Cinematic Migrations: a symposium and lecture series

ACT Cube, Wiesner Building (E15-001), Cambridge, MA, United States
03 Mar 2014 - 28 Apr 2014

Cinematic Migrations: a symposium and lecture series

John Akomfrah, The Last Angel of History, 1995.

Cinematic Migrations is an ongoing research project, seminar, and lecture series that generates a multi-faceted look at the role of cinema’s transmutations over time, stemming from its fractured ontology and its worldwide and circuitous shifts.

These include the integrations of its form into online video, film, and television diffusion, spatial installations, performance and dance, as well as its appearance in many formats and portable devices. During this initial phase, the work of John Akomfrah, currently with Smoking Dogs Films and previously with Black Audio Film Collective, provides a focal point for examination, in conjunction with presentations of filmmakers, artists, and scholars participating in the symposium and related lecture series.


Cinematic Migrations symposium: March 6–7

The Cinematic Migrations symposium developed as a culmination of the first two years of investigations. Invited guests will discuss facets of what the Cinematic Migrations framework suggests in relation to their work as artists, filmmakers, producers, and scholars, as well as in relation to the work of John Akomfrah.

Speakers: Renée Green, artist, filmmaker, writer, ACT professor and director, John Akomfrah, OBE, filmmaker, Lina Gopaul, producer, Smoking Dogs Films (UK), Arthur Jafa, cinematographer and producer, Manthia Diawara, professor of Comparative Literature, New York University, Laura Marks, Dena Wosk University professor, Simon Fraser University (Canada), Fred Moten, philosopher, poet, and professor of English, University of California, Riverside, Gloria Sutton, assistant professor of Art History, Northeastern University

Cinematic Migrations lecture series : Experiments in thinking, action and form

The cinematic, as a poetic and essayistic form of examination and reflection, underlies the breadth of perspectives and practices explored by the guests. Filmmakers, multimedia artists, performers, and scholars will reflect on and probe ideas pertaining to embodied experience, memory, the diasporic imagination, as well as human experience amidst political and technological changes.

March 3
Transfigured Night
John Akomfrah, OBE, filmmaker and writer, Smoking Dogs Films (UK)
Lina Gopaul, producer and writer, Smoking Dogs Films (UK)

March 17
Migration Inside-Out: Contemplate, Imagine, Act… 
Kazue Kobata, professor, Department of Intermedia Art, Tokyo University of the Arts

April 7
Where’s the Passion? Where’s the Politics? 
Yvonne Rainer, dancer,  choreographer  and  filmmaker

April 28
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Translations of Memory
Elvan Zabunyan, art critic, historian, and lecturer at the University of Rennes (France)

Cinematic Migrations is a collaborative research and production project initiated by Renée Green (Free Agent Media); in its initial two-year phase it has been co-hosted by ACT and the MIT Visiting Artists Program. The work of filmmaker John Akomfrah and producer Lina Gopaul (Smoking Dogs Films; founding members of the seminal UK-based Black Audio Film Collective) has been a focal point in this inaugural iteration. For an overview of the Cinematic Migrations project, including past lectures.

In connection with the symposium and lecture series, the Harvard Film Archive will be screening several films directed by John Akomfrah and produced by Lina Gopaul.

Free and open to the public




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