Handsworth Songs as Dub Cinema


Lecture One

Handsworth Songs as Dub Cinema

Kodwo Eshun

In 2007, Okwui Enwezor argued that Black Audio Film Collective’s Handsworth Songs could be understood as a ‘historically inflected dub cinema whose spatial, temporal and psychic dynamics’ that ‘relays the scattered trajectories of immigrant communities.’ Lecture One expands on Enwezor’s formulation by treating dub cinema as an aesthetic methodology that explains the Black Audio Film Collective’s notion of black audio as an ecology for theorising what constitutes black filmand black collectivity within the informally segregated cine-culture of the British Left. In focusing on the Collective’s use of Mark Stewart and the Mafia’s 1982 version of the imperialist hymn Jerusalem, popularly described as the United Kingdom’s ‘unofficial national anthem’, it becomes possible to analyse the ways in which Handsworth Songs mobilises the aesthetic sociality of post-punk within and against the signification spirals of control culture that criminalize black settlement in the postwar British state.

dienstags | 18:00 Uhr | via Zoom

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Dr. Kodwo Eshun is Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at Department of Visual Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London, Visiting Professor, Haut Ecole d’Art et Design, Genève and co-founder of The Otolith Group. He is co-editor of The Fisher Function, 2017, Post Punk Then and Now, 2016, The Militant Image: A Cine-Geography: Third Text Vol 25 Issue, 2011, Harun Farocki Against What? Against Whom, 2010 and The Ghosts of Songs: The Film Art of the Black Audio Film Collective 1982–1998, 2007 and author of Dan Graham: Rock My Religion, Afterall, 2012, and More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction forthcoming on Verso, 2021.