Previously at the ICA - Films

An Opera of the World, Manthia Diawara on the island of Lesbos, 2016

Manthia Diawara’s An Opera of the World + Responses and Discussion

26 Nov 2017

This screening is followed by a discussion featuring filmmaker Manthia Diawara, sociologist Suzi Hall and artist Hannah Catherine Jones

Who can tell the story of contemporary migration when it entails such trauma?
What happens when artistic cultures migrate and meet?
How do migrants navigate between tradition and assimilation?

The centrepiece of Manthia Diawara's An Opera of the World is a staging of Wasis Diop's Bintu Were, A Sahel Opera in Bamako, Mali in 2008 – a pioneering work telling the story of migration from West Africa to Europe by combining traditional Malian music with the structure of the Western operatic art form.

Weaving together this performance with classical works and footage from the current migrant crisis, the film invites meditations on the role of music in experiences and representations of contemporary migration from Fatou Diome, Alexander Kluge, Nicole Lapierre, Richard Sennett and Diawara himself.

For this event, sociologist Suzi Hall and artist Hannah Catherine Jones have been invited to use the film as a starting point to offer their own provocations. The discussion asks what happens when artistic forms meet and merge, and addresses the politics of cultural expression as it migrates and encounters other forms.

An Opera of the World, dir. Manthia Diawara, 2017, digital video, color, sound, 70 mins 22 secs

Produced by Maumaus/Lumiar Cité (Portugal, USA, Mali) with core funding from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, ZDF/3sat and documenta 14.

The evening is presented as part of Crossings: Stories of Migration, in partnership between the ICA and Theatrum Mundi, a laboratory that promotes debate about issues in contemporary urban culture


E.g., 25-02-2021
E.g., 25-02-2021