The Archaeology of Origin: Transnational Visions of Africa in Borderless Cinema
The Archaeology of Origin, 1999, pp. 1,6-19
Montreal: ABC Art Books, 1999
Dr. Sheila Petty discusses the (re)construction of transnational Black African identity in contemporary African cinema. Petty cites the historically arbitrary displacement of African populations from their native homeland as starting point for the dialectical contestation and reconciliation of ancestral origins and identity recollection in the post-colonial lives of subsequent diasporic generations.
Petty's selection of cinema work comprises an array of transnational perspectives to depict the "loss and hope as defining tension" (Clifford,312; Petty 7) of diasporic consciousness. Subject matter ranges from the initial denial of Africanicty in Sankofa or Sugar Cane Valley to the technologically-determined appropriation of sci-fi filmic conventions in The Last Angel of History for illustrating complex cycles of transnational Self-Other alienation.
In sum, Petty's curating and research of diasporic perspectives culminating to the Archaeology of Origin elucidates the complex, transformative and negotiative nature of intercultural contemporary Black African identity construction.
ITEM 1999.087 – available for viewing in the Research Centre
Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited
Sankofa – Haile Gerima
Rue Cases-Negres/Sugar Cane Valley – Euzhan Pancy
The Last Angel of History – John Akomfrah
L'homme sur les quais/The Man by the Shore – Raoul Peck
Ye Wonz Maibel/Deluge – Salem Mekuria
Welcome to Africville – Dana Inkster
Making Change – Colina Philips