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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

THE DIASPORA SUITE: A Selection of Works by Ephraim Asili (In collaboration with VISIONS)

THE DIASPORA SUITE: A Selection of Works by Ephraim Asili

8pm, April 21, 2018

la lumière collective [7080, rue Alexandra, #506, Montréal, QC, H2S 3J5]

*This event co-hosted by GEM lab, la lumière collective, and VISIONS (

About the filmmaker Ephraim Asili is a Filmmaker, DJ, and Traveler whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, NY; Toronto International Film Festival, Canada; Ann Arbor Film Festival, MI; San Francisco International Film Festival, CA; Milano Film Festival, Italy; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; MoMA PS1, NY; LAMOCA, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Whitney Museum, NY. As a DJ, Asili can be heard on his radio program In The Cut on WGXC, or live at his monthly dance party Botanica. Asili currently resides in Hudson, NY, and is a Professor in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College.

Forged Ways 2011 | b&w col.| sound | 16mm to HD | 15mins Photographed on location in Harlem,and various locations throughout Ethiopia the film oscillates between the first person account of a film maker, the third person experience of a man navigating the streets of Harlem, and day to day life in the cities and villages of Ethiopia.

American Hunger 2013 | b&w col. | sound | 16mm to HD | ​19mins Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger, explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront America fantasies. African fantasies confront American realities. ​American realities confront African fantasies… Many Thousands Gone 2015 | colour | sound | 16mm to HD | ​8mins Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York ( an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score.

Kindah ​2016 | b&w col. | sound | 16mm to HD | 12mins The fourth film in an ongoing series of 16 mm films exploring my relationship to the African Diaspora. This one was shot in Hudson NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong, Jamaica was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the establishment of a treaty between the two sides. The treaty signed under British governor Edward Trelawny granted Cudjoe’s Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Trelawny Town and Accompong in the Cockpits and a certain amount of political autonomy and economic freedoms. Cudjoe, a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united the Maroons in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree—a large, ancient mango tree that is still standing .The tree symbolizes the common kinship of the community on its common land.​ Fluid Frontiers 2017 | colour | sound | 16mm to HD | 23mins Fluid Frontier is the fifth and final film in an ongoing series of films exploring Asili’s personal relationship to the African Diaspora. Shot along the Detroit River border region, Fluid Frontiers explores the relationship between concepts of resistance and liberation exemplified by the Underground Railroad (the Detroit River being a major terminal point), and more modern resistance and liberation movements represented by Dudley Randell's Detroit based Broadside Press, as well as the installation,sculptural, and performance works of local Detroit Artists. All of the poems are read from original copies of Broadside Press publications and all of the recordings are one take only without ant rehearsal prior to the recordings. All of the readers are natives of the Detroit Windsor region and where approached to read while the film was in production.

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