BETTI ONO in partnership with Broaklyn Film& Theatre Co is pleased to present a screening of the short film series “Black Radical Imagination” curated by Amir George a motion picture artist and film curator from Chicago and Los Angeles based filmmaker and programmer Erin Christovale.
The screening and dialogue will take place Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 1-4pm at Betti Ono in Downtown Oakland.
The notion of the Black Radical Imagination stemmed from a series of discussions around the boundaries and limitations that are historically given to people of color. Specifically, in the film industry these restrictions are often digested and kept to propel a vicious cycle of negative identification. Black Radical Imagination invokes a futurist aesthetic where artists identify themselves and reclaim their own unique stories. The visual pieces delve into the worlds of video art, experimental film, and narrative shorts. They also focus on access to new media such as animation and graphic design to highlight how these processes enhance our storytelling and the visual artistic practices underway in our communities. Each artist contributes their own vision of a free changing world in a post-modern society through focused observations that explore the state of black culture.
Following the screening will be a roundabout dialogue with audience members and featured filmmakers Amir George and Erin Christovale, moderated by Bay Area based writer and Afro-Futurist D.Scot Miller, to further ponder and process the stories that are being presented. Furthermore, these conversations are set in place in order to shift the way in which Black identity is defined on screen and how these stories affect our ever-changing global culture.
“Without new visions, we donʼt know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics, but a process that can and must transform us” ― Robin D.G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
Black Radical Imagination: A Filmed TransmissioN
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Doors Open at 1pm
Screening at 2pm
Moderated Q & A led by D.Scot Miller to follow
Plus, #culinarysmashedupjuices mixed by Bryant Terry
$8-10 suggested donation supports filmmakers
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Amir George is a motion picture artist and film curator from Chicago. His film and video work has been screened in festivals and galleries across the US and in Canada, and London. In addition to founding the Cinema Culture a grassroots film programming organization Amir is also programmer in residence at Black Cinema House a cinema space created by Theaster Gates. Amir studied at Columbia College and now teaches film and video classes to elementary and high school students. He is currently shooting new projects and curating programs.
Erin Christovale is a Los Angeles filmmaker and programmer. She graduated from the USC Cinematic School of the Arts in 2010 with a B.A. in Critical Studies and is a part of the artist collective, Native Thinghood, which focuses on the promotion of upcoming artists of color.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Cristina De Middel, born in Spain, earned her MFA at the University of Valencia and received her MA in Photography from the University of Oklahoma, but her real training came as a photojournalist. Her first book and film The Afronauts (Self-published, 2012), has received critical acclaim and was named by many as one of the “Best Photobooks of 2012.” De Middel is currently based in London,UK.
Anansi Knowbody has operated as producer, director, camera operator, AD, cinematographer, and editor as well as production designer in everything from narrative productions, commercial video, and experimental shorts. Currently he freelances as a photographer/ videographer utilizing skills gained at Columbia College. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Anansiʼs work has been featured in numerous film festivals and gallery exhibitions.
Adebukola Bodunrin, a native of Toronto, Canada is a film, video, and installation artist who explores language, culture, and media. In her collage animations, she manipulates film using unorthodox manual and digital techniques in order to produce unexpected cinematic experiences. Bodunrin completed her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been screened or exhibited nationally and internationally at venues that include the Jersey City
Museum of Art, the Scope Art Fair, Onion City Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Festival Animator, Poznań, Poland. She lives and works in Chicago.
