Sarita Malik delivered the opening keynote address at the Black Film British Cinema Conference 2017 at Goldsmiths and the ICA on the 18th May, 2017. The ‘sold-out’ conference took place on 18th and 19th of May.
The conference marked nearly 30 years since the original Black Film, British Cinema conference at the ICA and its subsequent publication, both of which, as Malik discussed in her address, have been a huge influence on scholars exploring race, culture and the politics of representation. Some of its core thinking was led by scholars such as Kobena Mercer, Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy.
The aim of the two-day conference was to consider the politics of race in contemporary British cinema and visual practice, as well as to provide a space to reflect on almost 30 years of black film production vis-a-vis the institutional, technological, textual, cultural and political shifts that have occurred during this period.
In her talk, Malik examines the “social, political, economic and affective structures through which visual culture is constituted”, arguing that, “Black British film has been a key site of struggle which has been, more or less, racially governed through various frames such as ‘institutionalised diversity’ and ‘the creative economy’. But that it has also demonstrated radical potential as a form of culture that can provoke, disrupt and recode normative understanding of the British experience”. Malik highlights the importance of strategizing around the “spaces of representation from which black film might be able to resist racialised forms of governance, for example, in terms of commissioning, funding, distribution or policy.”
Malik’s keynote relates to Strand 1 of the Creative Interruptions project which researches the politics of past and present anti-racist screen media.
Watch the full keynote here: