African Studies program talk features acclaimed Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima

Headshot of Haile Gerima with posters of his films

On March 19, the African Studies program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS), in collaboration with Founders College, is hosting a talk featuring Haile Gerima, an acclaimed Ethiopian filmmaker and academic on Africa and the African diasporas.

“Orphaning Africans: Displacement Set in Motion” takes place virtually from 1 to 3 p.m. via Zoom. Serving as an interlocutor is York University Professor and Head of Founders College Pablo Idahosa, who is poised to stimulate a constructive and enlightening conversation with Gerima on a range of issues, from the place of Africa in the world to the construction of Blackness.

Promotion for Haile Gerima talk

Gerima is an independent filmmaker and a professor of film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Aptly named Mypheduh ‘sacred shield of culture’ by his dramatist and playwright father, in the 50 years that Gerima has been making films, his films have been noted for their exploration of the issues and history pertinent to members of the African diaspora and celebrated for their corrective Hollywood versions of slave narrative. His work contends with the African continent itself to the Americas and Western Hemisphere and critically comments on the physical, cultural and psychological dislocation of Black peoples during and after slavery. In particular his films distinguish themselves from other sanitized and more commercially oriented films because he privileges the narratives and perspectives of Africans and members of the African diaspora. Some of his works include: Bush Mama (1979), Harvest: 3000 years (1975), Ashes & Embers (1982), Sankofa (1993), Adwa (1999), and Teza (2008).

Throughout his career, Gerima’s films have been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions from film festivals around the world, including: the Grand Prix Award from the Lisbon International Film Festival and FIPRESCI Film Critics Award from the Berlin International Film Festival for his film Ashes & Embers; the grand prize at the African Cinema Festival in Italy and Best Cinematography Award at the FESPACO Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso for Sankofa; and the Special Jury Prize and Best Screen Play Award from the Venice International Film Festival for his most recent film, Teza.

Join the talk here.