Cultural Heritage of the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean: Musical and Linguistic Traditions of Afro-Asians on Film
Shihan de Silva, Parvati Nair, Tope Omoniyi
Date: 27 February 2014Time: 7:00 PM
Finishes: 27 February 2014Time: 9:00 PM
Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: Khalili Lecture Theatre
Type of Event: Film
Film: Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants (2014) dir. Dr Shihan de Silva (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)
This film explores the cultural memories of the largest Afro-Sri Lankan community. Dances and songs (in creolised Portuguese, the language of trade and commerce for 350 years on the island), connect the Afro-Sri Lankans to Africa, now no longer an imagined homeland. Africans were prominent in the Indian Ocean World in various spheres but now the majority of Afro-Asians are pushed to the margins. Performing tradition enables Afro-Sri Lankans to carve out a niche in the cultural arena of their hostland. Fading memories of slavery and the slave trade can still be heard in the narratives of their oral histories.
- Professor Parvati Nair (Queen Mary University, London)
- Professor Tope Omoniyi (Roehampton University)
Our film series and panel discussions with the filmmakers propose to make visible people of African descent in the world. By including films from the Indian Ocean World (Sri Lanka) and Africa (Mali and Benin), we aim to throw light on slavery in the African continent as well as its eastwards dimension. Slavery has all too often been studied in isolation from Africa. The focus has mainly been on the North Atlantic World. Indeed, the cultural dimension of Diasporas has long been observed in the North Atlantic World, but it has received only scant attention within the context of emancipated slave communities elsewhere.
The films and the discussion panels aim to question the biases in understanding slavery.
An accompanying exhibition of photographs by Fanny Challier entitled 'Malian Landscapes of Freedom' will be displayed in the Wolfson Gallery, SOAS Library, 24th February - 21st March 2014.
Organiser: The Centre of African Studies (SOAS)
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Tel: 0207 898 4370