Presentation: Unless we’ve had the chance to see for ourselves, our visions of Africa rely on the articles and books we’ve read, the history we learnt at school and the TV news and films we watch, but how objective and realistic are they? Have they contributed to boosting a positive image of the dynamic African continent and its people, or have they limited themselves to depicting negative aspects, such as poverty, crime and conflict?
By analyzing and discussing attitudes conveyed in films and in the press, we will explore the theme of Africa and its many facets.
Linguistic objectives: to use and develop English language skills through discussion, oral presentation, listening and reading. Acquisition of vocabulary.
Cultural objectives: to look at how Africa and the Africans are portrayed in the press and in films.
nombre d'heure en présentiel20
Parcours de rattachement
Format des notesNumérique sur 20Littérale/grade réduit
Pour les étudiants du diplôme Diplôme d'ingénieur de l'Ecole polytechnique
One weekly class of 2 hours, Fridays 8-10am
Africa – historical, political, economic and social contexts
Attitudes towards Africa and how they have changed
Cinema portrayal of Africa in films such as Out of Africa, Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, Tsotsi, Hotel Rwanda, Goodbye Bafana, Invictus, Darwin’s Nightmare, The Interpreter, The Constant Gardener or …open to suggestions!
Africa’s portrayal in the press and in literature
Viewing of fictional and documentary film extracts, followed (or preceded) by subject exploration, analysis and discussion of opinions. Reading and analysis of press articles and literary extracts. Individual or group research into historical, political, economic and social backgrounds and contexts. Individual and group oral presentations by students, prepared individually or in groups, and given in front of the class, accompanied by slides and references.
Students will be expected to read and reflect on video extracts and texts outside the class as well as in class, in order to participate in discussions. They will also prepare oral presentations in groups on a chosen aspect of the portrayal of Africa – a specific film, a particular country or a theme, such as African entrepreneurship, raw materials, conflict or humanitarian work. Written assignments will also be given.
Continual assessment of participation and use of the English language.
Evaluation of an oral presentation given by the student in a group.