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Archive for June, 2009

Special Events: The Black Screen Heritage Conference


Friday 31st July, Imperial War Museum, London

Conference 9.30-6.00pm (Screening TBC 6.30-8.00pm)

Cost £20 (£15 conc) Lunch and Conference Pack provided.

The Black Screen Heritage Conference will be the first event to bring together archive professionals from across the country to discuss the issues involved in creating accessible collections relating to Black British heritage, share knowledge and create a map of activity in this area.

With presentations from both archivists and Black cultural organisations, the day will offer ideas for approaching key issues from finding footage, to cataloguing, and working collaboratively with communities to create new ways of accessing the material. We hope that we can help to create the groundwork for a more co-ordinated approach across the sector.

Who should attend? Moving image archivists and curators from all public and commercial collections who wish to reach a broader audience and keep their collections relevant to today’s communities; non-specialist archivists from collections holding film wishing to open up their film resources; black cultural organisations interested in working with film; film curators keen to expand their programmes and reach new audiences; community arts workers and audience development managers.

Organised by Film London, the event is in partnership with the Imperial War Museum, Yorkshire Film Archive and supported by Skillset. Bookings- Further information: Tracey Joseph – Film London ( 020 7613 7607


New Archives: The Jackson 5

more-of-michael-jacksonMr.Scratch nSniff is Very sad to hear the news of Michael Jackson passing 2 hours ago…His journey started off as may people know as part the Jackson5…from the 1960’s onwards they saturated potentially every home with a TV with a distinct awareness of Black pride, music and culture that created a multitude of Black, White and all the shades in between of micro Jackson wanabee vibes all over this planet of ours…This in turn  inspiring a new generaton to be more active in moving forward to become more another source of people in the mass media of development we see today…

Infact, mr.Scratch&Sniff remembers many many years ago having taped the ‘Thriller’ video of TV when it was released on the  music show ‘The Tube’.. Mr.Scratch& Sniff ended up causing a mini havoc in school after a lunchtime screening of the Michael Jackson hit to over a 100 fellow school kids who went on to do zombie impersonations in all their lessons that entire afternoon…It was def a site to see kids ‘zombie hopping’ the fields whilst their teachers were trying to get them to play rugby , hockey and netball with no effect whatsoever on the micro funksters…

Another icon, another star who grew, fell, and now has risen again with his light that will shine brightly forevermore…

Here’s an early clip of the family in one of acclaimed classic dance routines with a little Micheal Jackson at the helm…

1970′ s Classic cartoon from Rankin & Bass with the J5 in ‘ABC’

Special Events: Afrobeat and the Art of Lemi Ghariokwu


The impact of the African states on world wide culture has constantly provided a steady source of creative inspiration that is building momentum especially in the world of film, music and design. Even the business worlds taking notice with the Cass Business School, London, hosting a key seminar on Nollywood that provided a unique insight to the World of ‘Nollywood’ and the opportunities presented to distributors and exhibitors of Nigerian film in the UK.

Mr Scratch n’ Sniff met up Lagos based Nigerian Lemi Ghariokwu in a marathon chat by the the graphic designer at Manchester’s Nigerian Centre. With over well over 200 record sleeve designs for Nigerian based Polygram records over the years, people may know him for his design work on the Afrobeat godfather, Fela Kuti working with Fela’s stance to produce his early album sleeves..


Lemi’s early design archive is on show at Rich Mix featuring as a key part of Punch Records BASS festival thats featured a key UK tour with Mercury nominated and MOBO award star SWAY and a number of artists also delivering a focus on creative Africa.

Listening to Lemi talk for a number of hours was like a whistle stop tour of Nigeria and Lagos history from politics to culture. Whats remarkable is that Lemi work is not confined tojust music. He spoke about his creating artwork for the documentary feature ‘Nollywood Babylon’ that was launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 from the award winning team of Ben Addelman and Samir Mallall who bought us ‘Bombay Calling’.

Picture 2

Receiving a phone call from Canada, Lemi’s experience of design for Fela Kuti’s albums and other artists such as Tony Allen was picked by the makers of the film who asked him to create the poster for the feature documentary.

Lemi’s back in the UK in October with a new show, so do catch up with him then, a fascinating man with a unique perspective of on life that is brought to life through his graphic illustrations.

