The full video of our conversation with artist and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru in occasion of the liquid blackness event Jenn Nkiru’s Panafrican Imagination: Black Studies as Aesthetic Practice is now available from our Vimeo page. The liquid blackness research group hosted Nkiru in April 2019 for an artist talk and masterclass to discuss her artistic inspirations and goals, her aesthetic choices, and the vital role that sound and black music plays in her filmmaking process. During the talk, liquid blackness performed a close analysis of a selected sequence from her film REBIRTH IS NECESSARY. Her work was also previously discussed at an event held at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in March 2019 titled (A) Black Lineage of the Music Art Video, in the context of other artists from the Black Diaspora who similarly straddle the line between commercial and artistic spaces, such as Arthur Jafa, Bradford Young, and Kahlil Joseph. These same artists are also the subject of a forthcoming In Focus section in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (JCMS vol. 59, no. 2), titled, “Modes of Black Liquidity: Music Video as Black Art” edited by Alessandra Raengo and Lauren McLeod Cramer with contributions from liquid blackness members Charles P. “Chip” Linscott, Michele Prettyman, James Tobias, and Jenny Gunn. Drawn from the collective research of the liquid blackness group, Gunn’s essay focuses specifically on Nkiru’s intergenerational pedagogical practice.
Jenn Nkiru is introduced by Dr. Michele Prettyman and is in conversation with Dr. Jenny Gunn, Dr. Alessandra Raengo, and Jazmine Hudson.