Black Radical Imagination

Anyone who is deadly serious about modern art (and has the money to spend for it) knows that Art Basel is the premiere international art show for modern and contemporary works, which brings in hundreds of leading galleries from all over the world for major collectors and connoisseurs.

The event is held twice a year in Basel Switzerland in mid-June, and in Miami Beach in early December.

This week, at the Basel Switzerland art show, which runs from June 13-16, as part of Better Days (a special art exhibition, curated by Brooklyn-based modern artist Mickalene Thomas), there will be screenings of films made by members of the black filmmaker collective, Black Radical Imagination, this Friday June 14th.

Programmed by Chicago based filmmaker Amir George and L.A. based curator Erin Christovale, the goal of Black Radical imagination, according to both George and Christovale, is "to invoke a futurist aesthetic of the black image on screen. The visual pieces delve into the worlds of video art, film animation, narrative storytelling, and new media. Each artist contributes their own vision of a free changing world in a postmodern society."

The films that will be screened this Friday include:

MAE’S JOURNAL by Amir George

Mae’s Journal is a chronicle of the historic space mission of Mae Jemison in 1992. Through 6 fictional journal entries Mae’s journey is recreated through live action reenactments and actual footage of the STS-47 voyage.

SPLIT ENDS, I FEEL WONDERFUL by Akosua Adoma Owusu (Pictured above)

A woman attaches hair piece, black women in hair salons get their hair plaited; and a woman models on a yellow turban. Eccentric hairstyles reveal the roots of Afro hair in which activist, Angela Davis becomes involved. Manipulating and re-positioning found footage as subject matter, “Split Ends, I feel wonderful” observes the latest fad in hairstyles of the 1970s among African Americans in NYC. The film takes us to a time when Black is beautiful and a symbol of African pride., Poland. She lives and works in Chicago.

REIFYING DESIRE 3 by Jacolby Satterwhite

The latest installment in a six-part series, Reifying Desire 3 is a surrealist creation myth that stems from his ongoing collaboration with his mother. Satterwhite writes: “ʻReifying Desire 1–6ʼ will use 230 3-D modeled versions of my motherʼs drawings, my body, and animated figures. The intersection of the disparate disciplines including dance performance, drawing, and digital media acts as an exquisite corpse strategy for guiding the storyline.

GOLDEN CHAIN by Adebukola Bodunrin & Ezra Clayton Daniels

The African Woman: mother of civilization, historically overlooked member of contemporary global society. She finds herself now in a distant, not-impossible future. A Nigerian space station in a remote nook of the solar system orbits a pinpoint of matter so dense it cannot exist on Earth. It is a recreation of the birth of the universe itself, contained for the purpose of study, and overseen by Yetunde, chief science engineer on the space station Eko. This animation is the story of an archetype come full circle. Blending afro-futurist motifs with hard science fiction, we create a world at once fantastical, yet entirely plausible, in order to ask the question: “Where will we go, given where we came from?”

THE CHANGING SAME by Cauleen Smith

An Alien is sent to earth to investigate the “incubators.” She discovers that she is replacing a rogue agent and starts to questions her mission as relationships become intimate.

AFRONAUTS by Cristina De Middel

In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. Only a few optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts, a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit.


The piece is an introduction… part of a work in progress. The staring character, Buddah is a regular guy with very irregular dreams or some might perceive as nightmares… The intent is to play on the ideas of distraction, disruption, fear, and premonition. The relativity of dream. The hope is to generate interest through technique and mystery.