A “Living Archives 2” lecture:
A few months ago a batch of Nigerian films was found that had been produced in the period following British colonial rule.
Memory is a half-dark room where back-lit particles of dust hang, like a veil, over a dump of half-forgotten rusted cans of films; memory is fading images, in black and white and color, on decaying frames, each frame a moment frozen in time. Memory, like trauma, is never really our personal possession, is never solely about us. Memory is always collective. How does a national archive of films contribute to the practice of memory and coming to terms with the past?
“Reclaiming History, Unveiling Memory“ is an invitation to the uncomfortable, but none the less exciting journey of reclamation and negotiation through restoration and projection. It is a look back – to the future. In the sense that it seeks to place archiving – beyond restoration, digitization – in a curatorial context, in relation to the present and the future.
Supported by Goethe-Institut Nigeria, “Reclaiming History, Unveiling Memory“ is an archive-driven project of Lagos Film Society.
Didi Cheeka is an off-Nollywood filmmaker and critic. He is the initiator of AlternativCinema, a production initiative for filmmakers challenged to go beyond Nollywood. Didi is a founding member of Lagos Film Society, an arthouse film hub dedicated to founding the first arthouse cinema in Nigeria.