African Film Institute

African Film Institute


Fanta Regina Nacro, The Night of the Truth (still), 2004.

September 14, 2023
African Film Institute
A home and a place for African cinema
Prelude—A Song About Love: September 19, 7pm
e-flux Screening Room
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
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e-flux is very pleased to present the African Film Institute, with an ongoing series of events and other activities starting on September 19, 2023 at 7pm with Prelude: A Song About Love. Taking music videos as a serious category of cinematic force, this preliminary event will present a festive evening of visual poems sourced collectively from the members of the community of collaborators, supporters, and partners of the African Film Institute.

A home and a place for African cinema
The African Film Institute aims to create a home and a place of intimacy with African cinema in New York, through developing gradually and organically a viewing program animated by fellowships; a growing library; an active writers’ room; and an expanding catalog of recorded dialogs. 

The Institute will maintain a presence of African cinema through cultural critique, social analysis, and a convivial scholarship, grounded in fellowship and anchored in mutuality and affiliation with near and distant places and times, rendered through the medium of the moving image in the plural idiom of African expressions.

The Institute wishes to supplement existing public encounters with African cinema in New York, most of which take place at screenings presented either as part of occasional and temporary exhibitions, or at dedicated film festivals that are limited to a number of days each year, leaving publics and students of African cinema underserved for the remainder of the time.

An evening school
The African Film Institute aims to sustain a cinematic experience that views culture as a symbolic meeting place of all creative practices of a society, and a space in which, every day, we learn something new, while ensuring not to leave anyone behind. And yet, culture is also exactly that which cannot be taught in the classroom, even though we may pass it on without even realizing it.

To this end, the African Film Institute draws from the visual cultures that view cinema as an evening school: a popular information system in the service of education, aesthetic experience and public dissemination, employing a methodology concerning the use of cinema’s collective production, and investing in viewing methods informed by different uses of time, visual and textual histories, social struggles and hopes, in mutuality between their own locality and the world at large.

The African Film Institute is convened by Christian Nyampeta.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 7pm
Prelude: A Song About Love
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The transgeographic offering in this prelude event will range from pioneering works in the music video genre as it relates to the African lifeworlds, traversing through its contemporary forms, and journeying into sonic cultures described from within and beyond Afrofuturism: works that—as anthropologist Natacha Nsabimana and scholar Adom Getachew describe—speculate about futures through contemporary artistic and scholarly productions that imagine realistic, mythical, and fantastic potentials out of the conundrums of the present. Through music video, the evening will play back a number of tenets and pedagogical outlooks to be explored over the years by means of trans-institutional practices at the heart of the African Film Institute. These questions include the tensions caused by the competing commercial interests, social values, and global norms of the West, the East, and Africa; questions of how to trace histories, genealogies, and knowledge within the absences, breaks, but also overcomings such as they are expressed through the medium of (film) festivals; the place of religion, the sacred, and the profane in culture and society; political engagement and the freedom not to engage politically;  gender-based violence; regional alliances; state and institutional patronage in cinema; mobility, displacement, borders, and exile; nation, states, land, and territory; earths, waters, ecologies, and extractions, etc. In the face of such crushing conditions, love, affection, and tenderness become forms of protest and instruments for placemaking and worldmaking, articulated in self-fashioning, voicings, lyrics, movement, dance, and more. Read more about the event here.

With videos featuring Francis BebeyMbilia BelYvonne Chaka ChakaCKayDavidoZinja HlungwaniAngelique KidjoLibiancaMiriam MakebaTshala MuanaNakhaneMonique SekaPapa Wemba, and more. Introduced by Christian Nyampeta.

For more information, contact program [​at​]

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September 14, 2023

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