The word ‘decolonization’ is often used to deconstruct the rigidity of our society. Yet we are all of us part of that society and in fact also sometimes take part in that rigidity. That is why my cinematic work started with a personal decolonization: a decolonization of my thinking, my gaze, my imagination, my history …

The first phase of this personal decolonization started in 2012, when I asked myself how I could establish an equal relationship with others in order to tell their story. I tried to answer this question in five documentary films. From inside African migration, I questioned the preproduction of colonial strategies in European societies. Documentary has been a propaganda tool to legitimize colonialism, yet I also consider it an important tool to deconstruct it.

In this doctoral research project, I will explore the second phase of my personal decolonization; this time set in Cameroon. I seek to confront vestiges of colonialism in documentary cinema and in Cameroon history from a personal perspective. I will study how documentary cinema can be a driver of reflection leading to the deconstruction of these colonial models and to a speculative imagining of what came before colonization.

Rosine Mbakam, On the way to my personal decolonization
Rosine Mbakam, Mambar Pierette, © Tandor Productions
Rosine Mbakam, Mambar Pierette, © Tandor Productions

On the way to my personal decolonization

project team
Rosine Mbakam
An van Dienderen (KASK & Conservatorium), Kris Rutten (Ugent)
01.10.2022 – 30.09.2028
Decolonization, Deconstruction, Colonization, Documentary cinema, cinema, Cameroon, Immigration