The first ever Pan-African Cultural Festival took place in 1969 in Algeria, in the first decade of the country’s independence. Featuring performances from musicians of international stature including Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba and jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp, the festival celebrated post-colonial African nations, in the capital and was a call for liberation for other countries across the continent. This film made in the same year by artist William Klein is a striking visual essay about the event. It uses a range of visual materials from posters to archival footage of speeches and African anti-colonial struggles mixing them alongside sequences from the festival, the first Pan-African Cultural Festival. Introduced by film historian and cinema curator Olivier Hadouchi, the screening will be followed by a conversation between Hadouchi and Ros Gray. Book Your tickets here.
Olivier Hadouchi is a film historian, teacher and cinema curator. He has written on film history including about film making in Algeria during the struggle for independence and on the film that will be screened at this event. He writes for film magazines and journals including CinémAction, Mondes du Cinéma and Third Text. He is researching cinema, liberation struggles and formal invention in cinema at the time of the Tricontinental (a cross continental organisation founded by Cuba in the 1960’s).
Ros Gray is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Critical Studies in the Art Department at Goldsmiths. Her research explores the trajectories of militant filmmaking, particularly in relation to liberation struggles and revolutionary movements in Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.