April 7. Screening of Handsworth Songs (1986) by the Black Audio Film Collective. Encounter with Louis Henderson and Kodwo Eshun

Sunday, April 7, 17:00
Screening of Handsworth Songs (1986) by the Black Audio Film Collective
Encounter with

As a continuation of the research project “The ensemble of the senses and the ensemble of the social” Louis Henderson invites Kodwo Eshun to TIER to be in conversation about the film Handsworth Songs.

Handsworth Songs is a richly-layered documentary representing the hopes and dreams of post-war black British people in the light of the civil disturbances of the 1980s. It engages with Britain’s colonial past, public and private memories, and the struggles of race and class. The title refers to the riots in Handsworth, Birmingham during September 1985. The soundtrack is influenced by reggae, punk and the post-industrial noise movement.

Henderson and Eshun will discuss the role that the BAFC played in advent of a black industrial postpunk culture in the UK in the 1980s, bringing the film and its sound/image-tracks into relation with the music of Test Department, Throbbing Gristle, Jah Shaka and The Pop Group for example. They will discuss the film as an industrial-dub collage made in resistance to the racist police state of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.

More about Handsworth Songs here: https://lux.org.uk/work/handsworth-songs

Handsworth Songs is being screened thanks to the kind permission of David Lawson.

The Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC), founded in 1982 and active until 1998, comprised seven Black British and diaspora multimedia artists and film makers: John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul, Avril Johnson, Reece Auguiste, Trevor Mathison, Edward George and Claire Joseph. Joseph left in 1985 and was replaced by David Lawson. The group initially came together as students at Portsmouth Polytechnic (their backgrounds included sociology, fine art and psychology), and after graduation relocated to Hackney in east London.

Kodwo Eshun is a British-Ghanaian writer, theorist and filmmaker. He studied English Literature (BA Hons, MA Hons) at University College, Oxford University, and Romanticism and Modernism MA Hons at Southampton University. He currently teaches on the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and at CCC Research Master Program of the Visual Arts Department at HEAD (Geneva School of Art and Design). He is also a member of The Otolith Group: founded in 2002 by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, the Otolith Group creates films, installations

, and performances that are driven by extensive research into the histories of science fiction and the legacies of transnationalism.

Louis Henderson is a filmmaker who is trying to find new ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racial capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. Interested in exploring the sonic space of images, his work aims to develop an archaeological method in cinema, listening to the echoes and spirals of the stratigraphic. Since 2017, Henderson has been working within the artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble. Based between Haiti and France, they focus on theatre, song, slam, poetry and cinema. His work is distributed by LUX and Video Data Bank.

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