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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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Transnational Films in National Cinema Halls

Transnational Films in National Cinema Halls

(p.164) Chapter Five Transnational Films in National Cinema Halls
Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean

Ned Bertz

University of Hawai'i Press

Nationalist ideas redefined the connection between race and urban cinemas in late colonial Tanganyika and independent Tanzania. When Indian nationalism confronted British colonialism in South Asia, Tanganyikan cinemagoers experienced local changes to government censorship practices. African nationalists in the 1950s and 1960 subsequently transformed public debates about film by attacking racial inequities in access to cinema halls. Colonial and postcolonial state efforts to harness the cinema industry for social engineering and nation building—through film production and regulation, and attempts to control the public space of theaters—largely failed due to persistent audience preferences for transnational films, especially from across the Indian Ocean. Yet even in ostensibly nonracial Tanzania, campaigns concerning film policy or content, such as those affiliated with the national cultural project, were discussed in terms of race. Eventually, the economic and cultural changes which accompanied the liberalization reforms eroded interracial public leisure spaces like cinema halls.

Keywords:   Tanganyika, Tanzania, Africa, India, Indian Ocean, cinema, nationalism, colonialism, race, liberalization

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