The Past and Future of Rights Cinema: A Focus on African Cinemas

London, 16. March 2019.

Saturday 16th March, 2019, 11.30a.m-5.00.p.m
Gordon Square Cinema, Birkbeck


This year The Past and Future of Rights Cinema day will focus on how African filmmakers have brought issues of rights and justice to the screen and to cinema audiences. The day will start with a report back from the recent FESPACO African Film Festival and appraise its role in promoting politically engaged African cinemas.  Afternoon sessions will then introduce and discuss specific African films and filmmakers in the context of rights cinema. There will also be discussion of a new book, African Cinema and Human Rights, edited Mette Hjort and Eva Jøholt (Indiana University Press 2019)

11.30.a.m. Welcome and Introduction 
Emma Sandon (BIMI, Birkbeck)

The FESPACO African Film Festival and Rights Cinema.
In this session Rod Stoneman (Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway) and June Givanni (Independent curator and director of the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive) will discuss the legacy of FESPACO African Film Festival, celebrating its 50 years since its founding in 1969, in relation to rights to cultural expression by Africans through cinema. Screening extracts of films by Gaston Kaboré, and discussing his work in the creation of the Institute Imagine and the production of a FESPACO Newsreel, they will pay tribute to the major contribution he has made to politically committed cinema. Rod Stoneman will screen part of an interview he has recorded with him, which is published in full in a new book, African Cinema and Human Rights, edited Mette Hjort and Eva Jøholt (Indiana University Press 2019)

1.00.p.m– 2.00.p.m  Break for Lunch

2.00.p.m-3.00.p.m  The Films of Abderrahmane Sissako and Themes of Global Justice.
In this session Kojo Koram (School of Law, Birkbeck) and Jacqueline Maingard (University of Bristol) will discuss the power of Abderrahmane Sissako’s films in centralising questions of modernity and globalisation, and their impact on rights and justice in the African context.

3.00.p.m-3.15.p.m  Comfort break

3.15.p.m  – 4.15.p.m. Film in Nigeria and Questions of Rights
Samantha Iwowo (Bournemouth University) will present examples of films made in Nigeria whose plots are based on themes of rights. She will show extracts and discuss October 1 (dir. Afolayan, 2014), and Oloibiri (dir. Graham, 2016), for which she wrote the screenplay.

4.15p.m -5.00.p.m. Roundtable Discussion with Speakers and Audience
Emma Sandon (Birkbeck) will respond to the day’s presentations and chair a round-up discussion with the speakers and audience.

To book, please register on the Eventbrite link. There is disabled access to the Gordon Square cinema.

Emma Sandon