Can Blackness Be Loved?

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 8:15 9:45pm

In conjunction with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2016 Conference Host Committee, liquid blackness is organizing and co-sponsoring the marquee event for this year’s conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The event will include the screening of acclaimed filmmaker Arthur Jafa’s experimental film Dreams are Colder than Death (2014) and a panel discussion including Jafa, film scholar Kara Keeling (University of Southern California) and African American philosopher George Yancy (Emory University) at Atlanta’s recently opened Center for Civil and Human Rights. Jafa’s filmography includes pivotal works of independent African American cinema, which includes working as the cinematographer on Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust (1991) and John Akomfrah’s Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1995). Like his prior films, Dreams are Colder than Death provides an opportunity to reflect on Blackness and (cinematic) form. The film is a somber reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech after half a century. This special event presents an occasion and a space to consider the implications of Jafa’s work. Thus, the event intentionally poses the enduring research question, “can blackness be loved?” in Atlanta’s new monument to racial progress. To answer this provocative question and bridge the gap between Dr. King’s commitment to Civil and Human Rights and the contemporary moment, the film features interviews with the foremost artists and scholars of Blackness including: author/professor Hortense Spillers, poet and philosopher Fred Moten, filmmaker Charles Burnett, professor Saidiya Hartman, ex-Black Panther and professor Kathleen Cleaver, music producer Flying Lotus, musician and producer Melvin Gibbs, contemporary artists Kara Walker and Wangechi Mutu, and visual culture scholar Nicole Fleetwood, among others.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights
100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW,
Atlanta, GA 30313

This event is part of Civil Encounters with Black Media and Black Life, a night on contemporary issues of media and race in the context of Atlanta at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. The first 150 registered conference attendees will be able to freely visit the Center’s Civil Rights and Human Rights Galleries during the evening. Seats are on a first come/first serve basis. Group discount tickets ($10) are also available for purchase at the door.