SAW Video Media Art Centre is excited to present the Canadian premiere of Black Radical Imagination through a series of screenings, talks and a workshop.

Curated by Erin Christovale (Los Angeles) and Amir George (Chicago), Black Radical Imagination is a touring program of visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative. Focusing on new stories within the African Diaspora, each artist contributes their own vision of post-modern society through the state of current black culture. An artistic movement and school of thought, Black Radical Imagination focuses on aesthetics of AfroFuturism, AfroSurrealism, and the magnificent through the context of cinema.

Between 2013 and 2015 the programs have been screened at festivals and organisations such as: Art League (Houston), Black Star Film Festival (Philadelphia), RED CAT (Los Angeles), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Union (New York), Trinidad Tobago International Film Festival, Afronaut(a) Media Festival (Pittsburgh), AFROTOPIA (Detroit), and many more.

The presentation of Black Radical Imagination in Ottawa is made possible by the generous support of the Embassy of the United States of America and the Canada Council for the Arts Foreign Visiting Artists’ program.


download the pdf of full detailed program here

RECLAMATION OF THE BLACK BODY: Screening and Q&A with the Curators
Thursday, November 19, 2015
7 PM doors open, 7.30 PM program starts
Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street
FREE Admission | Cash Bar

The most recent Black Radical Imagination program (2015) examines the reclamation of the black body through new media and experimental storytelling. The films in this edition address the state sanctioned violence against people of color, the ritual anchorages of life and the divine feminine.
Screened works: 
Ja’Tovia Gary: An Ecstatic Experience (6:00, 2015)
Cauleen Smith: Crow Requiem (11:09, 2015)
Lauren Kelley: Burlap Interior (3:00, 2013)
Lauren Kelley: Froufrou Conclusions (1:30, 2011)
Ephraim Asili: Many Thousands Gone (7:39, 2014)
Terence Nance: Swimming in Your Skin Again (25:12, 2015)


AFROSURREAL: Screening, Q&A with the Curators + Afrofuturist DJ sets
Friday, November 20, 2015
7 PM doors open, 7.30 PM program starts
Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street

FREE Admission | Cash Bar

The 2014 program of Black Radical Imagination contextualizes short films through AfroSurrealism. A term introduced in 2009 by Bay Area writer D. Scot Miller, AfroSurreal presupposes that beyond this visible world, there is an invisible world striving to manifest, and it is our job to uncover.
Screened works: 
Lewis Vaughn: The Baptist (7:42, 2012)
Jeannette Ehlers: Black Magic at the White House (4:05, 2009)
Jeannette Ehlers: Black Bullets (4:34, 2012)
Lauren Kelley: Get the Bones from 88 Jones Because She Also Eats Meat (6:41, 2008)
Sanford Biggers & Terence Nance: Moonrising (6:45, 2013)
Ephraim Asili: American Hunger (19:20, 2013)
Vashti Harrison: Field Notes (17:44, 2013)
FROM 9 PM DETROIT SOUL FOOD from Chef LeRoy (first come, first serve)
AFRO-FUTURIST DJ SETS by Gayance (Montreal) and DJ Magnificent (Double Barrel / Ottawa)


Friday, November 20, 3.30 – 5 PM
Carleton University, St. Patrick’s building, Room 435
The lecture will be moderated by Aboubakar Sanogo, and presented in partnership with Carleton University Film Studies
In 1973, filmmakers Bill Gunn and Sam Greenlee would release what many claim to be two of the most important films in American Cinema: Ganja & Hess and The Spook Who Sat by the Door. However, shortly after both releases the films were pulled out of theatres. Gunn was exiled from the studio system and Greenlee was monitored by the FBI. George and Christovale will address the two filmmakers’ experience and the relevance of these films today.
Saturday, November 21, 5 PM – 6.30 PM
Boys and Girls Club Ottawa, Britannia Clubhouse, 2825 Dumaurier Avenue
The capacity for this event is limited. To sign up, please send an email to: programming@sawvideo.com
In the workshop, curators, arts educators and filmmakers Amir George and Erin Christovale will introduce the concepts of AfroFuturism to a young audience. AfroFuturism describes a cultural aesthetics and philosophy at the intersection of black culture, technology, the imagination, and liberation, including the creation of alternative realities. The participants are invited to explore the diverse AfroFuturist expressions across different disciplines such as music, short films and drawing, and are encouraged to create their own collage artwork.
Co-presented by the Boys and Girls Club Ottawa.


Erin Christovale is a curator based in Los Angeles focusing on film and video within the African Diaspora. She graduated with a B.A. from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and her most recent exhibition, a/wake in the water: Meditations on Disaster was featured at the Museum of Contemporary Diasporan Art this past fall. She also works with a collective of creatives called Native Thinghood promoting emerging artists of color.




Amir George is a motion picture artist and film programmer born and bred in Chicago. Amir creates work for the cinema, installation, and live performance. His motion picture work and curated programs have been screened in festivals and galleries nationally and internationally. George is founder of Cinema Culture, a grassroots film programming organization. 







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