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Sudan Trilogy and Arthur Howes’ legacy revisited

November 29 2014 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Arthur Howes’ friends, the Royal Anthropological Institute, University of Essex and SOAS present:

Sudan Trilogy and Arthur Howes’ legacy revisited

Free screenings, panels and dialogues

Saturday 29 November 2014, 10:00am – 5:00pm

SOAS, Kahlili Lecture Theatre
Nearest tube: Euston Square/Russell Square

This is a free event but please book your place: http://arthurhowes.eventbrite.com

Arthur Howes was an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His films were mostly made on tight budgets but were screened on Channel 4, at international festivals, and are taught widely on film courses. He was visual director for the multimedia shows Kaddish (1995) and Physical Cinema (1999) mounted by the avant-garde group Towering Inferno, produced videos for the krautrock band Faust, and did installations for London nightclubs. He taught film at Brixton College and also held posts at Essex University, Napier University, and the London College of Printing.

This event will celebrate Arthur Howes’ life and work and engage friends, family, and scholars in a discussion about his legacy and the future uses of his archive holdings.

10.00 Welcome by Stephen Hughes, SOAS

Introduction by Susanne Hammacher, RAI

10.15 Kafi’s Story (Arthur Howes and Amy Hardie, 53 mins, 1989)

Shot in 1989, Kafi’s Story captures Nuba life at the moment before it was engulfed in the Sudanese civil war. Kafi narrates his own story into a portable tape record as he travels from his village, Torogi, to Khartoum to earn enough money to buy a new dress for his second wife, Tete. Kafi and the other Nuba react to the presence of the camera without apprehension; they seem to welcome the camera as an extension of their open, out-going, hospitable lifestyle.

11.15 Reflections on making the film, with Amy Hardie; discussant: Peter Moszynski (Journalist)

11.30  Nuba Conversations (53 minutes, 1999)

Ten years after Kafi’s Story, Arthur returned to Sudan to find the Nuba featured in the earlier film. Soon after he had left Sudan, the mountain area they had been living in became a battlefield. With a government attempting to gain absolute control, the Nuba were persecuted, deported, and deprived of much of their land. Arthur had great difficulty obtaining a visa yet managed to find several of the Nuba men and women he filmed back in the late eighties, and their testimonies are, without exception, revealing. He succeeds in organizing secret screenings of Kafi’s Story, and the contrast between their lives then and now is shocking. It is rare to hear stories taken from so deeply within a community.

12.30 Q&A Discussant: Peter Moszynski (Journalist, aid worker)

Lunch break (lunch not provided, but venues are located near SOAS)
Screening of Faust: Hurricane (Faust live in London 1996) and excerpts of Faust: Nobody knows if it ever happened (2006). Camera by Arthur Howes.

13.30 Benjamin and His Brother (87 minutes, 2002)
Years of war and ethnic conflict in the Sudan have created a generation of young men, known as the “Lost Boys,” who have spent more years in refugee camps than in their home communities. This intimate film recounts the story of Benjamin and William Deng, brothers joined in the struggle of a seemingly never-ending exile, who are then separated when one is accepted into a United States resettlement program while the other remains in a Kenyan refugee camp.

14.30 Discussion how the films and archive photos can be helpful for today’s Kordofan communities – used in Arthur’s spirit

14.45 Bacchanalias Bahianas 1 – 5 (work in progress) 2004, 48 mins

Arthur’s last, unreleased, work is a meditation on his battle with lung cancer while in Bahia, Brazil. Highly experimental, it visualises his deterioration in health, as the camera becomes progressively heavier and the images grow increasingly painterly and static. In many ways it brought his life and career full circle, returning to the world of the African diaspora, and to the sea, which he always associated with his home, Gibraltar.

15.30 Discussion with Felicia Hughes-Freeland

Break/ insights into Arthur Howes collection at the RAI

16.00-16.45 Platform: Memory and filmmaking – chaired by Jeff Geiger (University of Essex), with Cathy Greenhalgh (University of the Arts London), David Mingay, Toni de Bromhead (tbc)

16.45 – Farewell and thanks


November 29 2014
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category: