February 23 | Black Progress | Garrett Bradley and John Akomfrah

L-R: Garrett Bradley and John Akomfrah
ACT at MIT

Tuesday, February 23
1pm EST
Virtual Event

Free event. Registration required. Sign up here.

The Spring 2021 Black Mobility and Safety in the US Lecture Series begins with the theme of Black Progress, and we welcome Garrett Bradley and John Akomfrah, CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

Garrett Bradley is an artist who works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to address themes such as race, class, familial relationships, social justice, Southern culture, and the history of film in the United States. In January of 2020, Bradley became the first Black woman to win the Best Director Award in the US Documentary Competition for her feature-length documentary TIME. Bradley’s films have been featured in the solo exhibition American Rhapsody (2019-20) at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and shown in the group exhibitions Bodies of Knowledge at the New Orleans Museum of Art (2019) and the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2019). Her first New York solo exhibition, Projects: Garrett Bradley is on view through March 21, 2021, at The Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition features a multichannel video installation of her film AMERICA (2019).

John Akomfrah is an artist and filmmaker whose works investigate memory, post-colonialism, and temporality, often exploring experiences of migrant diasporas globally. Akomfrah was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, which started in London in 1982 alongside the artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul, with whom he still collaborates today. His 2013 film The March, a documentary on the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, presents a poetic meditation on Black Progress today. His work has been exhibited at museums throughout the United States and abroad including Secession, Vienna, Austria; BALTIC, Gateshead, UK; ICA Boston, MA, USA; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal; New Museum, New York, NY, USA; SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, USA; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; MoMA, New York, USA, amongst others. He has also participated in several international events including Prospect 4, New Orleans, LA, USA;  56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and recently representing Ghana at the 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, amongst other presentations.

Continuing from fall 2020, ACT is co-presenting the series of public guest lectures that coincide with Ekene Ijeoma’s Black Mobility and Safety in the US course. Focusing on the theme of living while Black, this semester’s topics will include: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving while Black.

In this seminar and studio, Ijeoma will guide students to listen, learn, reflect and respond to issues around mobility (physical, mental, socio-economical, political, etc) and safety for Black Americans through words, images, and sounds that reference social science and anti-racist research. Weekly meetings will be organized around public lectures from guests ranging from designers and urban planners to activists and social scientists, and private individual presentations for the group.

Part of a two-semester course, Black Mobility and Safety in the US is organized into two-week topics around living while Black. The first semester (Fall 2020) will include: birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking; the second: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving. By the end of each semester, students will have the resources and tools to actively listen and respond critically to issues of Black mobility in the context of their own fields and their purposes.

Free event. Registration required. Sign up here.