School of Arts Presents:
Dr Paul Elliott – Handsworth Songs and the Ghosts of Empire
Day: Thursday 5th March
Venue: PN G009
This paper looks closely at Black Audio Film Collective’s seminal work Handsworth Songs (1986). It situates this film within a history of colonial images in British cinema and television and argues that the filmmakers borrow from a variety of cultures and art practices outside of Europe to forge a vision of a Britain in transition. Handsworth Songs was filmed in the aftermath of demonstrations and rioting in many of Britain’s large cities, including Birmingham, and the borough of Handsworth is used as a metaphor for the challenges and benefits of cultural change. The film crackles with anger and frustration but also creates beauty and profundity out of the violence.
Attached is the series of talks going forward.