On April 10th, Natasha Kelly’s debut film Milli’s Awakening was screened at the Light House Studio of the Vinegar Hill Theatre. Dr. Kelly described how the black body, and especially the female black body, is portrayed in German art, using Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting “Sleeping Milli” as a starting point. The film itself is composed of eight interviews with Afro-German women artists who discuss the intersection of their identity and art within the context of German society and the German art scene. The film premiered at the 10th Berlin Biennale and won the Black Laurel Award in 2018.
The screening was open to the public, drawing an audience of Charlottesville community members and students and faculty at the University of Virginia. Following the screening, there was an open Q&A moderated by Associate Professor Kwame Edwin Otu. Topics included African conceptions of time, the importance of Audre Lorde in Afro-German activism and the film, and the homologies and differences between the Afro-German and African-American anti-racist struggle.
Click here for more photos from the screening.