Credit. Bodies in Dissent (2021), Ufuoma Essi. ID: A Black woman sits on top of a fallen tree in a forest.
Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 19.21.06. ID: A hand holding a sharpie drawing on film strip.
Small excerpt from bodies-in-dissent-spectacular-performances-of-race-and-freedom-18501910-by-daphne-a.-brooks.pdf. ID: Screenshot of PDF.

'building a library'

Rhubaba, Shamica Ruddock and Ufuoma Essi

'building a library' is an exploration of materiality of film, performance, methodologies and practice.

Beginning with a screening of Bodies of Dissent, a film by Ufuoma Essi, followed by an extended discussion around Essi’s practice and reading of a small excerpt from Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910 by Daphne A. Brooks.

Rhubaba and Shamica Ruddock co-run a cameraless workshop, building on the idea of alternative libraries (visual, bodily sonic...) vividly painting a short strip of 16mm clear film leader. Collectivity making a film.

Rounding of the session, Ruddock introduces their interdisciplinary research, current practice and Hauntology as malleable term through a performative conversation.

More info

Shamica Ruddock is a research-based practitioner working often between sound, text and moving image. Their current practice considers the ways in which Black diasporas are engaged and explored through sound. Meditating on Sound culture as semiotics, Shamica is particularly interested in how sound becomes a form of narrativising often with its own unified system of signifiers. Considering ideas around traces, echoes, abstraction and returns; the Hauntological qualities of Jamaican Dub provide for the artist both an underlying methodology shaping processes of making whilst also standing in as apt descriptors of Black being in the wake of slavery.

A 2020 Jerwood Bursary recipient, Shamica has also begun researching Afro-Caribbean puppetry and oral folk storytelling traditions. They are a member of Black Obsidian Sound System, Narration Group and Synaptic Island; and have recently completed residencies with CRATE Margate in collaboration with Durham Gallery Ontario, and Languid Hands in collaboration with the Black Cultural Archives. Shamica is also a New Contemporaries 2020 selected artist.

Ufuoma Essi Is a video artist and filmmaker from Lewisham, South East London. She works predominantly with film and moving image as well as photography and sound. Her work revolves around Black feminist epistemology and the configuration of displaced histories. The archive forms an essential medium for her as an artist and it’s through explorations with the archive that she aims to interrogate and disrupt the silences and gaps of political and historical narratives. By using the archive as a process of unlearning and discovery she seeks to re-centre the marginalised histories of the Black Atlantic and specific histories of black women. Drawing from a range of influences including black popular culture, films, music, historical texts and black feminist theory from writers such as Claudia Jones to Daphne Brooks. Essi’s work also seeks to examine the historical and contemporary links between the Black Atlantic and explores intersectional themes of race, gender, class and sexuality

Ufuoma’s films have been screened and exhibited at film festivals, institutions and galleries in the UK and abroad such as the Barbican, South London Gallery, MOCA Los Angeles, Black Star Film Festival Festival, Maysles Documentary Center, CinemAfrica Film Festival and Chisenhale Studios.