ASAP (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present) is accepting submissions through March 15th for the 9th annual meeting to be held October 26-28, 2017 at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center and hosted by U.C. Berkley. Submission guidelines and more details are available here.
Baldwin’s Nigger and Reggae
Friday, February 24, 2017
Gallery 992 | 8:00 pm
$10 admission | Tickets available on EventbriteCo-sponsored by Liquid Blackness, the Department of Film & Media Studies and the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University
Horace Ové, CBE, may be best known for Pressure (1976), the first feature film by a black director in Britain. But earlier in his career came two remarkable political documentaries produced in the wake of Black Power – one a document of James Baldwin at peak intensity, and the other an examination of reggae at the very beginning of its international emergence.
The 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro has shown all over again the importance of James Baldwin’s ideas and the ever-powerful force of his literary voice. Horace Ové’s film Baldwin’s Nigger documents a 1969 appearance by Baldwin and Dick Gregory at London’s West Indian Student Centre. In an extemporized address to a packed room, Baldwin undertakes a complex examination of the experience of blackness, in history and in the immediate context of the American war in Vietnam.
Always a magnetic presence, Baldwin is at his most riveting in this film. Following his talk is an animated back-and-forth between the audience of students, activists, and community members and Baldwin, who responds in the moment to questions about integration, the difference between “Negro” and “black,” and the role of white liberals in Black Power. Ové’s film, rather than simply celebrating a famous writer, preserves the integrity of Baldwin’s encounter with his audience. Baldwin’s Nigger is thus a valuable document not only of Baldwin, but of the West Indian Student Centre itself, and of a black community in Britain finding the way through a fraught political moment.
Reggae is a very early documentary about the political significance of Jamaican music’s emergence in Britain. Filmed partly at a 1970 concert in Wembley Stadium and containing performances by Desmond Dekker, the Maytals and other superstars, Reggae is nonetheless something other than a concert film. Found footage, street photography, interviews with fans and music industry figures combine with the vintage performances to create a sharp and textured report that captures its moment and looks forward to reggae’s worldwide acceptance and its influence on the imminent development of British punk.
Though quite different from each other, both of these films touch on themes of immigration, integration, and black culture across borders. Their immediate context was the West Indian experience in Britain in the era of Black Power, but Horace Ové’s prescience as a filmmaker ensures they remain ever-relevant to us, here, today, in the era of Black Lives Matter, and beyond.
Baldwin’s Nigger (Horace Ové, 1969) 45 minutes
Reggae (Horace Ové, 1971) 60 minute
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Wednesday, February 22, Ciné Murmur will screen Aloysius Harmon’s Permanent Daylight, Boneshaker by Ghanaian director Frances Bodomo, and Swimming in Your Skin Again directed by Terrance Nance. Screening from 7-10 pm at Murmur Gallery, 100 Broad St.
Ciné Murmur is a monthly screening hosted at Murmur featuring a short film from emerging artists, writers and filmmakers and a feature short flick or documentary.
$5 Suggested donations
On Black Futures looks for those other modes of being in the world – geographically, aesthetically, temporally, speculatively – that expand how we understand blackness in relation to futurity and the fantastic as fundamental to black thought and black being.
On Black Futures is a two day symposium held on February 3-4, 2017 and hosted by The Graduate Certificate Students in the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University. A full description of the symposium and presenters is available here.
Running for three weeks in February BAMcinématek presents “One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970-1991.” The series opens February 3-5 with a screening of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust. The series also highlights films by Barbara McCullough, Zeinabu irene Davis, Alile Sharon Larkin and Monona Wali, all whose work was likewise highlighted in “The L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black American Cinema,” a film series co-hosted by liquid blackness and Emory’s Department of Film and Media Studies in the Fall 2013.
In the January 23rd issue, The New Yorker highlights the exhibition of Arthur Jafa’s video piece, Love is the Message, the Message is Death at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise as “required viewing.” Jafa previewed the piece before the screening of his film, Dreams are Colder than Death at the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta as part of a 2016 SCMS conference event hosted by liquid blackness last spring.
Read the full New Yorker piece here.
liquid blackness supports the efforts of the #J20 Art Strike, an act of noncompliance on Inauguration Day. For more on the rationale behind the strike, read Coco Fusco’s op-ed for Hyperallergic. In the days ahead and as a sign of solidarity, liquid blackness will continue to share the op-eds of other contributors to Hyperallergic in support of the strike .
liquid blackness is pleased to announce that the 2015 publication, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema edited by Allison Field and Jan-Christopher Horak and published by University of California Press will be awarded best edited collection at the 2017 SCMS annual conference. The awards ceremony will be held Friday, March 24th at the Fairmont Chicago. Faculty coordinator of liquid blackness, Alessandra Raengo’s essay, “Encountering the Rebellion: liquid blackness Reflects on the Expansive Possibilities of the L.A. Rebellion Films,” is included in the collection and describes the research which culminated in “The Arts and Politics of the Jazz Ensemble” project.
Papers to be presented by liquid blackness faculty advisor, Alessandra Raengo and editorial staff member, Jenny Gunn were recently included in a CAA News article highlighting the emphasis on intersections of race and art at the 2017 annual College Art Association Conference in New York City. The papers of other friends of liquid blackness including Lauren Cramer, Derek Conrad Murray, Deborah Willis and Sarah Cervenak were also highlighted.
Read more here.