisation through 'development films' : constructing and re-constructing the Zairian spirit on film
Author: Zoppelletto, Cecilia Adriana
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 0234
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study critically contributes to the understanding of decolonisation in postcolonial Africa through documentary films by investigating a decolonial moment, a bold attempt to disentangle an ex‐colonised part of the world from coloniality by infusing the indigenous Zairian spirit into national film. This is a study of the cultural politics, on film, of the Second Republic of Zaire (1965-1997), now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the research explores the portrayal of the national image on film. This study identifies a particular mode of filmmaking that contributes to nation-building through the concept of ‘development films’. The term proposed for Zairian films is drawn from Domatob and Hall’s (1983) analysis of the rise and limitations of development journalism in Black Africa since independence. Through this study, the author intends to rediscover a collective understanding of the function of film as a tool to promote and educate towards progress in the newly born nation of Zaire by looking at filmmakers’ participation in promoting the government’s ideals through the Pan-African practice of development journalism, and political activism through media. The research project Decolonisation Through ‘Development Films’: Constructing and Re-Constructing the Zairian Spirit on Film is based on interviews with Congolese filmmakers who were active during the Zairian period, together with the author’s research and digital restoration of films, including Salongo (1975) and Election 1970 (1970), which had been written off as being lost or unusable. These were found through fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium. Through textual analysis and extra filmic information, this research explores these films as reflecting and sustaining the ideological changes brought about by Mobutu’s cultural revolution and the expressions of Zairian culture that are imagined for the population. The research’s aim to reconstruct the Zairian spirit is not to revive a political momentum that is associated with a political flag, rather, it is to acknowledge a lost national filmography as part of the history of the country which has been erased by the political elite that followed, as well as being erased by natural agents in the archives, which therefore deprived the country of the possibility to reflect critically on its own history through part of its national iconography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available