Anita Addison (1952-2004) worked primarily in the television industry as a director, producer and executive, notably for major companies such as CBS and Warner Bros. Prior to her turn to commercial television—which provided slightly more opportunities in a dim landscape for Black women film practitioners at the time—she made Eva’s Man as an MFA student at UCLA, where she was part of the L.A. Rebellion movement.

Photo credits: UCLA Film Archive

Anita Addison (Eva’s Man, 1976)

Gouled Ahmed is an Addis Ababa-based Somali visual artist, stylist, costume designer and writer. Their ongoing self portrait series One Day These Names Will Be Ours explores the gaps that exist within formal language in the understanding of gender expressions outside of the gender binary. Jama and Ahmed previously collaborated on Before We Disappear, an interactive film exploring hypervisibility/invisibility and surveillance.

Jamika Ajalon is a prolific interdisciplinary artist, author, musician and filmmaker. Her poetry and other writings are often fodder for her films, music and vice versa. An example of the interconnectedness of her diverse practice, her debut novel Skye Papers ( 2021 Feminist Press ) uses mixed genres to speak to surveillances effect on counter culture in the 90s, reflecting on themes already present in her early work, Memory Tracks.

Jamika Ajalon (Memory Tracks, 1997)

Camille Billops (1933-2019) was a prolific artistic-activist: filmmaker, sculptor, archivist, printmaker, and educator. Her husband and collaborative partner, James Hatch (1928-2020), was a filmmaker, collector and historian of Black theater. Together, they made films that often chronicled Billops’ intimate family struggles such as Suzanne, Suzanne (1982), Finding Christa (1991), and A String of Pearls (2002).

Camille Billops & James Hatch (Suzanne, Suzanne, 1982)

A Detroit-based artist, Lancer Casem holds a BFA in Photography from the College for Creative Studies. She has exhibited at Art Basel, Wayne State Galleries, Hard Gallery, Assemble Sound, and ASPACE and attended residency programs such as Fulcrum Project, Siren Hotel, and a DJ-In-Residency at Deluxx Fluxx, and Foundation Hotel. Casem is currently a member of BARANGAY, an artist collective based in NYC.

Miryam Charles is a Canadian-Haitian filmmaker and cinematographer and graduate from Concordia University’s Film MFA. Her experimental fictions and essay films, primarily shot in super 8 and 16mm, explore diasporic longing, the uncanny and the psychic and embodied weight of histories of dispossession.

Image credits: Julie Artacho

Miryam Charles (Three Atlas, 2018)

Ayanna Dozier is a Brooklyn-based artist-writer. Her art practice centers film (both motion picture and still), performance, and installation work with a specific concentration on surrealist, conceptual, and feminist practices. She is the author of Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope (2020) and is currently working on Camille Billops. Her films have been screened at Open City Docs (2020), BlackStar (2021), Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (2021), Prismatic Ground (2022) and Aesthetic Film Festival (2020).

Image credits: Dozier, Self Portrait, 2021.

Sonja Dumas is an arts consultant, performer, choreographer, teacher, filmmaker and writer. She is a co-founder and co-director of COCO Dance Festival, the largest contemporary dance festival in the English-speaking Caribbean, as well as the founder and artistic director of the dance company, Continuum Dance Project. An award-winning filmmaker, Sonja has written, directed and produced several films that speak to the Caribbean experience.

Sara Gómez (1942-1974) was an Afro-Cuban film director who studied ethnography and worked as a journalist before turning to filmmaking working both independently and as an assistant director to renowned Cuban and foreign artists. As a founding member of ICAIC (Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos), Gomez was the first professional Black woman filmmaker in the country and upon the organisation’s founding its only woman member. A noted radical, Gomez’s rich body of work drew on cinema’s revolutionary force centering the richness of Afro-Cubans – notably women – and reflecting upon the social inequalities and resulting annihilations experienced by them in a post-revolutionary Cuba.

Photo credits: ICAIC

Leena Habiballa is a writer and film student at the Other Cinemas Film School. Dead As A Dodo is Leena’s first venture into the world of film/moving images. She holds a PhD in the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Aging from Newcastle University and the Mayo Clinic. Her essays  have previously appeared in the Danish Film Institute, Tropics of Meta, Media Diversified, and  The Third Rail.