Cauleen Smith produces multi-channel film and video installations that incorporate sculptural objects and text, drawing from her roots in structuralist filmmaking to afro-futurist narrative strategies. For the past year and a half, Smith has held consecutive residencies in Chicago at ThreeWalls, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and the Experimental Sound Studio. In 2012, Smith installed overlapping shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and ThreeWalls, and was named Outstanding Artist by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Smith currently teaches as a
Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while exploring the intersection of art, protest, commerce, and community on Chicago’s South Side. Smith received her B.A. form the School of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University and her MFA from UCLAʼs School of Theater-Television-Film. Smithʼs experimental, installation and narrative work has shown at The Kitchen, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, as well as film festivals in Milan, London, Paris, and Berlin
Akosua Adoma Owusu is an award-winning filmmaker and artist of Ghanaian descent. A protégé of prolific filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson, she received her MFA in the Schools of Film & Video and Fine Art at the California Institute of the Arts, and her BA at the University of Virginia. Owusu`s short film “ME BRONI BA” (“My White Baby”) garnered critical acclaim with screenings at over 60 international film festivals including Rotterdam, London Film Festival, Visions du Reel, Silverdocs, and the Cannes Film Festival at Short Film Corner. Shortly after graduating from CalArts, she was the
youngest of 42 black conceptual artists included in the group exhibition, 30 Seconds Off an Inch, at the famed Studio Museum in Harlem, where she also exhibited solo video projects. Her videos have shown at art venues including the Museum of Modern Art, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, the National Gallery of Art, Transformer Gallery, BOZAR, LA Freewaves, Vox Populi, Spaces Gallery, and The Luggage Store Gallery. She was also a featured artist at the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and a Directing Talent at the Berlinale Talent Campus and the Durban Talent Campus in South Africa. One of five recipients and the first Ghanaian to receive the award, Owusu will be funded by Focus Features` Africa First Program to direct a short film entitled “KWAKU ANANSE”, an adaptation of a traditional Ghanaian folktale mixed with live action and animation.
Jacolby Satterwhite relocated to New York City where he lives and works, following earning a MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. His multi-media works have been exhibited throughout the country, at such venues as The Kitchen, Dash Gallery, White Box Gallery, Exit Art, and the New Museum, all in New York; Plexus Art Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky; Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ; and others. He has been awarded residencies at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 2009, a Harvest Work Residency from 2010-2011, and a Van Lier Grant from the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Studio LLC program. He was recently featured in Studio Museum of Harlemʼs biennale, entitled “Fore” and recently had his first solo show; Matriarchʼs Rhapsody, at the Monya Rowe Gallery in New York.
SYNOPSIS OF FILMS
(In order of appearance)
Afronauts by Cristina De Middel (4:30 min)
In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. Only a few optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts, a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit.
Reifying Desire 2 by Jacolby Satterwhite (8:30 min)
The latest installment in a six-part series, Reifying Desire 3 is a surrealist creation myth that stems from his ongoing collaboration with his mother. Satterwhite writes: “ʻReifying Desire 1–6ʼ will use 230 3-D modeled versions of my motherʼs drawings, my body, and animated figures. The intersection of the disparate disciplines including dance performance, drawing, and digital media acts as an exquisite corpse strategy for guiding the storyline.
Mae’s Journal by Amir George (12:20 min)
Mae’s Journal is a chronicle of the historic space mission of Mae Jemison in 1992. Through 6 fictional journal entries Mae’s journey is recreated through live action reenactments and actual footage of the STS-47 voyage.
Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful by Akosua Adoma Owusu (5 min)
A woman attaches hair piece, black women in hair salons get their hair plaited; and a woman models on a yellow turban. Eccentric hairstyles reveal the roots of Afro hair in which activist, Angela Davis becomes involved. Manipulating and re-positioning found footage as subject matter, “Split Ends, I feel wonderful” observes the latest fad in hairstyles of the 1970s among African Americans in NYC. The film takes us to a time when Black is beautiful and a symbol of African pride.
The Changing Same by Cauleen Smith (9:24 min)
An Alien is sent to earth to investigate the “incubators.” She discovers that she is replacing a rogue agent and starts to questions her mission as relationships become intimate.
Quiescence Interrupted… Adumbrate by Anansi Knowbody (6 min)
The piece is an introduction… part of a work in progress. The staring character, Buddah is a regular guy with very irregular dreams or some might perceive as nightmares… The intent is to play on the ideas of distraction, disruption, fear, and premonition. The relativity of dream. The hope is to generate interest through technique and mystery.
Golden Chain by Adebukola Bodunrin & Ezra Clayton Daniels (6:10 min)
The African Woman: mother of civilization, historically overlooked member of contemporary global society. She finds herself now in a distant, not-impossible future. A Nigerian space station in a remote nook of the solar system orbits a pinpoint of matter so dense it cannot exist on Earth. It is a recreation of the birth of the universe itself, contained for the purpose of study, and overseen by Yetunde, chief science engineer on the space station Eko. This animation is the story of an archetype come full circle. Blending afro-futurist motifs with hard science fiction, we create a world at once fantastical, yet entirely plausible, in order to ask the question: “Where will we go, given where we came from?”