Where is Ananse — Issues in African [Cinema] Animation
Abstract: In Africa, it is not uncommon to see such Disney characters gracing commemorative stamps. Indeed Disney’s philatelic dominance there is more pervasive than most of us would want to believe. Indeed, animation has been a part of the psyche of post-colonial Africa for the last three decades, with training having also been offered during that period. But the question is, where are the cinematic reflections of this craft? I shall discuss the forces that determine the tenor of creativity in this field, arguing that the same cultural denominators which make animation popular, have paradoxically worked against it, forcing indigenous productions to exude aesthetics of incompleteness; and thus compelling such work to thrive mainly within the workshop “ghetto.”
Biographical Statement: Charles daCosta is an Animation History and Media Theory professor at SCAD. He acquired his PhD at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham UK, and also Previously he taught at the University of Westminster, Kingston University, University for the Creative Arts and Morley College, as well as the London center of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. daCosta served as New Media Manager at the University of Reading, UK, was a project manager for the European Commission’s MEDIA initiative, a freelance photographer for COMPIX (the Commonwealth Institute’s picture library) a cameraman/photographer for UNESCO’s Mission Antarctica South Pole expedition. He has also contributed to several educational animation projects in Europe, Africa and North America.