BHM 365 | BLACK LENS #1: WAX PRINT (PG)
7:00pm, Thursday 5th October 2023
Director Aiwan Obinyan takes us around the world in search of African wax prints.
Noting this September’s London Fashion Week and the contribution made to it by Black creativity, this month’s Black Lens is Wax Print (2018), an eye-opening feature documentary tracing the vast and multi-stranded global history of a fabric that has become an iconic symbol of Africa and its dispersed children.
This beautiful, transnational two-year journey of enlightenment has taken director Aiwan Obinyan around the world in search of African wax prints and the untold story of how wax print fabric came to symbolise a continent, its people, their freedom and their independence.
The film brings forth issues of fast fashion and mass-produced wax print copies, while detailing an Indonesian, English, and Dutch history of the fabric itself and its significance for pan-African identities.
As seen in Batik and Kente techniques, bright bold patterns and colours become a significant part of the culture, as well as the identities of the African diaspora that have kept the heritage alive.
With names like ‘The Ungrateful Husband’, which is worn by women to shame their disloyal spouses, each wax print has a pattern and distinctiveness embodied in the cloth, and an origin story that is then accepted and integrated into the culture by consumers.
“Obinyan’s enthusiasm for wax print and her excitement at being witness to the process of its making are infectious. The film makes poignant observations about counterfeiting and cultural identity and ultimately ties the fabric’s identity to the black experience itself.”, Debbie Onuoha, Humboldt University, Berlin
This screening of Black Lens is our 1st birthday and we’re having a themed evening! Join us from 6pm – 7pm before the film to take part in an African Coaster Making Workshop facilitated by Paulsimna Creative’s.
Combining recycled bottle tops and African cloth, discover and learn about African History whilst making vibrant coasters, which you’ll be able to take home. This Haringey Feast workshop is in celebration of Black History Month. Please note we have a limited places for the workshop, so spaces will be on a first come first served basis.
All audience members will receive a FREE ticket to our second Black Lens special for BHM 365, Pretty Red Dress (15), screening in our Theatre on Thursday 19 October.
Following the screening, we will also explore and engage in an open and candid conversation, curated by our film programmer, Ephraim Webber.