December 5, 2022

Creating Monument: Stuart Hall and John Akomfrah

Still from The Unfinished Conversation - Copyright Smoking Dogs Films
Still from The Unfinished Conversation - Copyright Smoking Dogs Films
Still from The Unfinished Conversation – Copyright Smoking Dogs Films

Tomorrow some of the nation’s leading artists, filmmakers and cultural commentators will gather at New Art Exchange in Nottingham to explore the practice of artist-filmmaker John Akomfrah, and the impact Stuart Hall, co-founder of cultural studies in the UK, has made on his work and other visual artists of his generation.

Using Akomfrah’ latest work The Unfinished Conversation – a critically acclaimed immersive three-channel video installation based on the life of Stuart Hall commissioned by Autograph ABP – as a starting point, the symposium will delve into the practice of Akomfrah, touching on ideas that connect image, sound and archive material to the creation of memory, history and identity.

Award-winning broadcaster and cultural commentator, Ekow Eshun – who will chair the event – said the symposium will also examine Akomfrah’s oeuvre as a visual essayist.

“For the past 30 years John Akomfrah has been committed to giving a voice and a presence to the legacy of the African Diaspora in Europe; to fill in the voids in history by digging into historical archives to create film essays and speculative fictional stories about past lives. This symposium traces the evolution of his unique filmic style, explores key themes in his work – race, identity, history, memory – and tracks the pivotal significance of Stuart Hall on Akomfrah’s ideas and artistic practice,” he said.

“As The Unfinished Conversation makes clear, Hall’s work spanned subjects including, Marxism, nuclear disarmament, race, television, cultural politics, and diasporic identities. His wide-ranging internationalist critique of culture, society and capital, helped, in turn, to give license to Akomfrah’s multi-layered, poetic and polyphonic film essays; films in which sound, archive, personal testimony, literary allusion and an abiding consciousness of the sweep of history all play an equal role.”

The symposium, which will feature speakers such as: Director of Autograph ABP Mark Sealy MBE; writer theorist and film-maker Kodow Eshun; curator, lecturer and urban theorist Paul Goodwin and artist/curator Marlene Smith, has been staged by New Art Exchange in partnership with Nottingham Trent University.

Event Details:

What: Stuart Hall and John Akomfrah: Creating Monument
Where: New Art Exchange, 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6BE
When: TOMORROW Saturday 8 June, 2013, 11:30am – 4:30pm (approx)
Cost: £10 (£8 concession)

For tickets please call NAE’s box office: 01159248630


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