On January 14th, Alice Diop was presenting her most recent film at the NYC Film Forum and the Africa Center. Critics and international festivals have praised Alice Diop’s first feature film for its cinematography, narrative, and acting. After earning the Lion of the Future and the Golden Lion at Venice, Saint Omer won the César of best first film at the 48th César ceremony on Friday, February 24. Saint Omer displayed a lexicon of shadowiness mastering the art of fragments—a cinematographic embodiment of Saidiya Hartman’s ‘critical fabulation’ methodology coined in her essay “Venus in Two Acts.”1 Although Saint Omer cannot be reduced to an “inspired by real-life” film, the film offers an acute awareness of Black subjectivities, silence, and its shadows.

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Décolonial, colonialité, décoloniser… Soixante ans après la deuxième vague d’indépendances nationales, la question décoloniale est toujours (voire encore plus) d’actualité. Depuis des dizaines d’années, militant·es et universitaires démontrent qu’en termes économiques et géopolitiques les pratiques coloniales n’ont pas disparu : elles se sont recomposées et adaptées au contexte post-indépendance.

La Françafrique et les relations cordiales (et très intéressées) entre la France et ses anciennes colonies n’est pas morte, comme en témoignent les interventions militaires françaises dans le Sahel ou la survivance du franc CFA.

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Since its emergence in the French context, academics and activists have clashed over the definition of “intersectionality,” but also intramurally within those spaces where questions of legitimate forms of knowledge remain a point of contention. In this paper, I will map the paradoxical circulation of intersectionality by focusing on how the concept participated in the shaping of both alliances and antagonisms amongst and between activist organizations, academia, mainstream political groups, and the French State. This same intersectionality, which has given birth to significant intellectual channels of debate among scholars, feminists, and anti-racist activists (but also between scholars and activists), is nevertheless presented as a homogeneous and unified object. There exists another paradox: anti-racist and leftist political activists criticize intersectionality, arguing that it can be co-opted by neoliberalism or femonationalism. Yet the reality is that the reconfiguration of reactionary discourses in France has recoded intersectionality to mean “Islamist fundamentalism/racialism/anti-universality.”

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