Leena Habiballa (Dead As A Dodo, 2022)

Nala Haileselassie is a toronto-based emerging non-fiction artist completing a BFA in film studies at toronto metropolitan university. Through video, printmaking and illustration, she explores personal and community archives of Tigrayans during moments of war and migration and cultural practices that defy borders and temporal relations. She thinks of her practice as a tool for collaboration, discussion and liberation.

Nala Haileselassie (Katanga, 2021)

Asmaa Jama is a Bristol-based Somali poet and visual artist, who was recently shortlisted for the Brunel African Poetry Prize, Wasafiri Prize and James Berry prize and longlisted for the National Poetry Competition. Jama and Ahmed previously collaborated on Before We Disappear, an interactive film exploring hypervisibility/invisibility and surveillance.

Alile Sharon Larkin is an acclaimed L.A. Rebellion filmmaker and  multicultural Artist-Educator. Larkin’s body of work which affirms and celebrates global Black life is available through Dreadlocks and the Three Bears Productions and Women Make Movies. Larkin’s videos and media created especially for children can be streamed from her vimeo channel: D3B- Kids Tv. Her film A Different Image is now streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Sharon Alile Larkin (The Kitchen, 1975)

Renée Akitelek Mboya is a writer, curator, filmmaker and collaborative editor with the Wali Chafu Collective working between Dakar and Nairobi. Renée relies on biography and storytelling as a form of research and production. She is presently preoccupied with the critical role images have come to play as evidence of white paranoia and aesthetic idioms of racial violence.

Sandra Mujinga is a Norwegian artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, primarily based in Berlin and Oslo. She works across mediums, from sculptures, video installations, to performances. She graduated with a MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2015.

Image credits: Chai Saeidi

Sandra Mujinga (He who was shared, 2016)

Neema Ngelime is a Tanzania-born filmmaker and photographer with a MFA in Documentary Filmmaking from DocNomads, an Erasmus Mundus programme spread across Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels. Concerned with African diasporic experiences, especially women’s, she focuses on themes such as domestic work, colonial legacy, spirituality, and class struggles. Her feminist experimental practice is informed by the magic of the mechanical nature of the every day.

Dawn Suggs is a media artist, actress and journalist from Saint-Louis. Her two shorts, Chasing the Moon (1990) and I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To (1992) focus on black queer women’s experiences. She has an MFA from UCLA and collaborated with a number of other experimental filmmakers in New York and Los Angeles. She worked on A Litany for Survival (1995), a documentary on Audre Lorde directed by Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson.

ariella tai is an experimental filmmaker and independent programmer born and raised in Queens, NY, currently based in Portland, OR.  tai is one half of “the first and the last,” a fellowship, workshop and screening series supporting and celebrating the work of black women and femmes in film, video and new media art. They have shown work at Anthology Film Archives, Portland Institute For Contemporary Art, Northwest Film Center, Wa Na Wari, the Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival, MOCA…

Image credits: ariella tai

ariella tai (cavity, 2019)

Jonelle Twum is a filmmaker, artistic director, researcher and writer who uses archives and film to explore the perspectives and narratives of minor/disregarded/unacknowledged figures.

Kesiena Wanogho, aka KESSWA  is a Detroit-based vocalist, filmmaker, producer, and music curator. Her work has scored films such as Ahya Simone’s “Femme Queen Chronicles”, and Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood’s “Gramercy”. She has performed in support of avant-garde black artists such as Sudan Archives, The Sun Ra Arkestra, River Spirit, Rashaad Newsome, and Sterling Toles at institutions such as The Cleveland Art Museum, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Image credits: Jex Wang 

Kesiena Wanogho, aka KESSWA (12th House, 2021 with Lancer Casem)

Born, raised and educated in Detroit, Fronza Woods spent most of her active professional years in Manhattan and is maturing, as creatively as possible, in the southwest of France. A writer-filmmaker, she has worked as camerawoman on numerous independent films, was assistant sound engineer on John Sayles’ feature “The Brother from Another Planet”, been a script reader for HBO, and taught basic filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she also created and curated an outreach film program for the city’s black community. 

Image credits: Katherine Spencer Carey

(c) Culture Art Society x Monangambee 2022