This year’s Film London Jarman Award candidates are included in a tour that includes detective fiction, amyl nitrate, and a hallucinogenic conversation with Jorge Luis Borges

Rosa-Johan Uddoh: Brown Paper Envelope Test (2021)

Interdisciplinary artist Rosa-Johan Uddoh draws inspiration from Black feminist theory. The scene when the titular envelope enters the room is shown in the drawing “Brown Paper Envelope Test” with a mother and daughter. I use humor a lot, she admits. It’s a means to discuss various methods of racial categorization and how race is constructed. We play around with all the various racial classifications throughout the movie to, perhaps, demonstrate that it’s not easy.

Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s photo

Black Poirot, Rosa-Johan Uddoh (2019-2021)

She is presenting Black Poirot as a part of the Film London Jarman Award Tour. The Agatha Christie series has been rewritten. When you are Black or have immigrant ancestry in this nation, you turn become a detective—a detective of your own past. You’re looking for knowledge and mentors—role models—to look up to. To establish a feeling of identity and self, you are even attempting to learn more about your own family history.

Image: Rosa-Johan Uddoh/Dave Carhart

Jamie Crewe: A Luxury (2021)

Jamie Crewe, a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, states: “I like to work with existing forms and conventions; it could be horror, it could be a documentary, it could be pornography.” I like creating art that explores how being restricted feels in different contexts.

Images: Jamie Crewe

Jamie Crewe: False Wife (2022)

False Wife is the movie that Crewe is presenting as a part of the Film London Jarman award tour. He mentions “poppers training videos,” which are collections of pornographic material meant to be seen while inhaling amyl nitrate. I was also considering Scottish folklore and fairy tales, particularly those that included metamorphosis. Crewe said of Jarman: “I like his activism, his rage against Thatcher, the Tories, and the government’s neglect of the Aids crisis.”

Images: Jamie Crewe

Grace Ndiritu: Black Beauty (2021)

‘I feel like the world’s finally caught up with the topics that I have been talking about for a long time,’ says British-Kenyan filmmaker Grace Ndiritu. Specifically, topics related to health, spirituality, and certain political ideologies.

Image of Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu: Black Beauty (2021)

The movie was filmed in two sections, according to Ndiritu. The first segment takes place in a desert setting in 1978 and shows an African supermodel promoting a lotion with 5,000 SPF. The second section takes place in 1983, when the supermodel has transitioned into a TV presenter and is chatting with the modernist Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges on a late-night talk show about a range of topics, including time, shamanism, climate change, and African migration.

Image of Grace Ndiritu

Alberta Whittle: Holding the Line (2020)

Barbadian-Scottish multimedia artist, curator, and researcher Alberta Whittle. “I thought there weren’t enough images of people who looked like me — Caribbean people or Black people — and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to make films.” I was looking for such pictures since I thought I wasn’t seeing them often enough. I had to create them. Resistance is a major theme in my art, but I also challenge the notion of British nationality.

Cristiano Corte’s image

Alberta Whittle: Lagareh – The Last Born (2022)

Lagareh is the movie Alberta is screening. It’s a movie that I’ve wanted to do since I first came to the UK in 1993, a few months before Stephen Lawrence was killed. Lagareh, which was filmed on location in England, Scotland, Sierra Leone, and Barbados, combines histories and cultures to examine various strategies for dealing with sorrow.

Matthew Arthur Williams is shown. Scotland+Venice and Forma, London 7 are both with the permission of the artist.

Onyeka Igwe: No Archive Can Restore You (2020)

‘I am interested in political and historical problems on how we live together,’ says Onyeke Igwe, a London-based artist. I’ve worked with archives, and I know what it’s like to enter these areas and see what it triggers.

Image of Onyeka Igwe

Onyeke Igwe: A So-called Archive (2020)

A So-Called Archive is the movie that Onyeke is presenting. The movie combines video taken over the last year in two different colonial archive buildings, one in Bristol and the other in Lagos, Nigeria. The Colonial Film Unit served as the government’s official propaganda apparatus from the middle of the 1930s until the middle of the 1950s. When I went to the Nigerian film unit, I saw numerous rooms filled with abandoned clocks and decomposing film cans.

Image of Onyeka Igwe

Morgan Quaintance: Surviving You, Always (2021)

According to the writer and artist Morgan Quaintance, who is based in London, this is “a film that I made at the beginning of lockdown.” The story revolves on a relationship I had when I was much younger and the ups and downs the relationship experienced. But it’s not only a method for me to reflect on my life or stare into space. It has to deal with the surrounding social, cultural, and economic circumstances.

Featured Image: Morgan Quaintance

Morgan Quaintance: A Human Certainty (2021)

Beginning on September 23, the Film London Jarman Award tour will visit all of the UK. On November 12 at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, all the artists will participate in a showcase day.

Featured Image: Morgan Quaintance

Thanks to The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.