Cambridge Film and Screen will be hosting the British-Nigerian moving image artist and researcher Onyeka Igwe as its Filmmaker in Residence for 2024. Igwe will be in Cambridge 29 April-3 May and will be participating in a variety of screenings and informal meetings with students.

Working across film, video and installation, Igwe’s practice is shaped by decolonial, queer feminist engagements with the residues of colonial archives, and by a reckoning with diasporic histories from her perspective as a British-Nigerian artist.

In No Dance, No Palaver (2017-18), a trio of short videos, Igwe adopts a speculative reimagining of colonial film archives to engage with the history of the Aba Women’s War of 1929, a female-led protest against British colonial rule in Nigeria. The three works in the series – Her Name in My Mouth (2017), Sitting on a Man (2018) and Specialised Technique (2018) – recently formed the basis of a solo exhibition, A Repertoire of Protest (No Dance, No Palaver), at MoMA PS1 in New York in 2023.

Elsewhere in her work, Igwe grapples with a sense of family histories queered through diaspora. We Need New Names (2015) reworks footage of the funeral of Igwe’s Nigerian grandmother, while in the names have changed, including my own and truths have been altered (2019), Igwe opens up her grandfather’s biography to multiple forms of fabulation.

Recent work by Igwe has turned away from visual colonial archives – the installation No Archive Can Restore You (2020) privileges ‘sonic shadows’ over colonial images – and developed other modes of speculative narrative, such as the imagining of a revolutionary play written by two female anti-colonial activists in post-war London, in A Radical Duet (2023).

Cambridge Film and Screen will be hosting a series of screenings at which Igwe will be present for post-screening conversations with the public. A symposium on her work, featuring various researchers, will be held on 3 May at Corpus Christi College.

The Filmmaker in Residence programme was established in 2016. Filmmakers who have participated in the programme are: Joanna Hogg (2016); Gianfranco Rosi (2017); Lucrecia Martel (2018); Todd Solondz (2019); Peggy Ahwesh (2021); debbie tucker green (2022); Christophe Honoré (2023).


Cambridge Film & Screen

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