Conversations at the Edge

November 15- John Akomfrah: The Nine Muses

Posted on | November 11, 2012 | No Comments

Thursday, November 15, 6 p.m. | John Akomfrah in person!

Image from The Nine Muses (John Akomfrah, 2010). Courtesy of the artist and Icarus Films.

The Nine Muses, the 2011 feature by British filmmaker, artist, and co-founder of the 1980s Black Audio Film Collective John Akomfrah, journeys through the history of African and Caribbean migration to post-war Britain through the lens of Homer’s revered epic poem The Odyssey. Structured as an allegorical fable set between 1949 and 1970, The Nine Muses is comprised of nine overlapping musical chapters exploring migration, exile, alienation, and the nature of home. Through archival imagery, desolate shots of the Alaskan wilderness, readings from sources as varied as Emily Dickinson and Rabindranath Tagore, and the music of Arvo Pärt and the Gundecha Brothers, The Nine Muses weaves a haunting path through myth, landscape, and history.

JOHN AKOMFRAH (b. 1957, Accra, Ghana) is a leading British filmmaker, moving-image installation artist, and cofounder in the early 1980s of the Black Audio Film Collective. Akomfrah’s work has been shown in galleries and museums including Documenta (Germany), the De Balie (Holland), Centre George Pompidou (France), the Serpentine and Whitechapel Galleries (UK); and The Museum of Modern Art (USA). A major new retrospective of Akomfrah’s gallery-based work with the Black Audio Film Collective premiered at the FACT and Arnolfini galleries (UK), and is now making a tour of galleries and museums throughout Europe. In 2000 Akomfrah was awarded the Gold Digital Award at the Cheonju International Film Festival, South Korea, for his innovative use of digital technology. John Akomfrah is currently a Governor of Film London, a visiting professor of film at the University Of Westminster (United Kingdom), and an officer of the Order of the British Empire.


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