CTD Seminar Series: Laura Fair, 5 November 2013
‘Cinemas, Cities and Audiences: A social cartography of going to the show in Tanzania’ by Dr. Laura Fair, Michigan State University.
From the 1950s through the 1980s going to the movies and talking about the latest film to hit the town was the most popular form of leisure in urban Tanzania. On a typical Sunday in the capital city more than 10,000 people would regularly be in the streets making their way to and from the show, and most would be out to view the same film. But from the earliest days there was marked regional variation in terms of access to, and interest in, the cinema. In this lecture Professor Fair provides an overview of the complicated ways that region, religion, race, gender and age impacted Tanzanians’ consumption of cinematic technology. She also explores how urbanization, political debates and economic change influenced audience make-up over time.
Seminar participants are encouraged to read her article: `Making Love in the Indian Ocean: Hindi films, Zanzibari Audiences and the Construction of Romance in the 1950s and 1960s,’ which examines how people from a range of social positions engaged with a common text and used that text to inspire local debates and transform their own realities.