cfp Fliek!

Cfp for issue: Fliek! Film and/in Afrikaans literature

There are two main reasons why numerous movie releases are still adaptations of literary works. The use of novels or plays as resources for films was initially a method by which the film industry sought to increase the status of the new medium by drawing the attention of fans of “high culture”. Another important reason is economic in nature. Best-selling novels or dramas are often the best advertisement for a movie.

Where the relationship between film-literature and adaptation / translation comes into play, film critics and academics are still not in agreement about this particular relationship. According to some, the filmmaker is a translator: he / she is busy with an intersemiotic translation; thus a translation from one sign system or mode to another. Others, such as Bluestone (2003), believe that adaptation delivers a completely different product, with different aesthetic conventions, because film is inherently quite different from literature. It is therefore futile to argue that film A is better or weaker than novel A. Each object is autonomous, with its own unique and specific characteristics. The filmmaker only processes a paraphrase of the word text and uses only its raw material. The filmmaker is therefore not a translator, but a new author or creator.

Film and / in Afrikaans literature, among others, raises questions such as the following:

  • Are all word texts equally suitable for adaptation into films?
  • Can a classic word text ever be translated / adapted into a “successful” filmic text?
  • What is the nature and value of adaptation or intersemiotic translation?
  • Why do some “inferior” novels become commercially large films?
  • If the adaptation of some word texts is more acceptable than others, is it not possible to develop a method for the adaptation of word texts?
  • What are the similarities and / or differences between word texts and filmic texts? The fundamental difference between the filmic text as direct visual representation of reality, while the word text represents reality through words (symbols).
  • What aspects of the word text / filmic text determine the emotional experience of the reader or viewer, despite differences in gender, race and religion?

Volume 32 (3) of considers the varied ways in which:

  1. film adaptations or visual film translations of Afrikaans literature manifest in academic discourse,
  2. Afrikaans literature is used in films as intertexts
  3. more general analyses on the relationship between film and literature, and
  4. other adaptations / translations, such as TV adaptation and digital sphere adaptations.

One-page proposals are awaited until June 2020, while final contributions (between 6,000 and 8,000 words in Afrikaans, English or Dutch) are expected by 01 November 2020. (With publication in mid-2021.)

For more information, contact issue editors Adéle Nel ( and Rikus Ströh (



Bluestone, G.  2003.  Novels into film.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


This page can be accessed in Afrikaans. The CfP, in pdf, is here, and the oproep, here.