Black British Film & Photography at Portobello Art Gallery

Book Cover Image: 'Top Girl' (2008) Dir: Rebecca Johnson

Last night I attended a very interesting talk and photography exhibition by Black British Filmmaker Nadia Denton. Nadia has just published her book ‘ The Black British Filmmakers Guide to Success.’  It provides encouragement and guidance for young UK based filmmakers  embarking on their careers. Primarily a resource for filmmakers, this publication includes interviews with leading directors, guidance on learning specific aspects of film theory and aids the understanding of film, genres & audiences. Nadia touched on many issues and necessities that are essential for most artist working in the creative industries; to be professional, business minded, taking opportunities to network and collaborate with a variety of stakeholders.  The publication is available to download from her website www.nadiadenton.com

The exhibition entitled ‘India: An African Odyssey’ is photographic documentation of her experience traveling to West Bengal and Orissa.

She explains: ‘ In 2008, I travelled to India for the second time. What struck me was that in contrast to my experiences in Delhi where I was largely recognised as a person of African Descent, in West Bengal and Orissa, the lines were blurred…

With my lens I was allowed a certain level of access that would normally be denied a western traveller. The people I met did not see me as an outsider. I was welcomed into a culture which was not my own but where I could see aspects of my identity. Though I have lived and travelled extensively in West Africa, India remains the only place where I have been surrounded by so many people who share my skin colour. The images in the exhibition are a snapshot of the glimpses I had of my African self in India.’

Nadia Denton Image Credit: Armet Francis

The exhibition runs until 14th October at  the Portobello Art Gallery  and forms part of the Westway Development Trust’s programme of events celebrating the UK’s Black History Month.  Forthcoming events at the venue include the screening of ‘Nubian Spirit” a documentary exploring ancient Sudan and Ancestral Voices, a film examining African spiritual practices.

For further information please visit www.westway.org

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