Black Radical Imagination Memory Room 451

Once again, as they have done all over the U.S.and in Europe, Chicago based filmmaker and programmer Amir George and Los Angeles based curator Erin Christovale, are presenting a screening of short films they call Black Radical Imagination, and it's happening this time in New York City this weekend.

According to George and Christovale the notion of the Black Radical Imagination stemmed from a series of discussions around the boundaries and limitations that are historically given to people of color in the realm of the cinematic."

As a result they created an international touring program of “visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative. Focusing on new stories within the Diaspora, each artist contributes their own vision of post-modern society through the state of current black culture. An artistic movement and school of thought, Black Radical imagination focuses on aesthetics of futurism, surrealism, and the magnificent through the context of cinema."

Now after a successful tour last year, including screening in over 12 cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland, Boston, Basel Switzerland, and Chicago among others and even, as well garnering a feature in ARTFORUM’s Best of 2013, the series, along with a forum with filmmakers, comes to New York City at Cooper Union for two days, starting this Friday April 11th through Saturday April 12th.

The program will be the following:



Black Radical Imagination (short film program)

Films by Jeannette Elhers, Jabari Zuberi, Terence Nance & Sanford Biggers, Lauren Kelley, Lewis Vaughn and a special screening of Memory Room 451 by John Akomfrah and the Black Audio Film Collective. (Pictured above) Followed by a panel with curators and filmmakers



Martine Syms is a cultural entrepreneur based in Los Angeles and will be presenting her Mundane Futurist Manifesto and MOST DAYS - a new audio work that takes the form of table read for a science-fiction screenplay, with score by Neal Reinalda. The story considers what an average day looks like for a young, black woman in 2050 Los Angeles.


Jeannette Elhers is a video and performance artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark whose works revolves around the Danish slave trade in the colonial era. Jeanette Ehlers will be performing “Whip It Good” - reenacting one of the most brutal punishment methods used during slavery. In using the same method on a white canvas, she creates a personal and simple, though contradictory, artistic act of striking back. Sponsored by Alanna Lockward/Artlabour Archives and Ballhaus Naunynstrasse.

All the events will take place in Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, located at 41 Cooper Square, on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th streets.

Here’s the trailer for this year’s program: