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The multi-voice video project Muttererde (2017) by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor is screened at IMMA. A key part of Taylor’s current research project, this film calls for femme forms of ancestral history in the face of the often-interrupted knowledge of the African diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. The film asks questions such as; what are rituals, teachings and abilities passed on from our matriarchs? How do these inherited skills serve us or inhibit us today? Muttererde features individual portraits of five black femmes, set around conversations on the knowledge and non-knowledge of their mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and as far back as the knowledge carries them. Muttererde is an artwork but also forms a powerful archive in and of itself.

Presented in the context of Witness by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor running from 1 – 22 September 2018 at IMMA. More details of related events to come.

To follow, the film lecturer, classifier and author Dr Zélie Asava moderates a discussion with the artist that explores questions of identity and representation in film, cinema and archive. This draws on concepts of intersectional feminism and critical race theory that underpin Taylor’s research and most recent projects.


About the Artist

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor b.1984

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor (b. 1984, Florida) is an artist, filmmaker, archivist and community organizer. Her roots are in the Southern United States, born in Mississippi and bred in Florida. Taylor's work manifests through performance, text, dialogue, dance and community building for Black People and People of Colour. — View Artist »

About the Film

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor’s multi-voice video project Muttererde calls for femme forms of ancestral history in the face of  the African diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. The film questions, What are rituals, teachings and abilities passed on from our matriarchs? How do these inherited skills serve us or inhibit us today? The conversations with five black femmes on the knowledge and non-knowledge of their mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and as far back as the knowledge carries them create a rich and powerful archive.

Muttererde, Colour, Sound, 52minues, 2018
A film by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor,  in collaboration with filmmaker Astrid Gleichmann. Featuring the stories of Camalo Gaskin, Tobi Ayedadjou, Niv Acosta, Natalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro and Fannie Sosa, Music by Marshall Vincent, B Camera Operator: Ashton C Green, Animator: Mario Campos Castellano. Supported by the Decentralized Cultural Work Tempelhof-Schön. See trailer here

About the Speaker

Dr Zélie Asava is a classifier at the Irish Film Classification Office and lectures at University College Dublin. She is the author of Mixed Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Irish Identities on Film and TV (Peter Lang 2013). In 2011, she was awarded Young Irish Studies Scholar of the year, and in 2014 she gave a keynote on mixed-race representations in Irish cinema at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University, Chicago. She is the co-author (with Prof. Diane Negra) of ‘Race and Cinema’ in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies (Oxford University Press 2013), and has published many essays on race, gender and sexuality in Irish, French, American and African cinemas in a wide range of books and journals, including Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales (2014); World Cinema Directory: Africa (2014); Viewpoints: Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts (2013); Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic (2013); France’s Colonial Legacies: Memory, Identity and Narrative (2013); World Cinema Directory: France (2013).