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This talk examines black British film as a locus for the emergence of a conditional aesthetic of black ‘convention’. I focus on filmic articulations about black identities to argue that such strategies are symptomatic of a hybridizing of neoliberalism and themes of black 'consciousness' in the UK screen industries. In identifying the co-opting of ideas of black cultural value by neoliberal hegemony, and  the co-dependency between these in the narrating of the black British experience, I suggest that a influential dynamic constructing a particularly effective justification for black British film allows for a theorisation of the relationship between neoliberalism and mainstream representations of blackness, and how excessive articulations about black moral panic and casualty map onto present-day social concerns over racial representation and cultural diversity.

Dr. Clive James Nwonka is a Fellow in Film Studies in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His work explores issues of realism, race, class and representation in British and American cinema, and the institutional frameworks of the British film and TV industries. His published research includes writings on contemporary social realism, Black British cinema, film and architecture, and diversity policy. He is the co-editor of Black Film British Cinema II (2020) and author of the forthcoming book, Black Boys: The Aesthetics of British Urban Cinema (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)

This event is part of the Film Studies Research Seminar, and will be chaired by Jeff Scheible and presented by Dr Clive James Nwonka (LSE).

All are welcome to attend. No booking is required. 

Event details

Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS