Monday, November 10 – 11:00 a.m. – Brigance Library (800 E. 3rd St., 2nd FL) Akosua Adoma Owusu is an American experimental filmmaker of Ghanaian parentage. Owusu says “through my filmmaking, I hope to open audiences up to a new dialogue between the continents of Africa and America; one that incorporates more than just stereotypes, but includes both conventionalized and unconventionalized discourses of race in its service.” Owusu’s filmmaking practice involves appropriation of preexisting materials and creating original footage. Akosua Adoma Owusu will discuss her films following the 45-minute program along with IU cinema and media studies professor Terri Francis.
ME BRONI BA (MY WHITE BABY) 22 minutes |2009 | digital projection “Me Broni Ba” (“My White Baby”) is a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes, set against a child’s story of migrating from Ghana to the United States. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby.”
DREXCIYA 12 minutes |2010| digital projection A portrait of an abandoned public swimming facility located in Accra, Ghana. The Riviera was once known as Ghana’s first pleasure beach. A one-time extravagant Ambassador Hotel of post-colonial – early Kwame Nkrumah era, the Riviera Beach Club thrived until the mid-1970’s. The Olympic-sized pool, now in a dilapidated state, is used for locals for things other than swimming. Inspired by the myth of Detroit electronic bands, Drexciya & Underground Resistance.
SPLIT ENDS, I FEEL WONDERFUL 5 minutes | 2012| digital projection A woman attaches hair piece, black women in hair salons get their hair plaited; and a woman models on a yellow turban. Eccentric hairstyles reveal the roots of Afro hair in which activist, Angela Davis becomes involved. Manipulating and re-positioning found footage as subject matter, “Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful” observes the latest fad in hairstyles of 1975 among African-Americans in NYC. The film takes us to a time when Black was beautiful and a symbol of African pride.
This presentation of the Afrosurrealist Film Society is cosponsored by Cinema and Media Studies, the Black Film Center/Archive, American Studies, Cultural Studies, and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.