A trailer for Akosua Adoma Owusu’s 2009 short, ‘Me Broni Ba (My White Baby).’
This Sunday (Dec. 16) at 7:30 pm, Union Docs in Brooklyn, New York, presents a retrospective of short films and influential works by Akosua Adoma Owusu (Film/Video, Art MFA 08) and other artists. The 93-minute program features four of Owusu’s short films made since 2005; Okay-Bye Bye by CalArts School of Film/Video faculty member Rebecca Baron and Ayoka Chenzira‘s Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-headed People.
Owusu, who was born in the U.S. to parents from Ghana, has explored the “oppositions and syntheses produced by [a] triple consciousness” in her work, identifying the intersections and divergences between African, African American and White American cultures.
Whether working with original footage recorded in the United States and Ghana or from archival material, Owusu has paid particular attention to each of these cultures’ racialized symbols of femininity. She has documented the proliferation of white baby dolls in Ghana, riffed on the advertising of domestic appliances in the United States and has made multiple investigations into the charged semiotics of women’s hairstyles in both continents.
Uncovering the histories embedded within everyday objects, and tracing the threads that bind the local to the global and the personal to the political, Owusu’s impressionistic films achieve a casual complexity to mirror all the complications of lived experience.
Owusu’s films on the program are:
- Intermittent Delight (2007) – 5 minutes, digital projection
- Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) (2009) – 22 minutes, digital projection
- Drexciya (2010) – 12 minutes, digital projection
- Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful (2012) – 5 minutes, digital projection
Sunday’s screening includes a discussion with Owusu and Union Docs’ Critical Writing Fellow Colin Beckett.