Library Weekly

The ASCL's Library Weekly is our library’s weekly spotlight on African people and events. Inspired by the SciHiBlog, this service is based on information retrieved from Wikipedia and Wikidata and is completed with selected titles from the ASCL Library Catalogue. 

N.B. The weeklies are not updated and reflect the state of information at a given point in time.

Library Weekly archive

Safi Faye

Safi Faye (Wikimedia Commons, Olivier Barlet, CC-BY-4.0)On 22 November 1943, Senegalese film director and ethnologist Safi Faye was born  in Dakar.  She was the first Sub-Saharan African woman to direct a commercially distributed feature film, Kaddu Beykat,  winning awards at FIFEF (Festival International du Film d’Expression Française), FESPACO (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma d’Ouagadougou), and the Berlin Film Festival.
Safi Faye attended the École normal de Rufisque. After having received her teaching certificate in 1962 or 1963, she worked as a teacher in Dakar.
In 1966, she went to the Dakar Festival of Negro Arts and met French ethnologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch. He encouraged her to use film making as an ethnographic tool. She had an acting role in his 1971 film Petit à petit. Faye has said that she dislikes Rouch's film but that working with him enabled her to learn about filmmaking and cinéma-vérité.
In the 1970s she studied ethnology at the École pratique des hautes études and then at the Lumière Film School. She supported herself by working as a model, an actor and in film sound effects. In 1979, she received a PhD in ethnology from the University of Paris. From 1979 to 1980, Faye studied video production in Berlin and was a guest lecturer at the Free University of Berlin.
After having produced her first films in France in 1972 and 1973, Safi Faye directed several documentary and fiction films focusing on rural life in Senegal.
Safi Faye died in Paris on February 22, 2023 at age of 79.
(Source: Wikipedia, accessed on 16 November 2023)

Selected publications

Safi Faye and the Singular Vision of Cinema / Oliveira, Janaína. In: Feminist worldmaking and the moving image / Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg (eds). Cambridge, Massachusetts : the MIT Press, 2022, pages 450-452.

Safi Faye's Mossane: A Song to Women, to Beauty, to Africa / Beti Ellerson. In: Black camera : the newsletter of the Black Film Center/Archives, 2019, Vol.10 (2), p.250-265

Ethnographic Film’s Relation to African Cinema: Safi Faye and Jean Rouch / Matthias De Groof. In: Visual Anthropology, 31:4-5, 2018, pages 426-444

Rites et rythmes de l'eau dans Mossane de Safi Faye / Domingo Pujante Gonzalez. - Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València, 2017

Voices and Songs in Safi Faye's "Mossane" / Vlad Dima. In: The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, 2011, Vol.44 (1), p.29-41

Leçon de Cinéma de Safi Faye / Beti Ellerson.  African Women in Cinema Blog, May 26, 2010.

Safi Faye's Gaze: The Evolution of an African Woman's Cinema / Beti Ellerson. In: Focus on African Films /  Pfaff, Françoise (ed.). Indiana University Press, 2004, pages 185–202

African women and de /colonization: Strategies of resistance and dynamics of change in Senegalese women's literature and film / Evelyne Delgado-Norris. Thesis Northwestern University 2003

Safi Faye (Senegal), interview. / Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike. In: Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2002, pages 29–40

Mossane / Safi Faye. Paris : La médiathèque des trois mondes, 1996

Safi Faye Mossane - Cinema Lesson in French


Timeline of Senegalese women film directors via Wikidata and DBpedia