Kunsthall Trondheim
Tidligere arrangement

Filmvisning: Streams of Memories. Kuratert av Culture Art Society (CAS)

Film still, Back Inside Herself (1984) © S. Pearl Sharp

Kunsthall Trondheim and Culture Art Society warmly welcome you to join us in a film screening in Frida Orupabo's exhibition!

The event is free for all – no pre registration.

Following the theme of joining—and disjoining—that is recurrent in Frida Orupabo’s collages, the film programme Streams of Memories explores the ways in which Black women experimental filmmakers weave and unravel stories, fears, and hopes across the African continent and diaspora, between generations, and over time. Each film touches upon the sociality and sensuality of gathering. Rather than merely presenting how Black women are viewed, particularly by the white gaze, these films—or memories—intervene in dominant Western cinematic aesthetics. They redirect vision towards how Black women themselves view the structures, relations, and intimacies of their lives. Indeed, these Black women filmmakers look at the camera, not for recognition, but to confront and impose their looking onto and against the camera. It is this ambivalence and wildness avoiding capture through visibility that make these films an accompaniment to Orupabo’s exhibition.

S. Pearl Sharp’s film Back Inside Herself (1984) is a visual poem on self-invention that rejects the conventions of beauty standards. Barbara McCullough extends the poetics of cinema in Water Ritual #1 to enact the spiritual and psychological journey of a Black woman as she (re)connects with the African continent and the Caribbean on a cosmological level. A different yet similar sense of wandering and wondering is conveyed in Kym Ragusa’s Demarcations (1992), through its mediations on how the trauma of rape leaves its inflictions of the body yet does not determine self-identity. African Women, U.S.A (1980) by Omah Diegu further explores misogynoir and transnational complexities in this film on family, labour, and gender power relations. Similarly, Dreaming Rivers (1988) by Martina Judah Attile reflects and recalls the ghosts of love, loss, and kinship. Addressing the ambiguity of wilding and sin, as in Orupabo’s work, Streams of Memories pulls, releases, and upsurges the histories, experiences, and lives of Black women.


Introduction by CAS’s founder Awa Konaté

Back Inside Herself (1984, 4 mins, English) by S. Pearl Sharp)

Water Ritual #1: An urban rite of purification
(1979, 6 mins, English) by Barbara

African Women, U.S.A (1980, 20 mins, English) by Omah Diegu

Demarcations (1992, 5 mins, English) by Kym Ragusa

Dreaming Rivers (1988, 30 mins, English) by Martina Judah Attile

Questions from the audience

About the films:

Back Inside Herself by S. Pearl Sharp
A visual poem on identity. Crafted from one of S. Pearl Sharp’s poems, it encourages women to reject imposed beauty standards and invent their own identity. Featuring actress Barbara-O.

Water Ritual #1: An urban rite of purification by Barbara McCullough
Made in collaboration with performer Yolanda Vidato, Water Ritual #1 examines Black women’s ongoing struggle for spiritual and psychological space through improvisational, symbolic acts. Set to the backdrop of a poverty-stricken LA, the protagonist Milanda’s blurring visions and purification rites locate us on the African continent and in the Caribbean. Inspired by her friend’s breakdown, McCullough’s first film is widely heralded as a seminal experimental work.

African Women, U.S.A by Omah Diegu
African Women, U.S.A
 tells the story of an African woman studying dance in the United States while working to support a daughter at home, along with two other women back in Nigeria. After receiving a US work permit, she is ecstatic but must battle both sexism and racism when looking for a job. Her troubles continue when a man posing as a producer betrays her. The film uses jazz and “traditional” continental music to underscore the themes of friendship and danger that shape an African immigrant woman’s experience of America.

Demarcations by Kym Ragusa
Demarcations explores the experience of rape and the ways in which racist assumptions of non-white women bodies lay grounds for its justification.

Dreaming Rivers by Martina Judah Attile
Dreaming Rivers
is written and directed by Judah Martina Attile from the Sankofa Film & Video Collective. In this bittersweet short, Ms. T, a Caribbean woman on her death bed, is visited by her three children, two daughters, and a son. Together they share the fraught intimacies of transnational belonging, memory, and other streams of being.

Please note that for the films Demarcations and African Woman, USA viewer discretion is advised.

About CAS:

Culture Art Society (CAS) is an interdisciplinary research and curatorial platform founded in 2013 that combines critical studies and art theory to research the cultural economy of African archives (continental and diaspora). CAS’s work prioritises lens-based practices foregrounding archives as a method to facilitate different approaches to institutional and audience engagements with artistic productions from the African continent and diaspora. Crucial to CAS’s work is accessibility and trans-geographical dialogues that centre decolonial paradigms to bring into focus the art histography, theory, and practices of both continental, and diasporic cultural workers for exhibition projects and public programming.