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Diaspora and Nation in the Indian OceanTransnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania$
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Ned Bertz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851552

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851552.001.0001

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Indian Ocean World Cinema

Indian Ocean World Cinema

(p.90) Chapter Three Indian Ocean World Cinema
Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean

Ned Bertz

University of Hawai'i Press

Dar es Salaam’s first cinema hall opened in 1929, and Indian Ocean regional networks of film circulation provided popular Hindi movies from Bombay that were watched by diverse audiences in Tanganyika. Segregated cinema halls were a public location where urban residents confronted state, community, and individual narratives of race. Government officials based cinema regulations on imperatives of colonial control and their understandings of how the new medium of film would differently impact the territory’s racial groups. Both African and Indian groups successfully challenged aspects of official film policy, although did not overtly oppose the government’s administrative reliance on racial categories. Africans migrated to Dar es Salaam in greater numbers in the 1940s and 1950s, and their increasing wealth contributed to a widening diversity of cinemagoers. Nonetheless, informal discrimination continued to enforce segregation in movie theaters along racial and class lines even after the government retired race-based censorship practices.

Keywords:   cinema halls, Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika, Africa, Indian Ocean, Bombay, Hindi films, race, colonialism, British empire

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