Black Code and Multicultural Dread at Mansion

Date: 7th of April 2017, 19:00
Location: Mansion

BLACK CODE/CODE NOIR by Louis Henderson & MULTICULTURAL DREAD by Arjuna Neumann

The two films have emerged from the “epidemic” of racially motivated killings in the US – both films link present-day violence with historical colonial violence. Black Code/Code Noir connects today’s police algorithms for predicting criminals with slave-era Black Code laws. While Multi-Cultural Dread looks at the legacy of colonialism through music, where the harmony regime of classical music is mirrored in oppressive post-colonial and multi-cultural policy today. Both films propose cultural modes of resisting said violence, albeit through different forms. The screening will wander as well to which extent the problematics posed by these works can have relevance in the Lebanese context, and the history of the region.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Louis Henderson and Arjuna Neuman as moderated by Lorde Selys.

Black Code/Code Noir (20min50) unites temporally and geographically disparate elements into a critical reflection on the murders of Michael Brown and Kajieme Powell by police in USA 2014. Archaeologically, the film argues that behind this situation is a sedimented history of slavery, preserved by the Black Code laws of the colonies in the Americas. These codes have transformed into the algorithms that analyse police Big Data, leading to necropolitical control of African Americans today. Through a historical détournement the film suggests the Haitian Revolution as the first hacking of the Black Code and as a past symbol for a future hope.

Multicultural Dread (27min29) finds in Jungle Music and its wider rave culture a unique safe and resistant space. A space where the legacies of colonial violence can be upheaved, translated, abreacted and eventually released. A space, and in particular, a rhythmic structure that severs the colonial umbilical cord between Jamaica and England. This cultural tactic successfully interrupts century-old cycles of repressed and returned violence – or what we might call the “harmony regime” in terms of both race and music.

This is the first event in a longer research project Planetary Erotics initiated by Arjuna Neuman followed by Lorde Selys and Rachel Dedman. It aims at working towards trans-regional methods of solidarity. The first chapter will question the possibility of shared modes of cultural resistance between Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian Resistance.

Louis Henderson is a filmmaker whose works investigate connections between colonialism, technology, capitalism and history. His research seeks to formulate an archaeological method within film practice reflecting on animistic materialism. Henderson has shown his work at places such as; Rotterdam International Film Festival, Doc Lisboa, CPH:DOX, New York Film Festival, The Contour Biennial, The Kiev Biennial, The Centre Pompidou, SAVVY Contemporary, The Gene Siskell Film Centre and Tate Britain. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Video Artist at the 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, and a European Short Film Award – New Horizons International Film Festival, Wroclaw, Poland. His work is distributed by Lux (UK) and Video Data Bank (USA).

Arjuna Neuman was born on an airplane, that’s why he has two passports. He is an artist, filmmaker and writer. With recent presentations at Bergen Assembly, Norway; at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art; the 56th Venice Biennale and SuperCommunity; the Haus Der Kulturen der Welt; at KEM, Warsaw; at Ashkal Alwan and the Beirut Art Centre, Lebanon; Le Gaite Lyric, Paris; the Canadian Centre for Architecture; and the Rat School of Art, Seoul amongst others. As a writer he has published essays in Relief Press, Into the Pines Press, The Journal for New Writing, VIA Magazine, Concord, Art Voices, Flaunt, LEAP and e-flux.

Lorde Selys is an artist, a videographer, a night carer, a sugar waxer and a researcher in Screen Studies (Goldsmith).
Her work has been shown or screened at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Beirut Art Centre, among other contexts.

This event is supported by Step Beyond and the Swiss Embassy in Beirut