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Concordia artists delve into Black ‘aliveness’ and consciousness in new FOFA Gallery film screening

Looking In, Looking Out is a series of short films by six Black artists exploring the complexities of human connections
November 21, 2023
Two people talking to each other and seated at a table in a cafe.
Teeanna Munro: "The arts are an ongoing tradition in Black communities." | Photo : Still from Mango Lemon Soda by Emem Etti

A program of films by Black artists titled Looking In, Looking Out has taken centre stage at the Black Box at Concordia’s FOFA Gallery.

The films explore a myriad of themes, from compassion and deep-seated anger to grief and collective care, reflecting the intricate patterns that shape daily lives.

The program opened November 3 and will be on view until December 15.

The film screening is part of a new Black Arts Series, a collaborative effort with the Visual Collections Repository (VCR) and the NouLa Black Student Centre. The films were curated by a selection committee: Geneviève Wallen, FOFA Gallery, Nakitta Hannah Correa, and Muhammad ElKhairy, VCR.

According to the Geneviève Wallen, Looking In, Looking Out extends an invitation to the audience to delve into the emotions that drive our desires and aspirations. The program also pays homage to the concept of Black aliveness and diverse facets of Black consciousness.

An image with six headshots of men and women. Artists featured in the Black Arts Series, clockwise from top left: Adam Mbowe, Karl Obakeng Ndebele, Ra’anaa Yaminah Ekundayo, Emem Etti, Desirée de Jesús and Badewa Ajibade.

The screening features the following films and creators:

  • Elemental by Ra’anaa Yaminah Ekundayo
  • I’m Glad You’re Here by Karl Obakeng Ndebele
  • Mango Lemon Soda by Emem Etti
  • ASK ME WHAT MY NAME IS by Desirée de Jesús
  • Chez Dr. Bello by Badewa Ajibade
  • halves & doubles by Adam Mbowe

The Black Arts Series also includes a six-week residency at the FOFA Gallery for two Black Concordia artists. The residency is set to offer the artists support and a creative space to work on their ongoing projects.

“The Black Arts Series showcases Blackness, Black creativity and Black life,” says Teeanna Munro, BA 15, manager of the NouLa Black Student Centre.

“The series came from the recognition that Black perspectives and voices within the arts are often overlooked, excluded, or erased. The arts are an ongoing tradition in Black communities, and this is an opportunity for Black Concordia students to see a greater link between their community and their student experiences,” she says.

“My hope is that this series will continue to grow across disciplines, creating pathways for Concordia’s student body to engage with Black artists.”

Smiling young woman with long, black, curly hair, wearing a white top and a black blazer Teeanna Munro: “The Black Arts Series showcases Blackness, Black creativity and Black life.”

This year’s residents are Tarcisio Cataldi Tegani and Quinlan Green. The artists were selected by Adam Mbowe and Amanda Keza Petit from NouLa, and Geneviève Wallen from the FOFA Gallery.

Tegani is a second-year Master of Design program student. His work focuses on data visualization, humanistic data approaches, Black-centered narratives and diverse cultural expressions in the fields of design and art.

Quinlan Green is a recent graduate of the BFA in Performance Creation program. Green says he aspires to develop new works and innovative approaches for contemporary Canadian theater, with a strong foundation in movement-based dramaturgy.

The public is welcome to view the screening from Monday to Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Black Box of the FOFA Gallery.

A closing reception will take place at the FOFA Gallery on December 14 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Answer the call to the silver screen — check out the course offerings at
Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.


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