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Introduction to Second Sight

One of our roles at the ICO is to celebrate older work that younger audiences might not be familiar with and present it on the big screen as a collective, communal viewing experience. There are many reasons for this unfamiliarity – from the lack of available cinematic formats, to the fact that some histories are […]

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Photographic Test

By Jay Bernard In this video, writer Jay Bernard performs Photographic Test, their beautiful, poetic response to our Second Sight film tour. Recorded at Catford Mews, London, on 15 October 2020. Photographic Test, Jay Bernard Night train skids across the bridge, line struck through the day before Gold jet between two tunnels, light sped from […]

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The Only Good System is a Sound System

By Reba Martin In this essay, writer and programmer Reba Martin discusses B.O.S.S Collective’s Collective Hum, one of the new commissions in our Second Sight film tour exploring the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK’s Black Film Workshop Movement. What is the sound of this collective in black collective cinema?  Articulating complex […]

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Reflections on Your Ecstatic Self

By Chandra Frank In this essay, curator and researcher Chandra Frank discusses Rehana Zaman’s Your Ecstatic Self, one of the new commissions in our Second Sight film tour exploring the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK’s Black Film Workshop Movement. Jupiter in Aries. Moon in Virgo. Ascendant in Cancer. Mercury in Sagittarius. […]

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Response to Claudette’s Star

By Irenosen Okojie In this essay, writer Irenosen Okojie reflects on Ayo Akingbade’s Claudette’s Star, one of the new commissions in our Second Sight film tour exploring the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK’s Black Film Workshop Movement. An auspiciously symbolic opening sets the dream like tone in this cerebral offering on […]

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What Channel 4 had to do

By Farrukh Dhondy In this essay Farrukh Dhondy gives us an insight into the commissioning process at Channel 4 during the UK’s Black Film Workshop Movement, where he worked in the Independent Film and Video department. I was afforded the privilege of being appointed the Commissioning Editor for Multicultural Programming at Channel 4 from 1984, […]

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Some meandering personal reflections on Dreaming Rivers, language and Hostile Environment

By Rabz Lansiquot In this essay filmmaker, programmer, curator, and DJ, Rabz Lansiquot reflects on Martina Attille’s Dreaming Rivers, exploring themes of familial connection and forgotten voices in the context of today’s society. The boat in the harbour,Took my sweetheart away,My sweetheart you left me here,Alas alas what am I to do This West Indian […]

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“A Woman doesn’t just Dread!”

Revisiting D. Elmina Davis’s Omega Rising Women of Rastafari (1988) “What does it mean to be Black? What does it mean to be a Black woman? And what does it mean to be a Black Rastafari woman?“ In this essay, curator and academic Aleema Gray contextualises D. Elmina Davis’s film in the context of the […]

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Is Claudette’s Star A New Thing?

In the 1980s, a pivotal decade in British culture and society, a series of radical filmmaking collectives – the UK Black Film Workshop Movement – sprung up against a backdrop of divisive national politics and civil unrest. Our 2020 film tour Second Sight explores the legacy of the Movement, incorporating key titles from the period alongside new […]