Chapter Three An Afrofuture Narrative for Essex, Under the M25, Thurrock, Essex. Film still Andy Delaney 2022
OTHERED IN A REGION THAT HAS BEEN HISTORICALLY OTHERED
A three-part film and original sound work
"As the concept of Afrofuturism already signals, 'chronopolitics' - or 'anachronopolitics' - can be vital for thinking about the legacy of black subjectivities and representations, both within Essex and further afield. Torture of women, transatlantic slavery, contemporary racism - there's horror aplenty here. Yet, as the film suggests, by documenting these horrors, the bright future we inscribe as fiction can become actuality. James' exhibition compellingly suggests ways in which the past's refusal to stay past will be central for that future."
Matthew Bowman, Art Historian and Critic, Art Monthly
In three chapters, 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022) begins with the fictional presence of black women during the mid-17th century Essex Witch Trials, when women were being persecuted as witches or essentially 'othered', connecting a speculative past with the objective lived experience of the present. The film propels us towards a radical alternative future for Essex, where 'a recovery' has been accomplished via the gift of Jab Jab -- a traditional mas played in the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Carriacou since the end of slavery that acts as a transformative juncture.
'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' was shown in the main gallery for the solo exhibition of the same title at Focal Point Gallery, between 25 June to 18 Sept 2022. The exhibition was also shortlisted for the Freelands Awards 2021.
‘In the fictive, one has the possibility of a re-inscription’~ John Akromfrah, 2021
Chapter One Contemporary Echoes of the Subjugation of the Women of Essex
4K Video with stereo sound, Duration 11:36 mins, (2:24 mins excerpt), Old Knobbley Tree, Mistley, Essex, 2022. Film still Andy Delaney
‘Because we have been troubled...' ~ High Mas, Kevin Adonis Browne, 2021
Chapter Two A Jab Jab Awakening Towards a New Essex
4K Video with stereo sound, Duration 5:38 mins, (2:02 mins excerpt), Constable Country, Dedham Vale, Essex, 2022. Film still Andy Delaney
‘Afrofuturism takes that ‘othering’ and turns it into a zone of possibility and new dreaming’ ~ Dark Matter, Ekow Eshun, 2021
Chapter Three An Afrofuture Narrative for Essex
4K Video with stereo sound, Duration 11:48 mins, (2:01 mins excerpt), Under the M25, Thurrock, Essex, 2022. Film still Andy Delaney
Installation view, Chapter One, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukula
Installation view, Chapter Two, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukula
Installation view, Chapter Three, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukula
Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukula
Othered in a region that has been historically Othered was commissioned by Focal Point Gallery as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022) and generously funded by Arts Council England, Focal Point Gallery and Southend-on-Sea City Council. With support from Art Exchange at the University of Essex. Audio Visuals installation by KSO Digital. Wall vinyl and invitation designed and typeset by Fraser Muggeridge Studios. The exhibition was curated by Elsa James.
Conceived, written and produced by Elsa James from focus groups held with several groups in Essex, including individuals from the Black Student Societies at the University of Essex; the South Essex LGBTQIA+ community and anonymous members of CAST, a Southend-based African asylum seekers and refugees charity. Film performance by Elsa James; Directed, filmed and edited by Andy Delaney; Sound composer and designer Trevor Mathison; Music Composer for Chapter One Paul Gladstone-Reid MBE; Movement Director for Chapters One and Three Lea Orož; Costume Designer Symone Williams; Costume Designer’s Assistant Allyson Williams MBE; Make-up for Chapters One and Three Jamilat Charles; Make-up for Chapter Two Storm Thompson; Drums and Conch Shell for Chapter Two Ken Lawrence and Niles Hailstones; Field Recordist and Camera Assistant Graham Tobias; Colourist Adrian Seery; Drone Operator Struan Wallace; Lighting Crew Alex Wallace and Scott Wallace; Researcher Holly Firmin; Consultant for Chapter One Syd Moore; Audio Stories for Chapter One members of CAST; Consultants for Chapter Two Lisa Williams and John Angus Martin; Focus Group for Chapter Three the Black Student Societies at the University of Essex; LGBTQIA+ Focus Group for Chapter Three Fanny Von Beaverhausen, Elliot Gibbons, George Morl, and Lu Williams; Voiceover for Chapter Three Nathan Chaplin; Production Assistance Sue Withers and Titles Rich With.