This week’s selection by David Demetrius is an ode to black women and their heritage. Poems sung, danced, and styled are transmitted to us through the seventh art, and divulge the narratives of those that society does not want to hear, positioning them as central elements of these living paintings.
Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah, a multi-disciplinary artist of Gahnean/St. Lucian origin, is celebrated here. She merges her musical and writing talents by taking the lead on Gold Token and To The Girl That Looks Like Me, in which she encourages full awareness of DNA heritage, both tangible and intangible.
The aesthetics and the universe explored remind us of the film Daughters of The Dust (1991) by the African-American director Julie Dash, a pioneer of American Afrofeminist cinema. We find the flying white/pale dresses; the danced phases; the quest for identity through the heritage bequeathed by the ancestors; and above all the will to tell the stories of black women and propose models of black sisterhood, thus compensating for the disparities in the representations on screen.
In her film Julie Dash also seeks to restore the intergenerational dialogue, the voice of the elders in community life, and especially those of the women elders. Ambition that we find in the last film of this selection, Àṣẹ directed by Anthony Prince Leslie.
Àṣẹ in the Yoruba language means soul, light, spirit and good vibes, and it is in this atmosphere that the director transports us. The focus is on relationships, family, blood ties but organized in an order that could be said matrifocal; all in a hybrid setting, mixing traditional and modern black cultures.