John Akomfrah, OBE
Filmmaker and writer, Smoking Dogs Films, UK
Producer and writer, Smoking Dogs Films, UK
John Akomfrah, OBE, and Lina Gopaul co-founded the seminal film and video group Black Audio Film Collective and the more recent production company Smoking Dogs Films. Their collaborative and long-standing partnership has won them over thirty-five international awards and over one hundred official film festival selections. Exploring the many facets of migration, human experience, and political struggle, their documentaries, feature films, TV productions, videos, and gallery installations challenge and redefine traditional modes of filmmaking. The Stuart Hall Project (2012), a film about the cultural theorist and sociologist Stuart Hall, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2013 and was released this fall in UK cinemas. Their latest film, The March (2013), charts the story behind the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement, as told by the people who organized and participated in it. The March premiered on PBS on August 27, 2013, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the peaceful demonstration. Akomfrah and Gopaul’s extensive filmography includes The Nine Muses (2010), Oil Spill: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (2009), Riot (1999), Martin Luther King: Days of Hope (1997), and Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993).
This lecture is presented in collaboration with the MIT Visiting Artists Program.