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On January 25th G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children opens in Het Nieuwe Instituut, with members of The Ummah Chroma present. The installation will be activated with an extensive program of live performances, film screenings, masterclasses and talks during IFFR, from January 23rd to February 2nd. 


G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children, is inspired by the collective’s short film AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF (2019). The film represents the cosmic journey of sacred youth, during which pain, pleasure, and sublimation are non-negotiable.
“The installation in Het Nieuwe Instituut is a ritual space making exercise that extrapolates meditations on raising free Black children from the film,” says The Ummah Chroma. “The resulting installation draws on inspiration from many cultural traditions. Over the course of its tenure, it will invite the practicing and teaching of spirit strategies. Community members will be encouraged to use the space as a site for rituals they feel the desire to execute.”

The project aims to provide a sacred space that will invite visitors to explore themes of metaphysical transcendence, spirituality, and self-expression. Local and international artists and collectives will contribute with rituals and musical performances over the course of the exhibition period, adding to and transforming the installation. 

The installation G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children is on view at Het Nieuwe Instituut from January 23rd to June 28th, 2020.

About The Ummah Chroma

The Ummah Chroma consists of 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), 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.
The Ummah Chroma’s interdisciplinary and collective way of working is exemplary for an upcoming artistic practice in which dominant worldviews are questioned, to make room for alternative histories and non-discriminatory worlds. G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children is the first installation by The Ummah Chroma collective, and their first project in The Netherlands.

About Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Dutch Institute for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture, based in Rotterdam. The institute organises exhibitions, lectures, and fellowships, carries out and publishes research projects, and develops international programs. All Het Nieuwe Instituut’s activities are grounded in the principles of design and innovation. The invitation to The Ummah Chroma to conceive a spatial installation inspired by their film AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF, follows the institute’s interest and research into the politics of video culture, as a public space for activism and emancipation, by exposing existing realities and imaging alternatives. 

About International Film Festival Rotterdam 

With nearly 330,000 admissions and 2,400 film professionals attending, IFFR is one of the largest audience and industry-driven film festivals in the world, offering a high-quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talks. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, through the BoostNL and Propellor initiatives, its Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR's 49th edition takes place from Wednesday 22 January to Sunday 2 February 2020. More information can be found at

Note for editors

For more information and images please contact Moetoesingi Schmidt via email: or phone 31 (0) 6 57 98 13 88.

G/D THYSELF: Spirit Strategy On Raising Free Black Children was made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Het Nieuwe Instituut
The Ummah Chroma
Marina Otero Verzier (Director of Research), Katía Truijen (Senior Researcher)
Lauri Faggioni
Erin WIle
Maud Vervenne
International Film Festival Rotterdam
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