Artists' Film: Concerning Violence

Göran Olsson, Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense, 2014. Film Still.
Göran Olsson, Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense, 2014. Film Still.
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Screening of Concerning Violence followed by a conversation with artist, curator and educator Barby Asante and lecturer Amy Rushton, moderated by poet and researcher Panya Banjoko.

Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense (2014) is an award-winning documentary written and directed by Swedish filmmaker, Göran Olsson. This documentary is based on Frantz Fanon’s controversial essay ‘Concerning Violence’ from his posthumously published book Wretched of the Earth (1961). Fanon’s words are recited in English by the singer-songwriter, Lauryn Hill, and appear on screen alongside emotive archival footage from the 1960’s and 1970’s African independence movements.

Fanon’s thoughts on violence have often been heavily decontextualised and misread as promoting all forms of violence to the extent that the book was banned in France upon release. The documentary attempts to contextualise Fanon’s meaning of violence, focusing primarily on the violence imposed by the colonisers and the violence enacted in response.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with artist, curator and educator Barby Asante and lecturer Amy Rushton, moderated by poet and researcher Panya Banjoko. The conversation will further contextualise Fanon’s meaning of and thoughts on violence and examine the representation of the people presented in the footage, whilst questioning ‘who can speak for whom?’. This will be an exciting and thought-provoking event that aims to encourage important and necessary conversations surrounding the context, and forms, of violence and the ethics of representation.

This event is curated by NTU MA and PhD students Roxie Ablett, Arwa Nasser Almefawaz, Victoria Zoe Callus, Bethan Evans, and Tom Lockwood-Moran.

Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ. Her work is concerned with the politics of place, space, identity and the histories and legacies of colonialism making work that is collaborative, performative and dialogic. She has created works that consider migration, safe spaces to gather in cities antagonistic to one’s presence and how one maps the self as a contributor to narratives of society, culture and politics. Her artistic practice explores the archival, makes propositions, collects and maps stories and contributions of people of colour using storytelling, collective actions, and ritual, to excavate, unearth and interrogate given narratives.

Asante's recent projects include; The South London Black Archive (Peckham Platform/ Tate Modern) a collecting project mapping black music and memories in South London, through an invitation to audiences and local people to create that archive together. Baldwin’s Nigger RELOADED (Iniva, Nottingham Contemporary, Framer Framed/ Art Rotterdam) with the London based collective sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, using Horace Ove’s 1968 film Baldwin's Nigger as a start for a contemporary reading of Baldwin's provocation, through a reflective re-enactment ritual of transcribing, rewriting and re-staging the original event.

Amy Rushton is a Lecturer in English Literature at Nottingham Trent University. She specialises in contemporary fiction, postcolonial studies and geopolitical approaches to literary criticism, particularly African fiction. Rushton’s research emphasises the importance of close reading and situating contemporary cultural texts within wider geopolitical narratives in order to register and, crucially, challenge ongoing structural inequalities. Her interest in re-framing historical and global narratives also intersects with current work in queer theory and feminism. Rushton delivers lectures and seminars on a range of modules, including Postcolonial Texts, Culture and Anarchy, Foundations of Literary Studies, The Book Group, and dissertation supervision.

Panya Banjoko is a British writer of Caribbean descent whose work reflects her mixed heritage. She has been published in IC3 by Penguin, performed at the 2012 Olympic Games and is the existing co-founder of Nottingham Black Archive. She advocates on behalf of Black writers in Nottingham and is Patron for Nottingham City of Literature. It has been said of her work, ‘What you get when listening to Panya is a profound sense of listening to a teacher. Her poetry is hip-hop energy fused with a hymnal element. Her trademark is a penchant for grand themes in small sentences. There’s lots of shrewd thought but its poetry we can all grasp without the need to constantly hit the rewind button.’ Sable Magazine. panyabanjoko.wordpress.com

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