Final Details: “Contemporary Griot”

On February 4th 2013, The Harriet Tubman Institute will host a film research event which will feature academics, documentary filmmakers and performers who have interrogated the ways in which addressing the complexities of individual stories can disrupt the overwhelmingly homogeneous representations of “Africa,” “Africans” and “Blackness” which dominate mainstream media and discourse.

Focusing on the production of identity and the role of identity politics in telling individual stories, Performing Diaspora 2013: Contemporary Griot will highlight experiences of Africans and persons of African descent, and the ways in which they conceptualize “belonging” and “citizenship” in Africa and the African Diaspora.

"Contemporary Griot" Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pablo Idahosa

“Contemporary Griot” Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pablo Idahosa

The keynote address will be delivered by renowned professor Dr. Pablo Idahosa, whose work focuses on the relationship between development, modernity and cultural production in Africa, and ethnicity and displacement in Nigeria.

Scene from Siad's "In Between Stories"

Scene from Siad’s “In Between Stories”

Following the keynote address, there will be a screening of the documentary film, “In Between Stories,” where the moderated panel discussion will center around the ways in which media representations of Africa influence the sense of identity and belonging.

Film poster for "War Child"

Film poster for “War Child”

The event will also feature the biographical film, “War Child,” which follows the life of former child soldier Emmanuel Jal as he discusses his experiences of the horrors of war and his personal challenges and triumphs; Emmanuel Jal will join us to answer questions from the audience.

Given the research mandate of Tubman to prominently feature the voices of persons of African descent, this event will be captured in audio and/or video format and later transcribed, in an effort to collect oral histories and create a record of the experiences under examination. It will then be edited for publication in a Performing Diaspora Series, to be published at a later date.

Performing Diaspora 2013: Contemporary Griot will be held in the Founders College Assembly Hall (FC 152) on York University’s Keele Campus between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

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