This article identifies instances in Africa in which the western genre and specifically the figure of the cowboy is appropriated and adapted to local circumstances. It opens with a brief excursion into the western’s influence on African cinema, focusing primarily on Bamako (2016). The article develops a brief discussion of the potentials and pitfalls of comparative research in relation to Africa and proposes that focusing on a specific genre such as the western, is a useful additional element in adopting modes of comparative research. The article focuses on examples drawn from different parts of the continent including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Southern Africa. Finally, it draws conclusions on the potential of future research focusing on the cinematic cowboy and his appropriation into the lives of African audiences.

Film, History, Africa, audiences, cinema, cowboys, western genre
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
dx.doi.org/10.18146/tmg.796
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 23, No 1-2 (2020): Comparative Histories of Moviegoing; 1-16

Maingard, Jacqueline. (2020). The Cinematic Cowboy in Africa: Identities and the Western Genre. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 23(1-2), 1–16. doi:10.18146/tmg.796