Acclaimed film-maker John Akomfrah in Newcastle

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At Tyneside Cinema :

John Akomfrah free exhibition – “Peripeteia” – 30 January – 24 February  – in the Gallery, 10:00 – 17:00, Monday – Saturday. 11:00 – 17:00 Sunday

John Akomfrah In Conversation – Friday 29 January, 18:00

John Akomfrah film season – 2-23 February (see below)

Check them all out at

The region welcomes one of the most influential British artists working today to the Tyneside Cinema for his first ever solo show in the North East: John Akomfrah OBE. Born in Accra, Ghana to parents who were involved with anti-colonial activism Akomfrah’s influential works are characterised by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explore the experience of the African diaspora in Europe and the USA. A founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, he came to prominence with Handsworth Songs (1986), a film exploring the events surrounding the 1985 riots in Birmingham and London through a charged combination of archive footage, still photos and newsreel. Since then, Akomfrah has developed an outstanding body of work spanning installation, film, photography, Television work and documentary.

“Peripeteia” (2012), on show in The Gallery, takes as its starting point two drawings by the sixteenth century artist Albrecht Dürer. The portraits – one of a bearded black male, the other of a black woman wearing a close fitting bonnet – are among the earliest Western representations of black people, their existence now as described in the film “lost to the winds of history”. These elusive characters evolve into the film’s ghostly protagonists, wandering in a contemporary moorland landscape, the past insinuating itself into the present.

The film is a compelling meditation on diaspora and disappearance drawing loosely on themes from Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, The Garden Of Earthly Delights (c.1500-1505). Using a wide range of images from nineteenth century photography, Peripeteia is an exploration of histories untold. The work is the first part of a trilogy that creatively looks at the traces, appearances and disappearances of early African life in Europe. Peripeteia is co-produced by The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and Carroll/Fletcher.


John Akomfrah In Conversation – Friday 29 January, 18:00: The project opens with a special in conversation event with John Akomfrah and Tyneside Cinema’s Curator of Artist Film, Elizabetta Fabrizi. Ticket: £2.50

John Akomfrah Film Season: To coincide with the exhibition, you can see a selection of Akomfrah’s critically acclaimed films at the Tyneside

The Stuart Hall Project (12A) – Tuesday 2 February, 17:50

Handsworth Songs + Seven Songs For Malcom X (15) – Thursday 4 February, 17:50

The Last Angel of History + The Genome Chronicles (15 TBC)  Thursday 18 February, 18:15

Who Needs A Heart (15 TBC)  – Tuesday 23 February, 18:15

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