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A cleaning lady or a prostitute

Seen – what better place than on the red carpet? At the last Cannes film festival entered 16 French Actresses short-hand, the stairs in front of the festival Palace. They had not tightened their Gala wardrobe but in order to apply a movie . The women, all of African or Caribbean descent, made on a book in which they share their experiences on French film sets and theater stages.

"Noire n'est pas mon métier" is the name of the Band, and a often "vague racism" (Aïssa Maïga) is visible at first, i.e. the accumulation of small derogatory comments and klischierter write-UPS, which have all involved women. For example, with questions such as "Can you roll the eyes like Josephine Baker?" or "do you Speak African?", you got to listen to auditions. Or you were the target of subliminal discrimination, which showed that the artist had in front of a big movie premiere doesn't have a matching powder to be able to the dark-skinned actress makeup.

Colorful dresses, eye-catching hairstyle

The Senegalese-French actress Aïssa Maïga has initiated the book project, in the Wake of the discussion on #MeToo #OscarsSoWhite, but with the specific French conditions. Unlike in the Anglo-Saxon Maïga notes a fundamental lack of roles for black women in the French cinema. This is amazing given that the population in France was so mixed. And if you show up, and then mainly as metaphors of a privileged life: as a cleaning lady, as a housekeeper, as a single mother from the Banlieue, as an African Mama in colorful dresses and with eye-catching hairstyle. Or then as a prostitute. For all of these roles, black women were planned, but not as Doctors or lawyers.

Diffuse idea of the African

Black Actresses, however, there is, and a lot of the book Involved the same amazing experience: namely, that of all the film set and the stage are those places where the black French Africans. Sabine Pakora writes that in the Moment you started casting to the color of their skin had become aware of: "I have been sent back to Africa (a continent where I never lived)." And Rachel Khan, the listened to as a child, delighted with the poems of Victor Hugo, says: "My skin tells that I am here, that I am, I don't know."

The black body on the stage or in Film is, according to these narratives, therefore, never neutral, but loaded with a lot of stereotypes, fed by a diffuse idea of the African, agility, rhythm, sensuality. Some of the Actresses directed by quote statements in which the speech is from the gazelles, cat or Panther-like black women. "Why is it perceived still as picturesque beings, as anthropology at the beginning of the 20th century. Century has drawn?", Sabine Pakora asks.

Also in the French theatre of this colonial view, it seems to have survived. If a black actress is playing one of Chekhov's "Three sisters", automatically comes the question, what is the meaning of the dramaturgy. And for the staging of classics, so Molière, Racine, or Corneille, it appears as a militant, or at least important to let the gesture, the black Actors play.

"Noire n'est pas mon métier" under the discussion of racism and sexism feeding in the film business with very concrete examples; the focus is, logically, not analytically. Nevertheless, The colonial collective unconscious must not be the only reason for the invisibility of black Actors. France Zobda, was first an actress and then the producer was, suggests in her Text that the invisibility of black actors may have economic reasons.

Six years Zobda worked on a TV production with a black slave as a main character. The resistance with which they met, before a black Hero was allowed to occur in Prime Time on a national channel, had to do with the fear of the decision-makers that the public was not yet ready. "Ready for what?", ask Zobda. To see "black at 20.30?"

The ratings would have let the skeptics, however, fall silent. A statement made by the American sociologist Maryann Erigha in her book, "The Hollywood Jim Crow": the fact that the major American Studios to keep films with black heroes is still a bigger financial risk. Even if that is demonstrably not so.

to Laugh at the accent

In the most haunting lyrics of "Noire n'est pas mon métier," the Dilemma of black Actresses particularly well: If you accept out of sheer economic necessity, but those klisch-numbered roles that you are assigned to. To sit then at the Premiere in a cinema hall full of White, the the bellies to keep from Laughing about a black character, and her funny accent, her cheerful lack of experience. This is the Moment when Sabine Pakora asks: "Laughing at the audience for me, via the character that I play, or laugh with me by recognising my performance?"

doubt as to the Latter, are attached.

Aïssa Maïga et al: Noire n'est pas mon Metier. Editions du Seuil, 2018.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 14.03.2019, 16:37 PM

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