Cinematic Migrations

Cinematic Migrations Symposium

The culmination of the initial two-year phase of a collaborative research and production project spearheaded by Renée Green (Free Agent Media), supported by ACT, the MIT Center for Art Science and Technology, and the MIT Visiting Artists Program. The work of filmmaker John Akomfrah and producer Lina Gopaul was a focal point.

Desire for cinema existed before its creation. Today, cinema is an umbrella term for a variety of moving image and time-based forms which have intersecting, yet particular, histories of emergence. These histories and contexts include changing technological and spatial forms themselves—from collective halls to handheld devices—in which cinema appears, as well as the movement and interpretation of cinemas throughout the world. Cinematic Migrations is a multi-faceted look at the role of cinema’s transmutations over time and its worldwide and circuitous shifts. The theme was explored in a variety of formats including classes, workshops, public lectures, as well as the symposium. Course 4.356/357 Cinematic Migrations (first offered as a special topic under the subject number 4.314/315) was an integral part of the project, connecting MIT students and visiting artists and speakers. 

Participants in the lecture series, in addition to John Akomfrah and Lina Gopaul, included Arthur Jafa, Kazue Kobata, Yvonne Rainer, Chip Lord, Nora Alter, Ros Gray, Krista Lynes, Charles Atlas, Karim Ainouz, Knut Asdam, Simin Farkhondeh, Jesal Kapadia, Tarek Elhaik, Lovett/Codagnone, and Elvan Zabunyan.

Participants in the symposium included Manthia Diawara, Laura Marks, Gloria Sutton, Arthur Jafa, and Fred Moten.

Student participants in the project include Sooyoung Kwon, Yae Jin Shin, Kiarash Adl, Katherine M. Agard, Alex Hamilton Auriema, Timothy J. Barton, Sofia Rebeca Berinstein, Scott Andrew Berzofsky, Anne Callahan, Galo Canizares, Joshua Choi, Andrew Leigh Christie, Alexander Mackenzie Dixon, Jutta Friedrichs, Qiaodan Jin Stone, Mary Michelle Jirmanus, Maggie Jordan, Bumjin Kim, Kyung Sik Kim, Seojin Kim, Ryan Kuo, Sooyoung Kwon, Beomki Lee, Chia Chieh Lee, Daeho Lee, Donguk Lee, Jaeyual Lee, Suk Lee, Kimberly Q. Li, Anne Meredith Macmillan, Adrian H Melia, David Patrick Moses, Sheng-Ying Pao, Susanna Wansan Pho, Kun Qian, Carson Charles Salter, Patricia L Semmler, Ian Jacob Soroka, Christopher David Starritt Molinski, Samira Thomas, Floor van de Velde, Ami M. Wang, Tian Yi Wang, Elizabeth Anne Watkins, Ziyin Zhou

Photo Captions:
1- Kazue Kobata presenting during the ACT lecture series, as part of the Cinematic Migrations project, 2014.
2- John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul, and Renée Green on a panel at the symposium, 2014.
3- Viewing of John Akomfrah's The March, 2014.
4- Elisa Young, Cinematic Migrations symposium screenings, 2014.
5- John Akomfrah. Still from The Last Angel of History, 1995.