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Black Audio Film Collective

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Spurred by political and social unrest in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, the Black Audio Film Collective’s influential and experimental cinema challenges form and culture to dismantle stereotype.

Influential British contemporary art group the Black Audio Film Collective was founded by seven Black and diasporic artists and filmmakers in 1982. John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul, Avril Johnson, Reece Auguiste, Trevor Mathison, David Lawson and Edward George worked together for the next 16 years, combining their wealth of talent and theoretical leanings to produce poetic, experimental and political film essays and cinematic explorations.

The multi-layered Handsworth Songs (1986), inspired by recent violent civil disturbances in Birmingham, uses archival footage and media portrayal of these events to explore a broader picture of the Black experience in postwar Britain, set against a soundtrack of punk, post-industrial noise and reggae music. Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993) uses dramatic re-enactments, interviews and testimonies to traverse and illuminate the life and death of Black American revolutionary Malcolm X, including interviews with his widow Betty Shabazz and filmmaker Spike Lee.

Available now until 22 August.