Black Film British Cinema Conference

Black Film British Cinema Conference

From May 18 to 19, 2017, University of Greenwich, Goldsmiths, University of London and the Institute of Contemporary Art will present a two-day conference that will explore the politics of race in contemporary British cinema and visual practice, as well as reflect on the history of black film production in relation to the institutional, technological, textual, cultural and political shifts that have occurred over the last three decades.

Alongside keynotes from Professor Sarita Malik and Dr Kara Keeling as well as a fantastic range of papers offering international perspectives on both historic and contemporary approaches to black British cinema, a number of plenaries and special presentations will take place throughout the two days:

Day one, the plenary Institutional Approaches to Black Film Support addresses the complex questions of diversity within the institutions, and discusses the various methods in which film institutions and funders have and continue to support black filmmaking in the United Kingdom, and how these methods can inform current strategies by the DCMS, BFI, Film London and others, with panelists Ruth Caleb OBE, Chi Onwurah MP, Gill Henderson and Matimba Kabalika.

In our second plenary Remembering Black Film British Cinema 1988, Professor Sylvia Harvey (University of Leeds) Eddie George (founding member of Black Audio Film Collective) and Dr Rod Stoneman will be offering a retrospective analysis of the first conference, its socio-political context, and what those times meant, not just for filmmakers but also the institutions involved.

Day two, the Institute of Contemporary Arts opens with the film curator June Givanni in conversation with Dr Emma Sandon (Birkbeck, University of London) discussing her career, the significance of the Black Film British Cinema Conference in 1988 and her archival work and research with the Pan African Cinema Archives. This will be followed by a special visual panel on the films of Steve McQueen. Curated by Dr Richard Martin (King’s College London), this session will critique the forms of representation of race found in both McQueen’s early video work and his feature films. Finally, moving image artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy and documentary filmmakers Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis will participate in a shared visual plenary demonstrating and discussing how two different aesthetic approaches – the art film and the radical documentary – address the central question of how the moving image creates counter-hegemonic narratives of blackness and diversity.

This conference has been organised by University of Greenwich, Goldsmiths, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and co-supported by the Sociological Review Foundation.

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