This film is no longer available. The online screening ran from 30 October to 25 November 2020.
A newly commissioned film by Zinzi Minott reflecting on the legacy of the Windrush Generation
The film is produced and commissioned by Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Spike Island, Bristol and Transmission, Glasgow. In Zinzi’s own words, “Fi Dem is a durational work being performed now for three years. Each work is a filmic manifestation of a year lived, a body moved, and moving through a reflection on the legacy of The Windrush Generation.” Both Fi Dem I & II were screened as part of BFMAF’s 2018/19 programme. Fi Dem III premiered at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival and is followed by screenings at Spike Island and Transmission.
Fi Dem is a durational moving image project and continued investigation into Blackness and Diaspora. On the anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking in the UK on 22nd June 1948, Minott returns to the work. Each iteration is a filmic manifestation of a year lived, a body moved and moving through a reflection on the legacies of The Windrush Generation.
Fi Dem III: Ancestral Interference, like preceding instalments of Minott’s project, invokes the HMT Empire Windrush’s mid-century voyage from Jamaica to London—except now we see it placed explicitly alongside emblems of the transatlantic slave trade. Minott is aware of the slave ship’s hold, stretching across centuries of Black Caribbean history into the present; an image of Covid-19 statistics overlaid atop a slave ship diagram tells us as much. But the artist also turns our attention to the legacies of Black Caribbean life, sound, resistance and communion within its diaspora. Fi Dem III: Ancestral Interference draws from personal and familial archives to chart several Black Caribbean journeys and narratives, some of which have been imaged and returned to throughout the series. For Minott, a trained dancer who was raised within sound system culture, Fi Dem’s clashing images and sounds are a way of ‘editing with the body’ to create the feeling of movement central to her training and to the migratory lives of Black Caribbeans.
FI DEM III: ANCESTRAL INTERFERENCE, ZINZI MINOTT, 2020, FILM STILL
Zinzi Minott’s work explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. She is interested in ideas of broken narrative, disturbed lineage, and how the use of the glitch can help us to consider notions of racism one experiences through the span of a Black life. Zinzi has been an artist in residence at an array of esteemed institutions, such as Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Serpentine Gallery; and currently with Somerset House and Once Dance UK Trailblazer. Zinzi is also commissioned under ‘CONTINUOUS’, a four-year partnership between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead) and Siobhan Davies Dance.
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festivalis an artistically ambitious organisation for new cinema and artists’ moving image. Based in North Northumberland, the Festival supports artists’ production in an agile and responsive way, trusting artists to develop work along the lines that interest and suit them best. It is a platform for the presentation, distribution and critical appraisal of artists’ work drawing upon dynamic networks of curators, critics and support organisations both across the UK and internationally.
Spike Island is an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design, located close to Bristol’s harbourside. It is a place where artists and the public can meet, enabling audiences to engage with artists’ research and production. Within the 80,000 square foot building, Spike Island offers visitors a year-round programme of internationally relevant exhibitions, events and activities, as well as providing working space for artists, designers and creative businesses. The link between the production and presentation of art on this scale and under one roof is unique within the UK. Spike Island’s programme emphasises the commissioning of new ambitious work and often provides artists their first significant gallery exhibition in the UK. Spike Island Exhibition Services support the development of commissions, including in-house post production facilities for artists’ film and video, audio visual technical services and equipment provision for ambitious moving image installations, on site fabrication workshops, resin rooms, skilled art technicians and fabricators.