Film Screening: The Stuart Hall Project

‘The Stuart Hall Project’ (Akomfrah)

Friday, 7 March 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Appleby lecture theatre (GEOGRAPHY, W103)

Trailer: The Stuart Hall Project | BFI.

BFI Jan 2014:
“A founding figure of contemporary cultural studies – and one of the most inspiring voices of the post-war Left – Stuart Hall’s resounding and ongoing influence on British intellectual life commenced soon after he emigrated from Jamaica in 1951. Combining extensive archival imagery – television excerpts, home movies, family photos – with specially filmed material and a personally mixed Miles Davis soundtrack, Akomfrah’s filmmaking approach matches the agility of Hall’s intellect, its intimate play with memory, identity and scholarly impulse traversing the changing historical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.”
Guardian Sept 2013 (Bradshaw):
“John Akomfrah’s film is a tribute to the critic and New Left Review founder Stuart Hall – a montage of existing documentary footage and Hall’s own words and thoughts on film. It has an idealism and high seriousness that people might not immediately associate with the subject Hall pioneered: cultural studies. This is not about, say, postmodern readings of Lady Gaga, but a deeply considered project that reconsiders culture and identity for those excluded from the circles of power through race, gender and class. His is the progressive tradition of Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, unfashionable since Margaret Thatcher dismantled the welfarist consensus. Akomfrah finds a new and quietly moving significance in Hall’s own life story: a man who came from Jamaica – which Hall elegantly calls the “home of hybridity” – and found himself not really at home there, nor in the postwar UK in which he began a brilliant academic career at Oxford. Akomfrah sees Hall as a calm figure who insists on the fundamental topic of equality – yet without getting angry at the surface flashpoints of history. I wondered sometimes at Hall’s view on racial identity: it could well be, as he says, that race is an ideological construct – but does that help victims of racism? Anyway, an absorbing account.”

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