Creative Voucher Scheme
June Givanni’s Pan African Cinema Archive & Birkbeck, University of London
June Givanni, June Givanni’s Pan African Cinema Archive
Emma Sandon, Birkbeck, University of London
Connections: The June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive
The Connections project was devised to provide a further step in the development of the June Givanni Pan-African Cinema Archive. The project provided a window of opportunity to conduct a small and focused exploration of the archive and to identify its potential value with academic stakeholders. Throughout the project attracted much more interest and resources than had originally been envisaged and most significantly, it was possible to work with a second academic partner institution, University of the Arts London, Chelsea College of Arts, (UAL) and the joint professors of Black Art and Design, Sonia Boyce and Paul Goodwin, and to benefit from their artistic and event skill and contribution also of resources; gallery spaces; and faculty staff and student involvement.
The project staged a number of events at Birkbeck and UAL as part of Movements: Selections from the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive. These included an opening event and round table, a three-day programme of scheduled public screenings of films from the archive or inspired by it based on the theme of ‘Cities’ which were featured presentations by the filmmakers and were followed by discussions, a one day roundtable event on pan-Africanism and négritude in cinema and the archive, a small 14-day display in the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck focusing on June’s personal curatorial journey, three film screenings at the BIMI Film Club and a ten-day gallery exhibition of materials from the JGPACA held at the Cook House Gallery, UAL Chelsea. The project also resulted in a refreshed JGPACA website to provide an accessible online profile of the archive and to publicise the information; the establishment of an appropriate social media presence in the form of a Facebook page and a twitter account.
The Movements project had a significant impact because of the number of people who enagaged with the events and activities. The screenings averaged an audience of 50 people per day, and the gallery exhibition opening had c. 100 attendees and was visited by 30 MA curatorial students from Birkbeck with whom June has continued to work. The three BIMI screenings were each attended by an average of 40 people. The June Givanni Pan-African Cinema Archive project welcomed prominent guest filmmakers who attended the screenings and roundtable discussion day. A brochure, poster and e-flyer were produced and are attached separate to this report. The project can be regarded as a success on many levels and the participants envisage that it will continue to materialise for some time after the project.
There was a great deal of positive feedback for the events held, word of mouth; written comments in the visitors’ books at the UAL locations; Facebook and Twitter Comments; emails; speeches at the opening of Movements and in the course of the Round table discussion, the after-screening question-and-answer sessions and the informal gatherings at the exhibition spaces. Comments expressed appreciation for the rich and engaging programme, for being challenged by the films seen, as well as gratitude for the screenings.
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