AfroScots: A Screening Programme of Film & Video
AfroScots: A Screening Programme of Film, Video & Sound Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal - CDEx Space - 25th February, 2pm
With Works from Rayanne Bushell, Irineu Destourelles, Kapwani Kiwanga, Maud Sulter, Tako Taal and Alberta Whittle
Commissioned by Galerie de l’UQAM and British Council Canada, in February 2017 Mother Tongue presented 'AfroScots: A Screening Programme of Artist Film and Video' in Montréal. Bringing the work of three generations of Black artists working in these mediums, the programme allowed these works to co-exist and respond to each other for the first time.
AfroScots is a relatively new term describing people of African and Caribbean descent in Scotland which has gained currency in the last decade. It is not a category assigned officially by the government, but rather agrassroots, informal identification. It is beginning to enter the public domain but it remains problematic in some senses.
The programme takes this term as a means by which to draw a line around a group of practitioners working across three generations, who have – in the present and historically – lived, worked and studied in Scotland. Encompassing film, video and sound, the work of six artists is brought into the same space and in dialogue with one another for the first time. In doing so, the program aims to open up new understandings and readings of these works, and the potential shared ground between them.
The process of curating this programme has attempted to recoup works, whilst also being a context to which some of the participating artists have chosen to respond to with new work. In common, the selected works express the negotiation of new and in-flux identities, with shared themes of interpersonal relationships (family, friendship, sexual) and language. Moreover, the programme seeks to open-up discussions around the diversity of the arts in Scotland, and ask questions around presence and visibility.
The screening was organised in the context of Montréal’s Black History Month, and in dialogue with the solo exhibition of Glasgow-based artist Graham Fagen, 'The Slave’s Lament,' presented at the Galerie de l’UQAM from February 24 to April 8, 2017.