John Akomfrah, a creative artist and cultural activist, has produced various documentaries, feature films and gallery installations, all of which have won prizes and critical acclaim across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Known principally as one of the originators of Black British Cinema - and latterly as a trailblazer for British digital cinematography, Akomfrah was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, the seminal British filmmaking collective. His film essay documentary, Handsworth Songs (1986) won international prizes, including the BFI John Grierson Award For Documentary. Since then John’s work has been shown in a variety of galleries and exhibitions and he was made a European Cultural laureate by the European Cultural Foundation (2012). His most recent pieces of work are Peripeteia, Psyche, At the Graveside of Andre Tarkovsky and The Stuart Hall Project, a single channel work premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in World Documentary Competition.
Born into an Algerian family in France, Kader Attia spent his childhood between the two countries. The going back and forth between the Christian Occident and the Islamic Maghreb have had a profound impact on his work. It tackles the relations between the Western Thought and extra-Occidental cultures, particularly through Architecture, the Human body, History, Nature, Culture and Religions.
The philosopher and artist’s first solo exhibition was held in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He gained international recognition at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). His recent exhibitions include Reparatur 5.Acts, a solo show at KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Construire, Déconstruire, Reconstruire : Le Corps Utopique, a solo show at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, dOCUMENTA(13) Kassel, Performing Histories (1) at MoMA, New York, the 4th Moscow Biennale, The Global Contemporary. Art World after 1989, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Contested Terrains, Tate Modern, London.
Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi
Milan-based filmmakers Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi work together since 1970. They are renowned for their accomplished work with archival footage derived principally from the beginning of the 20th century. Much of their work is explicitly political and grounded in the idea of the cinematic apparatus as a detached observer of modernity's vast upheavals: colonialism, war and statelessness. Their films have been presented at several film festivals around the world such as Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlinale, Filmoteca Espanola Madrid and FID Marseille. Their most recent work Pays Barbare premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2013 and will tour to the Toronto Film Festival among other festivals. Their video installations have been shown at the 2001 Venice Biennial; Maison Hugo, Paris (both curated by Harald Szeemann), Jeu de Paume, Paris; MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago among other places. More recently their work featured in the 2012 Taipei Biennial and the 2013 Venice Biennial.
The Otolith Group
Founded in 2002 by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, The Otolith Group’s work explores the histories and potentials of science fiction and Tricontinentalism. Recent solo exhibitions include Thoughtform, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, 2011; A Lure a Part Allure Apart, Betonsalon, Paris, 2011, Westfailure, Project 88, Mumbai, 2012 and Medium Earth, REDCAT, Los Angeles, 2013.
Recent group exhibitions include There is always a cup of sea to sail in: 29th Biennial de Sao Paulo, 2010; In the Days of the Comet: British Art Show 7, Hayward Gallery, London, 2011, dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, 2012, ECM: A Cultural Archaeology, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2013 and The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2013.
In 2010, The Otolith Group was nominated for the Turner Prize.
El-Tahri, an Egyptian and French director and producer of documentary films, started her working career as a journalist. Between 1984 and 1990 she worked as a news agency correspondent and TV researcher covering Middle East politics. In 1990 she began directing and producing documentaries for French television, the BBC and other international broadcasters. Since then she has directed more than a dozen films including the Emmy nominated The House of Saud, which explores the Saudi/US relations through the portraits of the Kingdom’s monarchs. The Price of Aid, a film about the system of International Food Aid, has won the 2004 European Media prize and with Cuba: An African Odyssey El-Tahri has also received international awards. Her most recent feature documentary Behind the Rainbow, released in 2009, examines the transitional process in South Africa. El-Tahri has also written two books, The 9 Lives of Yasser Arafat and Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Years War.