Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: Portia E Cobb (
About: Re: Ecrans d'Afrique

Fri, 25 Jul 1997 14:14:49 -0500 (CDT)

Originally from: Portia E Cobb <>
Originally dated: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 14:14:49 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Steve,

I wanted to respond to your remarks about Ecrans d'Afrique by saying that
I would be happy to have been sent your subscription renewall...but
figured that half of the folks on this list would have beat me to it.

Ecrans d'Afrique in my opinion is a rare magazine. I think that you have
taken its existence for granted. As a media artist, teacher and avid
supporter of
the African Film Arts, I find that this publication is a much needed
resource. I am surprised that you (someone who has been to FESPACO, shown
films that you helped finance there, probably sat shoulder to shoulder
with the publishers of this magazine) would be so blatantly insensitive. You

say that you can't make sense of their english. Any educated person can fill

in the blanks. That statement reminded me of experiences I have had here
in America in my own country. As an African American when I am trying to
communicate with arrogant Caucasion Americans who will ask me to repeat
something I know I have articulated clearly.

By the way, just curious,how perfect is your French?
I think we all appreciate the hard work you invest in this Cinema
Conference and it has certainly linked direct communication between
FESPACO attendees and the office of the secretary general. A few years
ago, it would take a good month to receive a reply to any mail. But your
remark, though probably expressed in great honesty, seems a bit unfair.I
think of the times I've attended FESPACO and been patiently tolerated by
French speaking hosts,organizers, officials and other filmmakers. How
often do they have to fill in the blanks in my "baby" French? I think I
can make the effort to make sense of and tolerate an imperfect sentence in a

publication that serves to historicize and bridge our filmmaking


Portia Cobb, Director
Community Media Project
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
3203 N. Downer Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211

I would like to receive a subscription card for Ecrans d'Afrique.

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