The Beautiful Skin: Football, Fantasy, and Cinematic Bodies in Africa is an original and provocative study of contemporary African film and literature. In the book, Vlad Dima investigates how football and cinema express individual and collective fantasies. Shedding new light on both well-known and less familiar films, The Beautiful Skin asks just whose fantasy is articulated in football and African cinema. Answering this question leads Dima to explore body and identity issues through the metaphor of skin: fantasy as a skin; the football jersey as a skin; and ultimately film itself as a skin that has visual, aural, and haptic qualities. In the neocolonial context, the body is often depicted as suffering through processes of being flattened or emptied out. So frequently do African cinema and literature reproduce this image of the hollowed body, the body of all skin, as it were, that it comes to define neocolonialism. Throughout this book, Dima seeks to answer whether the body of film—the depth of both characters and story within the cinematic skin—could carry us into the post-neocolonial era, an era defined by “full” bodies and personal affirmation.
Vlad Dima is Professor of African Cultural Studies and French at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of Sonic Space in Diop Mambety’s Films
and numerous articles, mainly on French and francophone cinemas, but also on francophone literature, comics, American cinema, and television. His third book, “Meaning-Less-Ness in Postcolonial Cinema” is also forthcoming from MSU Press.The Beautiful Skin: Football, Fantasy, and Cinematic Bodies in Africa
is available at msupress.org
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