‘I’m gonna put a few things together’, on my way to perhaps obtaining a higher degree in the curation of African Film. Over the next year, maybe two, my plan is to put out an essay every month, speaking to aspects/ themes of classic and contemporary works of African cinema. I’ll likely concentrate on films emerging from the continent rather than work from the diaspora, as I’m personally interested in getting to know those voices better and who it is they are speaking to. I will also try to find a mode of analysis/ critique that references conceptions beyond the colonial and post-colonial, and doesn’t assume the universality of critical theories devised in the west. Simply stated, African storytelling and history extend back to the birth of what we call civilisations, so I suppose I will be working towards more African centred frames of reference and interpretation. Each posting will be accompanied by a mixtape of music inspired by the film question and my response to it.
The aims outlined above will be affected by the fact that though of African heritage, I am born and bred in the UK. Consequently as a child of the west I will unavoidably view the world through lens that refracts information in a way that will synthesise ideas that come from and reflect that experience. A case in point will be my terms of reference which, in addition to the academic, will find their basis in music (the visual arts and literature). I will be drawing ideas and quoting from jazz, soul, hip hop, house and a variety of other music forms, that either inform, evoke or complement an idea or theme I may be exploring/ examining in the various discourses I undertake. I will also see if I am able to challenge my ways of thinking, seeing and doing. I will try to keep my writings as accessible as possible, but I think inevitably they will become increasingly academic as I get more MA ready.
I’m just putting a few things together. A ‘Do 4 Self’ enterprise like that promulgated by Roots Manuva (Slime & Reason LP, 2008), and while I do not claim to any kind of authority at this moment, I do think my writings will stimulate and agitate the reader in equal measure.