The Ghosts of Songs

The Ghosts of Songs : The Film Art of the Black Audio Film Collective

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The Ghosts of Songs is the first book-length exploration of the work of the Black Audio Film Collective. The collective, founded in 1982 and dissolved in 1998, comprised John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul, Reece Auguiste, Avril Johnson, Trevor Mathison, Edward George and David Lawson, and for sixteen years their films addressed the social, political and racial crises of Thatcher's Britain and beyond. However, it would be limiting their achievement to see them either as merely challenging the hegemonic forms of mass media, or conversely as polemicist film activists. In films such as Expeditions, Handsworth Songs, Seven Songs for Malcolm X and Twilight City the collective explored and developed a black film aesthetic. The essays in this volume, contributed by Jean Fisher, Kodwo Eshun, Kobena Mercer and Okwui Enwezor, argue that they inaugurated themselves as an artist-group, laying claim to the right to reconfigure the space of cinema around the Afrodiasporic subject, reconceptualizing lighting, film stock, developing and printing, and inventing the forms that black cinema might take.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 163 x 239 x 33.02mm | 1,519.53g
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 102 colour illustrations, 158 b&w illustrations
  • 1846310148
  • 9781846310140
  • 541,733

Table of contents

Gill Henderson
Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar
Jean Fisher
In Living Memory... Archive and Testimony in the Films of the Black Audio Film Collective
Kobena Mercer
Post-colonial Trauerspiel
Kodwo Eshun
Drawing the Forms of Things Unknown
Okwui Enwzor
Coalition Building: Black Audio Film Collective and Transnational Post-colonialism
John Akomfrah in Conversation with Kodwo Eshun
An Absence of Ruins
Introduction to Artists' Writings
John Akomfrah
Black Independent Film-making: A Statement by the Black Audio Film Collective
Linda Gopaul
Which Way Forward?
Edward George
New Directions in Training
Edward George
Introduction to Reflections of the Black Experience
Reece Auguiste
Black Cinema, Poetics and New World Aesthetics
Reece Auguiste
Handsworth Songs: Some Background Notes
Reece Auguiste
Twilight: Auker's World
Avril Johnson
Reece Auguiste and Black Audio Film Collective
Black Independents and Third Cinema: The British Context
John Akomfrah interviewed by Linda Gopaul
Colour Symbolism in Ghanaian Society
Black Audio Film Collective
Expeditions: On Race and Nation
John Akomfrah
On Writing Who Needs A Heart
John Akomfrah
Notations of Collective Inventions for Who Needs A Heart
John Akomfrah
On the Borderline
Edward George
(ghost the signal)
Exhibition History
Selected Filmography
Selected Bibliography
Contributors' Biographies
List of Words
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Review quote

In 1982, however, in the heyday of Thatcherism and an equal and opposite artistic radicalism, the Black Audio Film Collective was formed in Hackney, London, The Ghost of Songs, chronicles the worked of this group. * The Independent *
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About Kodwo Eshun

Kodwo Eshun is a lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London and the author of "More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction."Anjalika Sagar is cofounder, with Eshun, of the artists' collective the Otolith Group.
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Rating details

8 ratings
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4 38% (3)
3 12% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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