Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution: Anti-colonialism, Independence & Internationalism in Filmmaking, 1968-1991
In one of the first cultural acts to follow independence in 1975, Frelimo's new socialist government of Mozambique set up a National Institute of Cinema (the INC). In a country where many people had little previous experience of cinema, the INC was tasked to 'deliver to the people an image of the people'. This unique culture of revolutionary filmmaking began during the armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism. Following independence, the INC began the task of decolonising the film industry, building on networks of solidarity with other socialist and non-aligned struggles. Mozambique became an epicentre for militant filmmakers from around the world and cinema played an essential role in building the new nation. Crucially, filmmaking became a resource for resistance against Apartheid as the Cold War played out across southern Africa during the late 1970s and 1980s. Short clips from two rarely seen films - Santiago Alvarez's Maputo: Meridiano Novo (Maputo: The Ninth Meridian, 1976) and João Costa and Carlos Henrique's Pambere ne Zimbabwe (Forward Zimbabwe, 1981) - will be screened and discussed in terms of how these works embody new aesthetics of liberation forged through internationalist collaboration.
Dr Ros Gray is Programme Director of the MA Art & Ecology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research has investigated militant filmmaking, particularly in relation to liberation struggles and revolutionary movements in Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso. This research informs her monograph Cinemas of the Mozambican Revolution: Anti-Colonialism, Independence and Internationalism in Filmmaking, 1968-1991 (James Currey, 2020), among many other publications in journals and books. Ros is on the Editorial Board of the journal Third Text, and she has guest edited two special issues: The Militant Image in 2011 with Kodwo Eshun and The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions with Shela Sheikh in 2018.
- Dr Ros Gray - Goldsmiths, University of London