Documentary practice and the resistance to cultural norms

Ayisi, Florence and Brylla, Catalin ORCID: (2014) Documentary practice and the resistance to cultural norms. In: Football and Communities of Resistance Conference, 12 Jun 2014, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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This paper discusses the development of women’s football on the predominantly Muslim island of Zanzibar as portrayed in two documentary films: “Zanzibar Soccer Queens” (2006, Florence Ayisi) and “Zanzibar Soccer Dreams” (2013, Florence Ayisi, Catalin Brylla). “Zanzibar Soccer Queens” contributed to the development of local women’s football by challenging traditional gender divisions, promoting the renegotiation of female self-identity and subverting stereotypical media portrayals of African women. Thus, the film encouraged a paradigm shift within Zanzibar, as well as within an international public, medial and academic context. This impetus resulted in considerable transformations in the local community, which “Zanzibar Soccer Dreams” maps in relation to education, emancipation and the new status of women’s football.
Both documentaries focus on Zanzibar’s first women’s football club, Women Fighters FC, and its coach, Nassra Mohammed, who founded the club in the 1980s. Nassra has been a driving force in developing women’s football in Zanzibar, despite obstacles generated out of orthodox socio-cultural and religious traditions. Women Fighters is not only a club but also a community of women that has resisted traditional definitions of womanhood and the male-dominated oppressions impeding women’s participation in outdoor sports.
The government has listened to Nassra and responded positively by changing its policy to allow girls to participate in football as part of sports education in schools. Times have truly changed in the playing fields of football in Zanzibar since the 1980s.
This presentation will include two short video clips from both films.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film and television
Depositing User: Catalin Brylla
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2016 21:00
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:19

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