Jenn Nkiru’s Panafrican Imagination: Black Studies as Aesthetic Practice
A Public Screening and Artist Talk
Free and Open to the Public
Sunday, April 14 at 4pm, liquid blackness, a research project on blackness and aesthetics at Georgia State University, in collaboration with the Film and Media Studies Department, Emory University, present a public screening and artist talk dedicated to the award-winning cinematographer, writer, director, and curator of AFROFREQUENCY, Jenn Nkiru. For more details on the event, Nkiru’s work, or liquid blackness’s research, visit liquid blackness’s website.
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Sunday, April 14, 4:00 p.m., Kopleff Recital Hall
15 Gilmer St. SE, Atlanta, GA 30303
Jenn Nkiru is a British Nigerian filmmaker who wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning short film Rebirth Is Necessary and wrote a number of music videos ideas for musicians such as Pharrell, Major Laser, J Cole, and Imagine Dragons. She collaborated with Kamasi Washington in “Heaven and Earth” for which she directed the video Hub-Tones as well as promotional clips such as Fists of Fury and Space Travelers Lullaby. Nkiru also curated AFROFREQUENCY, a series of screenings and talks for 4:3, which includes an interview with Janelle Monáe. Her latest work, As Told To G/D Thyself, a collaboration with Bradford Young, Terrence Nance, Marc Thomas, and Kamasi Washington, as part of Ummah Chroma, just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Jenn Nkiru’s work is invested in integrating the agenda of the most radical work in Black Studies, particularly Black Feminist Thought with her artistic practice. She received her MFA in film directing from Howard University, thus continuing a long lineage of image makers such as Ernest Dickerson, Arthur Jafa, Malik Sayeed, and Bradford Young who studied under the mentorship of Haile Gerima. Her MFA thesis, the experimental documentary En Vogue, about New York’s voguing and ballroom subculture, was shot by Arthur Jafa and Bradford Young, whom she assisted in the production of Dee Rees’s Pariah.
The relationship between visual, sound, and music, as well as movement and tone, are central concerns of her work, drawing influences from the Black Arts Movement, Black Power, and her Nigerian roots. Her works have a Pan-African and Afrofuturist sensibility, which are grounded in the history of black music, the aesthetics of experimental film, international art cinema, and the rich and variegated tradition of cinemas of the black diaspora and their distinct experimentation with the politics of form.
Following Nkiru’s artist talk, liquid blackness founder and coordinator, Dr. Alessandra Raengo, will lead a discussion and Q&A.
About liquid blackness
Liquid blackness is a research project on blackness and aesthetics that curates critical encounters around arts of the black diaspora, online research tools and resources, and a scholarly journal. It is coordinated by Dr. Alessandra Raengo with graduate students and alumni from the Moving Image Studies Doctoral Program at Georgia State University. liquid blackness has hosted film series (L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, Black Audio Film Collective Film and Speaker Series), screenings of acclaimed and hard-to-see art films (Passing Through, Larry Clark, 1977 and Dreams are Colder than Death, Arthur Jafa, 2013), the contemporary music video work of director Kahlil Joseph (Until the Quiet Comes, 2012, Lemonade, 2016), and award-winning and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Mother of George, 2013, Selma, 2014, Arrival, 2016, Solo: A Star War Story, 2018), as well as Symposia (on blackness and aesthetics, the “Arts and Politics of the Jazz Ensemble,” and aesthetics of suspension) and conversations with artists.