This event has been cancelled
As part of the closing event for The Ummah Chroma’s installation, G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children, a special programme of short films will be screened on Saturday 22 August, followed by live Q&As with the makers.
The Ummah Chroma’s installation in Het Nieuwe Instituut is inspired by the international art collective's short film, AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF (2019). The installation aims to provide a sacred space, inviting visitors to explore themes of metaphysical transcendence, spirituality and self-expression.
After several months as a reflective space for various makers and the audience, the installation will close with an event at Het Nieuwe Instituut. The closing event consists of two parts: an afternoon programme of short films and an evening programme of performances.
The special film programme can be seen in the Auditorium of Het Nieuwe Instituut. The Ummah Chroma’s film, AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF, can once again be seen in its entirety. In addition, SHE, the Black Female Body (2018) by Sheree Lenting will be screened, along with the world premiere of Johny Pitts’ film The Afropean Express (2020). After each film, there will be a Q&A with its maker.
Visitors can attend the programme in Het Nieuwe Instituut and online. More films may be added to the programme.
AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF - The Ummah Chroma
Shot in Baltimore, the film is a non-linear cosmic journey between youth and age, inspired by the city’s history. The Ummah Chroma visualises different experiences that show the richness of Black culture and community: liberating images that do justice to the victories of the emancipatory creative spirit of this region.
AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF is a film by The Ummah Chroma, USA, 2019, 24 min, English.
The Afropean Express - Johny Pitts
The Afropean Express follows writer and photographer Johny Pitts on a journey previously made by greats such as James Baldwin, Chester Himes and Claude McKay on one of the last night trains from Paris to Marseille and the French Riviera (the Intercités de Nuit, formerly Le Train Bleu) before the service ended permanently in late 2017. Along the way, voices of Black Europe emerge, including those of Marie Daulne from the Belgian Congolese vocal group Zap Mama, French musician Frédéric Yonnet, Tete Michel Kpomassie, author of An African in Greenland, and British Kittian writer Caryl Phillips. Collectively, they reveal narratives all too often missing from European myth-making. The accompanying book, Afropean: Notes from Black Europe, was published in 2019.
The Afropean Express is a film by Johny Pitts. Photography by Johny Pitts and Chris Morris and Music by Bare Knuckle Soul, UK, 2020, 11 min, English.
SHE, the Black Female Body - Sheree Lenting
The black female body, away from the exotifying gaze. The black female body, in all its glory, power and strength: SHE. Drawing on the spoken word, strong imagery, culture and history, SHE is an interdisciplinary manifesto which challenges the perceptions of the black female body and empowers those women who possess it to see their own true beauty. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” - Maya Angelou
SHE, the Black Female Body is a film by Sheree Lenting, The Netherlands, 2018, 5 min, English.
About the makers
The Ummah Chroma
Members of The Ummah Chroma are cinematographer Bradford Young (the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Academy Award, for Arrival), directors Terence Nance (HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness) and Jenn Nkiru (Frieze and Gucci commissioned film Black to Techno, Beyoncé and Jay Z’s APESHIT), editor Marc Thomas (Black America Again) and award-winning artist, composer and producer Kamasi Washington. Their first work, in collaboration with Lauri Faggioni (production designer, Michael Gondry's The Science of Sleep, Dave Chapelle’s Block Party) and Erin Wile (creative producer), is the short film AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF, that premiered at Sundance Festival this year and was received with wide acclaim.
Johny Pitts is the curator of the online journal Afropean.com, a platform dedicated to the Afro-European diaspora. In his book, Afropean: Notes from Black Europe, he shares a powerful personal story of exploring Black experience in various European cities.
As a writer, photographer and broadcast journalist, Johny has contributed to The Guardian, The New Statesman and The New York Times, among other publications. As a TV presenter, he has appeared on MTV, the BBC and ITV1. He recently wrote and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary exploring Black identity through the music of his African American father, who was a member of the UK Northern Soul group The Fantastics.
Afropean: Notes from Black Europe won the Jhalak Prize 2020 and is shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award 2020. In addition, Johnny has received a number of awards for his work exploring African-European identity, including a Decibel Penguin Prize, a European Network Against Racism (ENAR) award and a Society of Authors Travelling Grant.
Sheree Lanting is a choreographer whose work takes hip hop as its starting point. She also teaches art education and dance and is an organiser, adviser and programme maker for various institutions and theatres.
For the next two years, she will continue to develop as a choreographer and artistic director of MOM within the Nieuwe Makersregeling programme of The Performing Arts Fund NL. She will research into the origins and development of (West) African dance and hip hop as part of her research project, The Revolution of Black Dance, What Came Before HipHop? in collaboration with local and international coaches. As part of this initiative, she will make two multidisciplinary productions.