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Feb 17 – Urban Gentrification and Black History Month



Saturday, February 17, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Lamoureux Hall, University of Ottawa. room 339

For Black History Month, Cinema Academica is showing two Urban Studies short documentaries about black communities, and gentrification, or poor and disenfranchised people being pushed out of areas as more monied people and interests take interest in those areas and reshape them to their own vision and needs.


Chocolate City (gentrification in Washington, DC) 45min

In this 45 minute-long documentary film-makers Sam Wild and Ellie Walton address the issue of gentrification of Washington, DC. Through the experiences of a number of largely black residents the film explores how the city is being altered as property prices rise and local communities are forced out of the world’s most famous capital.

Africville (Nova Scotia) 35min

This short film depicts Africville, a small black settlement that lay within the city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the families there were uprooted and their homes demolished in the name of urban renewal and integration. More than 20 years later, the site of the community of Africville is a stark, under-utilized park. Former residents, their descendants and some of the decision-makers speak out and, with the help of archival photographs and films, tell the story of that painful relocation.
Director: Shelagh Mackenzie


Cinema Academica hosts film screenings during the academic year at the University of Ottawa on various social, political and economic issues in order to increase social consciousness and encourage activism in the community. All films are completely free of charge. All films are followed by discussion.

For more


Parking: There is limited metered parking on campus on Séraphin-Marion (the continuation of Wilbrod west of Cumberland) and in the adjacent lot east of Tabaret Hall, and also on Louis Pasteur, between MacDonald Hall and Gendron Hall. The meters are enforced 24/7. There is also a pay-and-display lot beside Simard Hall. The best bet is on nearby streets in Sandy Hill, e.g., Henderson, where there are signs for 2 or 3 hour parking up to 7:00 p.m., unrestricted after 7:00.



jan 20th – (watching) an interview with Gene Sharp



This week at Cinema Academica:

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Vanier Hall, University of Ottawa. room 2095

Please note change of location for this week only!

(from the video we will be watching):
Many protest movements around the world have been influenced by an 83-year-old political scientist, Dr Gene Sharp and his book From Dictatorship to Democracy. We are thrilled to announce that Dr Gene Sharp will be joining us at the Frontline Club in conversation with Ruaridh Arrow, journalist, filmmaker and director of the award winning documentary How to Start a Revolution to discuss the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa and his work. From the ground floor of his home in Boston the 83-year-old runs the Albert Einstein Institution which is devoted to the study and promotion of the use of nonviolent resistance worldwide.

The 198 “non-violent weapons” listed in his book range from the use of colours and symbols, writing large banners in English to mock funerals and boycotts. First written in 1993 to support the opposition movement in Burma, Sharp’s work has now been circulated amongst dissidents around the world.



Africa and the Single Story

By Joey Clavette

Earlier this semester we screened “Concerning Violence“. I wrote a little something about it here. But before the film I had also given a presentation on Africa which attempted to dispel a lot of myths about it. While this film which is set in Africa is about violence, it is imperative to know that Africa is much more than a land of violence. In an African history course I took I was made to sit down and actually write about this subject so I thought I’d share it here:

Kigali, Rwanda today

The word Africa comes from the Latin word Afri. Originally the name was meant to describe one tribe which the Romans had known from Libya. The term then came to be used to describe the entire expansive and diverse continent. This is an illustrative example from ancient Western culture to show how simplistic the Western view of Africa has been for a very long time.

In his work The Invention of Africa, philosopher V.Y. Mudimbe points out that African unity was not a concept on the continent before European contact. Blackness and Africanness are descriptions of an “Other”; as something different in such a way from Europeanness. Africans are described altogether by their relative difference to Europeans rather than their own characteristics. This results in a vast homogenization of Africans in the Western psyche, and we can clearly see that present today in what Chimamanda Adichie calls the ‘Single Story of Africa’.

One might hear a friend say “I’d like to go to Africa”, and when asked “where in Africa?” they might respond with dismay… “just Africa”. Africa to many people is thought of as a vast, wild (yet relative homogenous) landscape full of violent conflicts, diseases, poverty, safari animals and “black” people. This is how Africa is portrayed in popular media. This is the single story. The fact that there is more genetic diversity among the natives of Africa than there is among white Europeans is not important, they are simply “black”. The vast size of the African continent, the metropolitan areas, the ecological diversity, the more than 1500 unique languages, the stability, the health and the economic development are all glossed over and replaced with a single story.

Continue reading Africa and the Single Story

Concerning Violence

By Joey Clavette

The following is the entirety of a film review I wrote for this film in my Post-Colonial African History course at uOttawa.

“Concerning Violence” is a 2014 documentary film by Swedish director, Göran Olsson about colonialism in Africa. The film’s narration consists of quotes from psychologist Frantz Fanon’s magnum opus, Les Damnés de la Terre (1961) read by Lauryn Hill, interspersed with Swedish found-footage and interviews. Les Damnés de la Terre was Fanon’s exposition of colonized peoples’ psyche. He was inspired to write it by his work as a war-time psychologist in French Algeria during the Algerian war. Fanon was, himself, a colonized person, coming from the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean.

The film consists of nine chapters and a preface by Dr. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. The nine chapters explore decolonization in several parts of Africa including Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, the former Rhodesia, Liberia and others. The preface is an analysis by a professor from Columbia University regarding false interpretations of Fanon’s work, and highlighting women’s roles in decolonization movements (which is focused on in chapter 7 of the film). Though the film may seem to some, as the book has seemed to many (including Jean Paul Sartre who wrote the preface for Damnés after Fanon’s death) an encouragement for revolutionary violence, it is, in fact, a dispassionate exposition of revolutionary violence in the decolonization process. As Bhakti Shringarpure wrote in The Guardian, Fanon’s work as a war-time psychologist normalized him to revolutionary violence, he had no conception of inciting it; it already existed all around him.

Continue reading Concerning Violence