Stream the Film Jarman Award 2023 touring programme on demand until midnight Thursday 2 November.
Ayo Akingbade: Jitterbug (2022), 24’
Watch 'Jitterbug' (2022) on Vimeo
'Jitterbug' (2022) chronicles a day in the life of eighteen-year-old student Afeni Omolade, who lives with her parents and younger brother in a Hackney council block. An imaginative departure from the stylistic conventions of kitchen-sink realism, the film is a loving portrait of East London life, moving between familiar streets, homes and classrooms. While Afeni prepares to leave this world behind to study, the family receives news that will change their lives.
Named for an old road, now submerged beneath a reservoir, On Clogger Lane meanders through the Washburn Valley in Yorkshire, nearby where I grew up. It explores the infrastructures of capital on land overshadowed by a monstrous surveillance station, flooded and dammed, haunted by accusations of witchcraft, and populated by the traces of many generations of past inhabitants – from prehistoric carvings to the Victorian graves of child labourers. The film incorporates newly-recorded conversations with Sylvia Boyes, Anne Lee and Lindis Percy, local women who have been involved in opposing the activities of RAF Menwith Hill, an American-run signals intelligence base - and British and US imperialism in different capacities - over decades. Further contributors are local people whose connections to the Washburn Valley tell complex and interlinked stories of industrial exploitation, social history and folklore - farmers, antiquarians, dowsers, grandmothers, Quakers and communists. These oral histories are accompanied by an experimental score, including music by Leeds improvisational band Vibracathedral Orchestra, synthesised medieval English song, and archival sound and film from the Yorkshire Film Archive.
Julianknxx: Black Corporeal (Breathing By Numbers) (2022), 16'
Watch 'Black Corporeal (Breathing By Numbers)' (2022) on Vimeo
'Black Corporeal (Breathing by Numbers)' (2022) layers poetry, essay, documentary and music to expose the multiple realities of Black life in London and our relationships with the built environment. The film is anchored by the voice of Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who advocated to have air pollution listed as a cause of death of her nine-year-old daughter, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah – the first officially acknowledged case in UK history. While honouring a culture of resilience and perseverance, the film highlights the realities of social and environmental poverty in inner cities, which has a disproportionate impact on melanated bodies and working class communities.
An older woman vacations alone on the romantic island of Sicily. She walks into a hotel bar, waiting to be lit. A holiday love story made in the dark hours of lockdown, Hotel Kalura weaves a fantasy romance of cosmic proportions, offering an escape from the banal disappointments of everyday life. Merging the tropes of classic cinema with Koko Gate’s trademark dayglo surrealism, the film sees isolation and longing give way to an ecstatic experience of (n)ever-lasting love.
'Junkerhaus' (2021) is shot in the former residence of architect Karl Junker (1850-1912) who dedicated his life to building his house in Lemgo, Germany. Junker made his house his life’s work, cocooning himself within a maze of elaborate wood carvings which extended over all floors, furniture and into all corners like a spider’s web. Conjuring a mirage of imagined forms with the physical space, the film plays with reflected and projected light to animate, warp and dissolve the heavy wooden surfaces and structures, to produce a fluid environment that offers a new appreciation of Junker’s architecture as mystical and visionary experience.
Made in conversation with herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad and financial services regulator Rachel Bardiger, 'Alternative Economies' (2021) reads the imperialist exploits of the Disney character Scrooge McDuck alongside the apparently radical yet deeply compromised promises of cryptocurrency. Between these strands, the practice of foraging and the production of herbal medicine reveal possibilities for an alternative network of exchange and subsistence. Combining observational documentary footage, fragments from DuckTales The Land of Trala La and direct animation (created by painting on celluloid), the film draws together an unlikely constellation of processes and ideas to find new ways of thinking through our relationship to finite resources.