CfE 44 - World Cinemas of Resistance: Cinematic worlds as decolonial practices


Call for Essays for the thematic section of Cinéma & Cie no. 44, edited by Daniele Rugo and Marco Benoît Carbone.


This CfE invites contributions that aim to map and investigate decolonial practices in cinematic worlds from the global south. This approach emphasises the potential of these cinemas to resist hegemonic filmic (and more generally cultural) forms and to move beyond thematic concerns, formal strategies and industrial frameworks generated and sanctioned in the Global North.

The Global South is understood here as a broad category that denotes contexts and sites that have been historically subjected to financial, political, and cultural othering and dominance, including therefore diasporic and indigenous cinemas practiced in the Global North. As a critique of ideologies, institutions, and power, the Global South draws on the paradigms of decolonisation, post-coloniality, and the notion of the post-national. As a political category aligning with that of a “cinema of the margins”, a south-driven approach challenges the othering of a “world cinema” label. In Traverso’s definition, (2017), a “south-to-south” approach entails hearing voices and seeing through the eyes of the world’s Southernmost nations to decentre the positionality of the subject, offering new perspectives, whether contextually or comparatively. This idea of a Global South cannot thus refrain from intersecting with the critical paradigms of Black cinema, indigenous cinemas, queer and feminist cinema, third cinema, imperfect cinema, poor cinema, migrant, diasporic, and accented cinema.

Inevitably, world cinemas produced away from the canons and infrastructures of Hollywood and/or Europe are also potential sites of resistance. Instances of world cinemas of this kind have the potential to decenter Western gazes and enact practices of decoloniality that are both mindful of and surpass the decolonial third cinemas of the 1960s and 1970s.

Resistance is understood here both in terms of the themes and issues developed, as well as the formal strategies deployed and the production and distribution frameworks adopted and/or created. In this sense, this CfE aims to interrogate resistant world cinemas as they emerge through a range of approaches that may include traditional fiction, political documentary to slow cinema, first-person cinema to avant-garde and collective filmmaking, as well as ethnographic documentaries and documentation. Resistant world cinemas ideally reconfigure planetary gazes on the real, produce deconstructions of the past, and imagine possible futures. Ultimately, the idea of world cinema as a decolonial practice may offer a chance to rethink formal and aesthetic theorization around cinema’s representational forms and objects and their power relations, while challenging the very idea of what cinema is and what discourse presides over definitions, without excluding its relations with cognate media forms.

Contributions to this CfE can focus on any geographical area and form (fiction, documentary, experimental, hybrid) and might address the following questions:

  • What forms of resistance do world cinemas from the global South produce? How can we measure their impact?
  • What formal strategies – if any – are privileged by resistant cinemas? What cinematic codes, gazes, perspectives based on decolonial approaches to gender, race, sexuality, practices of the self have emerged?
  • Can these cinemas initiate and establish alternative forms of production and distribution?
  • How do new media forms, mobile screens and intermedia practices redefine these forms?
  • How do cinematic worlds of resistance promote and advance a decolonial agenda?
  • What relations do contemporary global south cinemas maintain with earlier decolonial iterations (third cinema, imperfect cinema)?
  • How can global south cinemas escape ideas of diversity and other categories I.e. inclusivity that are underpinned, sanctioned, or sustained by traditional dominant powers?
  • How do translatability and untranslatability play a role in the intercultural and culturally relative view of planetary exchanges?
  • What are the actual chances for a Global South cinema to resist traditional and new forms of transnational commoditizationtion of cultures on a global market?
  • How do notions such as World Cinema and Global South change under the pressure of resistant and decolonial cinematic practices?

Abstract submission: Interested authors should submit an abstract (300 words) and an up-to-date biographical note (100 words) to and by August 31st, 2024.
Acceptance notices will be circulated by 30th September 2024. Please note: the deadline for submission of draft articles for peer review will be January 30th, 2025. All article submissions should include: 5 keywords, name of author(s), institutional affiliation, contacts details and a short bio for each author. The articles must not exceed 5.000/6.000 words. Submission of a paper will be taken to imply that it is unpublished and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. Contributions will be submitted to double blind peer review. The issue will be published in June 2025.