Visualizing Homosexualities in Africa Dakan: An Interview with Filmmaker Mohamed Camara
When the film Dakan hit the scene in the United States in 1997, it was welcomed enthusiastically in black gay communities. A gay male African friend called me the day after viewing the film expressing his excitement at seeing images that reflected him and his experiences. He felt affirmed and visible as a gay African man. He felt that the film had Africanized gayness, thus showing the specificities of homosexuality in Africa. Many gay film festivals included Dakan in their film listings. As a critic of African cinema, I began to take notice that gay communities had given the film another life outside of the general African film circuit in which the majority of African films circulate. The film had become a sort of manifesto or an affirmation of black gay identity, both for gay Africans who live in the West as well as black gays of African descent. I also noticed during the screening of Dakan at the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival of Washington, DC, “Reel Affirmations” in the fall of 1998, which was heavily attended by white gay men, that there was a strong identification with the film by the audience as a whole.
KeywordsAfrican Descent Homosexual Couple Taboo Subject Homosexual Relationship Love Story
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