Film as archive

Africa Addio and the ambiguities of remembrance in contemporary Zanzibar

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Marie‐Aude Fouéré Institut des mondes africains

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The Italian shock documentary contains a sequence about massacres that occurred during the Zanzibar revolution of 1964. Perceived by some of its Zanzibari viewers as a container of factual evidence of the brutality of this epochal event, this sequence is contested by others who assert that it was staged or re‐enacted. One critical aspect of these oppositional views concerns the very status of this documentary and the trust that can be placed in it as an archival record. Whether is seen as authentic or fabricated, it provides Zanzibaris with a medium through which to revisit the past and rethink Zanzibari society in the present.

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