Nollywood Babylon trailer and details on the film and directors;

Lemi’s Blog:

BASS Festival:

Rich Mix:

Special Screening: Afrika Eye, Watershed & The New Black present ‘Soulpower’


The New Black are working in partnership with AfriKa Eye and the Watershed, hosting a key screening of Jeffrey Levy- Hinte’s ‘Soulpower’ the new funk soul world music  feature documentary . Afrika Eye provide a distinct link and platform for film exhibition of African films , having worked with Bristols Watershed over the years, building a distinct body of film screenings at the venue.

Afrika Eye brings the very best of African and African-Diaspora films to communities in Bristol. This is achieved through a programme of film screenings to special events like Soul Power. It could be suggested that ‘Soulpower’ is a ‘warm up’ activity for local communities prior to their Carnival in Bristol, providing a much needed meeting point of people of many cultures too connect and engage with film and venue as audiences. Other in-depth work by over the years includes the Afrika Eye series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Anti-Apartheid movement.

Once a year they host the Afrika Eye Film Festival in partnership with Watershed cinema and wider venues in the South West that also features live performance, workshops, discussions and masterclasses.


Speaking about the forthcoming screening of Soulpower, Afrika Eye say ”We are very excited about The New Black and hope to take many of the films they screen on tour in the future. Soul Power is the first of these’

‘Soulpower’s director Jeffery Levy -Hinte has a substantial background in filmmaking , from the urban graffiti high octane film ‘Bomb It’ to work with Roman Polanksi on his film ‘Wanted and Desired. As editor on the Academy Awarded ‘ When We Were Kings’, ‘Soulpower’ is the very impressive documentary of the musicians that traveled to Zaire, Africa and support the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ between boxers Ali & Foreman.


Featuring Ali and Foreman’s 1974 fight in Kinshasa, Zaire – the “Rumble in the Jungle” – is legendary, but no less momentous was the music festival alongside it. A forceful & exuberant declaration of empowerment, it brought together some of the best African-American & native African soul musicians from James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz, The Crusaders, Sister Sledge, and many others – for three days of electrifying, at times explosive performances. A reminder of an era and movement that shaped history and a celebration of the sheer power of music.

The event will be introduced by St Paul’s Carnival Artistic Director Pax Nindi.

Tickets: £6.50 full and £5.00 concs – includes a free Wray & Nephew Carnival Punch – from Watershed Box Office (0117) 927 5100 or online at

Soul Power then opens at Watershed on Fri 10 July

A St Paul’s Carnival Fringe event presented in partnership with Afrika Eye and The New Black.

Soulpower UK trailer :

New Archive: Grace Jones

grace_jones_99Celebrating a recent revival is Grace Jones, a cross media artist recognised for her work in the world of fashion and film, with credits that including work as an actress in the ‘James Bond’ and ‘Conan’ film franchises. A key part of Chris Blackwells Island Records, Grace Jones and wider artists are celebrating Island Records 50th Anniversary, a company that featured a distinct musical family tree that featured the likes of Bob Marley, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Steel Pulse, Tricky, Amy Winehouse and U2, all formidable shapers of popular culture over the years..Here’s a peak at Grace Jones in the early year in ‘Slave to the Rhythm’…

New Digital Technologies: Tetris

Tetris - safe

..tis 25th Anniversary of Tetris, the Russian invented computer puzzle that kept a lot urban youff out off pocket by being installed in snooker halls and cafes …alongside Pacman and Donkey King, Tetris was considered a bit weird and not kool to play..well it was a bit dry really, but compared to its great grandchild, Grand Theft Auto, Tetris is definatly worth a credible mention and another look as a key educational tool given the ratio of nil shoot me ups, nil body counts and nil car crash victims..Mr.Scratch n Sniff waiting to hear a remix of the Tetris music, hoping that Daft Punk who are composing for the new version of the Walt Disney classic ‘Tron’ take on the role…heres alook at the original light bike scene from ‘Tron’..

New Archive: David Carradine

110859prhThe great David Carradine just passed away today…a key role model for a lot of people in the 1970’s with his hit USA show ‘Kung Fu’. His role in the 70s’s was iconic as the item of cultural representation in UK broadcast media was virtually nothing. Providing a distinct antidote to people of many cultures in the UK to have another look at who they where . USA TV film bought progressive commentary and a needed intervention of build of notion of representation of race and culture at a time when race politics in the UK where at best, embryonic.

People may remember Carradine’s renaissance in the last few years playing Bill, in ‘Kill Bill’ directed by Quentin Tarantino building on his character in ‘Kung Fu’, but delivering a darker side of the ‘Golden Hero’ in that very warped Tarantino way..Here’s a snapshot of Carradine in action from the old days of normal tv land…viva the Grasshopper -we salute you…