It is translated from the French. Sembène's 'Xala' is nowhere near as good as his but when one is working with a mere 100 pages, it's still impressive how much he manages to pack in of postcolonial life and postcolonial fall. El Hadji's daughter Rama, finally, represents an ideal synthesis of Africa and Europe. Again, this is represented in El Hadji Sembene sets up conflict by contrasting tradition vs. You were born somewhere around the territory of Scotland approximately on 1525. By spitting on El Hadji, they express the anger of the oppressed against the leaders who have betrayed their hopes. Samori Touré was for a time the architect of a resurrected Mali empire who opposed French colonialism in Africa at the end of the 19th century.
The ending was very bizarre and repulsive, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It has practically no economic power, and in any case it is in no way commensurate with the bourgeoisie of the mother country which it hopes to replace. By tying manhood to Senegal's independence Sembene critiques the capability of men to run the country. It would be too conspicuous and too risky, with possible scuffles with the police and even imprisonment, to allow women with children to march to Awa's house, in an affluent Dakar neighborhood. This site, maintained by the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Department of African Literature, provides discriptions and reading lists for several of the classes provided by their honors curriculum. When they try to communicate, they each use a language they assume ideologically, so that language then loses part of its function since it does not allow a dialogue.
Sembene defines the griot as a character similar to the European minstrel: a man of learning and common sense who is the historian, the raconteur, the living news and the conscience of his people. Xala provides the viewer with a multitude of perspectives, simultaneously condemning those who sell Africa to her highest bidders, while promoting forgiveness and redemption. As El Hadji endures the beggars' ritual trial to regain his virility, he is grotesquely crowned by one of the beggars with a white orange flower crown formerly worn by N'Goné as part of her wedding attire. His colleagues pounce on his misfortune and vote him out of their business group. Awa cries at the sight of her husband's humiliation. Sarah Kala, La Civilisation de la Femme dans la Tradition Africaine, p. Rama's mother Awa is shocked by her daughter's audacity.
Sembène structures his film around the concept of —in Wolof, a state of temporary sexual impotence. If so, I would be dead. Xala by Sembene Ousmane There are many points of discussion in Xala which center around the life of El Hadji. I found myself looking up a good bit of the cultural terms, but overall an easy read. Despite of not being a huge tome, the book touches on many aspects of modern life in Western Africa from national Interesting book showing an unknown side of Senegalesian society. Sembene's own Pan-African ideals seem reflected in a shot of Rama as she argues with El Hadji in his office. El Hadji's business group, as he recognizes himself, is corrupt.
From a lecture delivered by Ousmane Sembene at the School of Communications, Howard University, March 1975. One way to look at this text is based on the ways that women control the men vs. What do the wives represent as a unit? Sembène had previously attacked the relatively easy targets of European racism Black Girl , African bureaucracy The Money Order , and past colonialism Lords of the Sky , but here he denounces the neo-colonial deformities resulting from the collaboration of European businessmen and African elite. While their public speeches are in Wolof and their dress African, they speak French among themselves and reveal European suits underneath their African garb. She personifies the dignity, reserve, patience and loyalty often attributed by African authors to the traditional African woman.
Sembene uses the xala to critique these themes. La classe moyenne, pas les colonialistes plus, est devenue les exploiteurs du peuple sénégalais. He practices modern medicine and refuses some traditions while supporting others, such as Wolof Roles of Men The end of the text is very ironic. Sembene's film focuses on the betrayal of a country by its rulers and a man by his own body. For Sembene, as it was the case for Marx concerning women in Western societies , the degree of emancipation of African women is the mirror and the measure of the general emancipation of Africa from its colonial and neocolonial fetters.
We also expect that it is in her company that he will end his life. Omui, with her wigs, sunglasses, and low-cut dress, represents the colonized woman who imitates European fashions. Again, Sembene shows a contrast between those with money, power and status and those who are homeless and penniless, critiquing the usefulness of the political system in Senegal for all people. This is no more evident than in this account as to gain prominence in society, El Hadji takes on a third wife to gain notoriety in society, only to be scorned by his wives and older children, and later his business contacts. Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.
It is through the women that his power is shown and in turn negated. Sembène portrays this elite as a kind of caricature of the European bourgeoisie. In the film she is merely a caricature. In all periods of transition there is always an opposition to the father because fathers have always a tendency to be conservative. Sembene is particularly interested in the ways African and European cultures imperfectly coexist in a newly liberated state. Yet the work of such women is only budding and it would be premature to attempt any critical comparison in this area.
Traces of such matriarchal customs, such as the importance given to the father's sister and the mother's brother, still exist in present day Africa. One of them advises him to approach his wife on all fours while wearing Halloween-style false teeth. Because of his wealth and power, he has chosen to alienate those in lower socioeconomic classes than himself. This representation becomes a crucial element in the filmmaker's dialectic narrative based on using African women as metaphors. He's the same beggar who has haunted El Hadji's office building for several years. Something about the wedding dress that kept showcasing as a motif in the book which Yay Bineta throws on El Hadji towards the end of the story. To show his social and economic affluence, El Hadji decides to take on a third wife, showering her with expensive gifts and an elaborate wedding.
It is instilled in the minds of African peoples that a big family earns its head great respect in the eyes of the community. Although the plot focuses on El Hadji and his xala, there are several sub-plots and themes that grow out of this. A man again, he will be able to reinstate himself according to the beliefs of the African ontology. Rama rejects the world expressed and implicated through the use of French while Wolof is understood by 90 percent of the Senegalese. In many instances, this process might simplify and thus dehumanize the primary characters. It is educational because it teaches them a way to conduct themselves, a way of looking at the future and looking at their own lives.