Join us for our second Research Network meeting of talks and discussions.
Jessica Carden will present Contemporary Visual Representations of the Non-White Figure in the Arctic Landscape: British Colonial Constructions of the ‘Heart of Whiteness’ and the Black-White Binary as Fetish
‘A recent British Film Institute review of John Akomfrah’s Mnemosyne written by Sukhdev Sandhu  stated, “Mnemosyne is part of a small but noticeable trend for black artists – among them Isaac Julien in True North (2004) and Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) in Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctic (2009) – to mine the creative potential of spaces seen as literally and symbolically white.” Taking the BFI article as a catalyst for my investigation, I will present three contemporary artist film and video case studies – each from Black-British filmmakers – using the Arctic landscape as a space to discuss issues of race, migration and belonging. These include Isaac Julien‘s True North , John Akomfrah’s Mnemosyne  and Grace Ndiritu‘s Pole to Pole . Framed in the context of the British colonial construction of the Arctic territory and its place in the public imagination, I aim to unearth the significance of the artist’s appropriation of arctic space’.
Jessica is a first year PhD student within TrAIN: Transnational Research Centre for Art, Identity and Nation at Chelsea, University of the Arts, London.
Dr Saër Maty Bâ will be a discussant for the evening, responding to Jessica’s presentation and contextualising it via a short discussion. Saër has taught film studies and visual culture at the universities of Bangor, East London, Portsmouth, Exeter, and St Andrews (UK). His research blurs boundaries between diaspora, film, media, race, and cultural studies. His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Film International, Studies in Documentary Film, Transnational Cinemas, Cultural Studies Review, Culture Machine, and Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies (forthcoming).
Space is limited in the library, so if you have not already done so please contact us to book a place.
Meetings will take place monthly on Thursdays, in the library, 2nd floor of Rivington Place from 6.30-8pm.
1 Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA
For more information or to submit a proposal to present at future meetings, email us .