A Thousand of Him, Scattered:                Relative Newcomers in Diaspora


 A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora                                                                                                            Stills: Scotland's Centre for Photography

Saturday 19 April – Sunday 20 July 2014
Private View Friday 18 April, 6 – 8pm

Edgar Arceneaux | Yael Bartana | Kiluanji Kia Henda | Bouchra Khalili | Maud Sulter | Milja Viita

A visual journey through themes of storytelling and biography, A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora [1] examined the ways in which individuals relate to their diasporic status and its daily realities. Through the work of six international artists, stories and links were told and travelled from Luanda to Tel Aviv, Togo to Helsinki. Each work differently reflected the history of diaspora as a concept, and the simultaneous utility and redundancy of it as a term describing a shared experience away from the homeland. The confrontation and resistance, dejection and upheaval, affirmation and attachments made visibly on show, urged us to (re)think and define ideas of belonging and citizenship in the present and for the future. Curated for Stills by Mother Tongue.

 'A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora' was kindly supported by Creative Scotland; FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange; The Craignish Trust; The Tannahill Fund at the University of Glasgow; TrAIN: Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation; Middle Eastern Film Festival Edinburgh; French Institute London; and The Devil’s Advocate Bar & Kitchen in collaboration with Hendricks Gin, Monkey Shoulder and Reyka Vodka.

An accompanying publication was produced to accompany the exhibition  A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora, and released in the final week of the exhibition's duration, with a screening of Charles Burnett's seminal 1977 film, 'Killer of Sheep.' Produced in collaboration with TrAIN: Research Centre for Transnational Art Identity and Nation at University of Arts London, the publication includes contributions from John Akomfrah, Sezgin Boynik, David Dibosa, Richard Fung, Lubaina Himid and Cinthya Lana, and featuring the poetry of the Scottish-Ghanaian artist and poet Maud Sulter. An excerpt of the publication can be found below, and copies are held in public libraries, including the Stuart Hall Library, DOCVA: Milan, and the National Library of Scotland.

Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse. Submitted as Burnett's Masters thesis, the film was never widely released due to the restrictive cost of the music rights, only receiving a limited release in 2007 with the restoration of the film by UCLA Film and Television Archive and Milestone Films. A poetic mediation on the African-American experience, the soundtrack to the film has been heralded as a masterpiece with contributions from Etta James, Dinah Washington, Gershwin, Rachmaninov, Paul Robeson and Earth, Wind & Fire. Watch the trailer here.



[1] Citation  - 'A Thousand of Him, Scattered', Greg Egan, Diaspora, London: Millennium, 1998.