Curatorial collaborators Mosa Mpetha (Black Cinema Project, Hyde Park Picture House), Darragh Amelia and Jesse Gerard (Ajabu Ajabu) present five recently digitised or restored works from the Global South that are written by and about women: Sambizanga (Angola), Maangamizi (Tanzania), Door to the Sky (Morocco), De Cierta Manera (Cuba) and Araya (Venezuela). Surrounding each film from this selection exists a uniquely challenging story of ownership and distribution, opening up discussion around the imbalance of power within film cultures perpetuated globally and locally — particularly imposed upon female storytellers and hindering open and inclusive access to their narratives.
The films will be introduced by practitioners actively working to challenge these barriers, including Black Cinema Project, Annouchka De Andrade, Ajabu Ajabu, Martin Mhando, Global Women’s Film Heritage, Twelve30 Collective, Dr. Jessica Gordon-Burroughs and Curator Lorena Pino — highlighting considerations and conversations around: moral approaches to institutional practice, legitimisation of informal film cultures, deconstructing film ownership, lifecycles of archival work, and the rights of audience.
Women's Stories from the Global South (& To Whom They Belong) is part of an ongoing interrogation by Ajabu Ajabu and Black Cinema Project that explores the multitudinous ways in which exhibition of classical cinema from the Global South has become a privileged experience. This work urges film practitioners to critique the global power imbalance of film cultures with an aim of encouraging not only return of archival cinema to the people, but open and inclusive reinterpretation of works according to their ever-evolving cultural significance.
Black Cinema Project is an evolving space set up by Mosa Mpetha and Samra Mayanja to bring people together with care, to meaningfully watch and discuss Black films and the landscape they are situated within.
Ajabu Ajabu is a collective of audio-visual practitioners based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania working on the preservation, production, and presentation of audio-visual art. Their work is centred around curatorial interrogations related to deconstructing bias across film cultures, platforming underrepresented narratives and modes of storytelling, and promoting amateur and experimental practice.