Kemtiyu with Q&A 15 (S)

Kemtiyu: Seex Anta

This landmark documentary tells the story of Cheikh Anta Diop, a man who fought his whole life to restore historical awareness and dignity to Africa.

Born in 1923 in a village in Senegal, Diop developed a passion for science and African history at a very early age. He studied philosophy, then physics, chemistry, history and linguistics in Paris. In 1954, he published Nations Nègres et Culture (translated into English in 1974 as The African Origins of Civilisation), a cult book which revolutionised the view of the origin of civilisations by arguing Africa is the cradle of humanity and that the Pharaohs of Egypt were black Africans.

Contradicting the Egyptologists cost him dearly his whole life, though his ideas travelled widely in America, Africa and Europe. He returned to Senegal at the time of independence and clashed with President Léopold Sédar Senghor, who banned him from teaching at the university. Diop later built his own carbon dating laboratory in Dakar and remained convinced that Africa's development would come about through scientific learning, the protection of its national languages, and the federation of the United States of Africa. This film, by a leading Senegalese director, offers unprecedented insight into Diop's life and his work in Senegal.

Followed by a Q&A with director William Ousmane Mbaye and producer Laurence Attali.

Presented in partnership with University of Bristol, Afrika Eye Film Festival and Birkbeck, University of London.