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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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13

The Comings and Goings of Key Scenarios

TV Fiction, Culture, and Transnational Flows in Postcolonial Kinshasa

Katrien Pype

ABSTRACT

On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork with Kinshasa's evangelizing television actors, this chapter describes the shifting production and circulation of religious media in terms of key scenarios for understanding quotidian life in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). It examines how and when local TV serials changed from producing a nationalist narrative toward Pentecostal interpretations of life, death, and the occult. This is related, first, to the generally increased popularity of Pentecostal churches all over sub-Saharan Africa and, second, to the South–South migration of sub-Saharan Africans. Pentecostal leaders occupy prominent positions in the production and circulation of local media. Pastors and other spiritual leaders become patrons, sponsors, and religious protectors for theater groups that produce television. The mobility of religion and of peoples has led to the spread of Nollywood films and to changing media aesthetics in Kinshasa's media world.

On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork with producers of TV serials in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (where such serials are also called maboke, théâtre populaire, and télédramatiques), this chapter aims at introducing one particular anthropological perspective on TV fiction: I will show how television fiction can be studied as an important site of cultural production. ...

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