Open Source and YaPhoto are pleased to announce Digital Africa, an evening projection of works by 14 African and Diaspora video artists and documentary filmmakers. The artists and filmmakers were selected from an open call launched last March as part of the year-long programme of events and international collaborations developed by YaPhoto, Cameroon’s platform for photography and lens-based art practices.
This event will present videos by: Paolo Azevedo (Angola), Bruna Cafurica (UK/Sweden), Tamara Dawit (Canada), Edem Dotse (Ghana) & SUTRA (UK), Megan-Leigh Heilig (South Africa), Onyeka Igwe (UK), Wilfried Nakeu (Cameroon), Danielle WaKyengo O’Neill (South Africa), Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda (Rwanda), Amine Oulmakki (Morocco) and Breeze Yoko (South Africa).
The works selected include short documentaries dealing with cultural heritage, gender, identity, history and activism, as well as videos focusing on aesthetics, visual narratives, sound and music.
Onyeka Igwe’s We need new names (2015) is a video essay examining how a diasporic identity can be formed and performed through the inherent contradictions of an ethnographic reading of a traditional Igbo funeral, using both fiction and archive to explore home, identity, blackness and cultural memory. Tamara Dawit’s Grandma Knows Best (2015) and Jean-Baptiste Nyabyenda’s Zura Taekwondo Fighter (2016) both address challenging gender expectations. Danielle WaKyengo O’Neill’s videos Crowning (2016) and Stale (2016-2017) respectively look at black hair politics and interrogate white male identity in South Africa. Breeze Yoko’s Biko’s Children (2007) revisits the legacy of Steve Biko (1946-1977) in South Africa’s urban culture, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Black Consciousness leader.
Aesthetic research and music permeate Edem Dotse & SUTRA’s Waves/The Water (2017), Bruna Cafurica’s African Medusa (2017) and Paolo Azevedo’s Kazukuta 365º (2012). Megan-Leigh Heilig’s The Day The Sun Did Not Rise (2017) is a sarcastic take on the current climate of Islamophobia, terrorist rhetoric, and the culture of fear cultivated by global news channels. Amine Oulmakki’s Oxygène (2015) is an installation project presenting 9 submerged video portraits depicting water as a prime element, essential to life, but also a potential source of asphyxiation. The event will conclude with Wilfried Nakeu’s Hybrid Hypnosis (2017), a 20-minute immersive sound and visual experiment taking the audience on a promenade across Yaounde’s life, arts and sonic environments.
Additionally, the Yaounde screening scheduled next November during YaPhoto 2017 will also feature Mounir Allaoui (France), Yvon Ngassam (Cameroon) and Saïd Raïs (Morocco).
YaPhoto is an independent platform launched in Yaounde in September 2016 dedicated to promoting photography and lens-based art practices in Cameroon and internationally. YaPhoto 2017: Picturing the Present (November 2017) will include a photography exhibition and slideshow, a selection from Digital Africa video screening, a visual culture seminar and a conference on the state of photography in Cameroon and on the global scene.
Making Histories Visible is an interdisciplinary visual arts project based in the Centre for Contemporary Art (School of Art, Design and Performance) at the University of Central Lancashire. The project is led by Lubaina Himid MBE, Professor of Contemporary Art supported by Christine Eyene, Research Fellow in Contemporary Art.
Open Source is an artist-led initiative based in Hackney, East London. Open Source challenges preconceptions about arts and identities through cultural experiences and exchange.