29 June 2018 | Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

In collaboration with ICA, this event features a kaleidoscope of short films made in the last ten years by African women filmmakers. Curated by June Givanni, the programme draws on the wealth of resources of the archive with this collection of films and related materials. JGPACA was established to help bring awareness to the significant contributions to cinema by peoples of the African continent and African diaspora. Following the screening programme, curator June Givanni and artist-filmmaker Onyeka Igwe join for a Q&A.


Marie Ka studied film in Paris and trained in California before returning to Dakar. She is a filmmaker, screenwriter and the driving force behind the production company Picture Box, which makes educational and fictional films for the West African market. KA has won various awards for her work. 

Ng’endo Mukii
is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design. Today she lives in Nairobi where she makes animations of little children, photographs dung beetles and runs away from scorpions. She works internationally as a freelance animator and director and is a recipient of the film grants Focus Features Africa First in 2013 and DocuBox in 2014.

Pascale Obolo is a Cameroonian director and artist and studied at the Ecole du Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français. Passionate about visual arts, music and urban culture, she filmed the hip-hop movement and Parisian graffiti scene and collaborates with street artists such as Jonone, Shuck, A-One and Jay-ONE. She also produces reports and documentaries for Cameroonian television. 

Sylvie Bayonne was born in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo. Her passion for music, dance and art led her to found the Association, Promotion de Talents Internationaux (A.P.T.I.) after moving to France in 1989. She runs Matombi Productions and the art and culture festival Soul Power Kongo. Bayonne has been making films since the early 2000s. 

Rumbi Katedza is an award-winning writer and filmmaker who lived in the USA, Japan, Italy, Canada, the UK and Zimbabwe. She worked as a radio presenter and producer on the popular Zimbabwean station Radio 3, her articles and fiction writing have been published in Women Writing Zimbabwe, Illuminations and the BTA/ANGLO Platinum winners collection among others. She was director of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival and has directed a number of music videos. 

Sarra Idris is a Sudanese director and editor based in New York. She started out drawing, making collages and working with photography. After completing her MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts, she worked as a film editor for over seven years and subsequently started working as a director. 

Onyeka Igwe is an artist-filmmaker, programmer and researcher based in London. Her video works have shown at the London Film Festival, Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Hamburg International Short Film Festival. In 2018, she is showing work at articule, Montreal; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; and The Showroom, London.

Akosua Adoma Owusu is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities. Owusu re-interprets W. E. B. Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness to create a third cinematic space for representing feminism, queerness and African immigrants interacting in African, white American and black American culture. She was a featured artist at the 56th Robert Flaherty Seminar programmed by renowned film curator and critic Dennis Lim. In 2015, she was named by IndieWire as one of ‘6 Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema.


Didi and Gigi, Dir. Marie Ka, Senegal, 2008, 7 min
This short film features the relationship between twin sisters who work as hand models. Their fantastic life takes a dramatic turn when one of the twins becomes afraid of losing her sister.

Yellow Fever, Dir. Ng’endo Mukii, Kenya, 2012, 7 min

This work explores the effects of Eurocentric beauty standards on African women, and the damage that an obsession with lighter skin can afflict on women’s health and self-confidence.

La Femme invisible, Dir. Pascale Obolo, 2010, 6 min

A young black woman searches for the face of her community in film posters. Her obsessive search leads her to the brink of madness.

Hexagram 27-Yi, Dir. Sylvie Bayonne, Congo, 2009, 16 min

Based on Chinese Yi Ching, this film is a poetic tribute to African women and deals with food, soul, body and spirit.

Asylum, Rumbi Katedza, Zimbabwe, 2007, 7 min

Collaged images without dialogue show the drama of a young woman from Dafur who has sought refuge in London. Persecuted by the memories of violence suffered and disoriented by the large city, the young woman contemplates suicide.

Land of the Blacks, Sarra Idris, Sudan, 2011, 3 min.
This short black and white film reflects on the division of Northern and Southern Sudan in 2011.


Ytas, Sarra Idris, Sudan, 2012, 2 min.
An experimental short about memory and traditional music combined with a visual play of light, projections and silhouettes.  


Sitting on a Man, Onyeka Igwe, Nigeria, 2018, 7 min.
Traditionally, women in Igbo speaking parts of Nigeria, came together to protest the behaviour of men by sitting on or making war on them by adorning themselves with palm fronds and dancing and singing protest songs outside the man in question’s home. This practice became infamous due its prominence as a tactic in the Aba Womens War, the all-woman protest against colonial rule in 1929. Two contemporary dancers reimagine the practice, drawing on archival research and their own experiences.


Kwaku Ananse, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana, 2013, 25 min.
This traditional West African fable is about Kwaku Ananse, a creature that is part man, part spider who spends years collecting the world’s wisdom in a wooden pot. Nyan Koronhwea returns to her father Kwaku Ananse’s native Ghana for his funeral. She has mixed feelings about her father’s double life with one family in Ghana and another in the USA. Overwhelmed by the funeral, she retreats to the spirit world, carrying her ambivalence into the forest where she learns the ultimate truth about all human relationships. 

On Monday of Last Week, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana, 2017, 14 min
Adapting a short story from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck, this film follows Kamara, a Nigerian woman, on her journey to self-realisation. Kamara works as a nanny for Tracy, an artist, and one afternoon, seeing her emerge from her studio, is inspired to become her muse.

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