Africana Studies Conference uses film as focus

The 18th annual Africana Studies Student Research Conference will feature a look at Caribbean culture through film and documentary along with three panel presentations by student researchers from BGSU and other universities.

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in 101 Olscamp Hall. Attendance is free but there is a charge for the luncheon, which must be reserved by Wednesday (Feb. 3). Tickets are $8 for BGSU students and $15 for others. Call Africana Studies at 372-7814 or email millese@bgsu.edu to purchase.

Those wishing to attend the keynote lecture (but not purchasing a luncheon) are welcome. If entire classes plan to attend, call 419-372-7814 to ensure adequate seating.

Keynote speaker Christopher Laird, an award-winning writer, film producer and director, will present “Nobody’s Diaspora? Africa in the Moving Picture Memory of the Caribbean,” during the noon luncheon. The conference will conclude with a 3 p.m. screening of his 2013 Caribbean film “No Bois Man No ’Fraid.”

The first panel of the day, at 9 a.m., will focus on “Effects of Colonialism,” followed by “Contemporary Art and Identity,” at 10:30 a.m. After lunch, the final panel topic will be “Performance, Race, and Space,” at 1:30 p.m., followed by the film screening.

The Trinidad and Tobago- based Laird has produced over 200 documentaries, dramas and other video productions with Banyan Ltd. over the past 40 years, garnering a score of national, regional, and international awards, including the Trinidad and Tobago National Media Awards Best Documentary for “Crossing Over” (a co-production with the National Film and Television Institute in Ghana). “Crossing Over” also was voted Best Video Documentary at the second Caribbean Film Festival in Martinique in 1990.

As managing director of Banyan for the past 30 years, Laird has overseen the establishment of the world’s largest collection of Caribbean culture on video in the Caribbean Film and Video Archive. In his keynote address, he will be discussing Caribbean culture in conjunction with the release of a digitized archive of Banyan's productions, a significant collection that documents the historical, cultural, social, political, and folk events in the Caribbean. This collection and record of the Caribbean world is unsurpassed and his role in its creation is central.

The conference is sponsored by the Ethnic Cultural Arts Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Theater and Film, School of Art, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Global Village, Center for Undergraduate Research, Arts Village, Department of Romance and Classical Studies, Department of History. Additional support comes from BGSU’s Facilities and Dining Services.