Remember Saro-Wiwa: Short Film – Refining Memory

Article 1 Jan 2005 admin

Reflective, compassionate and creatively invigorating’ Time Out, Critic’s Choice.

As part of the Living Memorial project, we commissioned a short film from artist filmmakers Judy Price and Andrew Conio to serve as an ‘exhibition’ of the five short listed proposals for the Living Memorial. The film is called Refining Memory.

Refining Memory was premiered at the Museum of London on 21st October 2005, and subsequently shown at a number of locations around London, ranging from the Whitechapel Gallery to Curzon Soho to London’s City Hall.

The 30-minute film explores the issues of loss, memory, memorial and representation and how artistic practice might engage with circumstances that globalisation make part of the fabric of our everyday lives.

It shows the diverse and creative ways in which 5 artists have responded to the brief of making a living memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa. In doing this they have drawn out the underlying forces and circumstances that have led to the destruction of the Niger Delta and the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa.

This film asks questions about how we respond to events that by their sheer calamity cannot be represented, but must be shown so that we might have a dialogue with the social and economic forces that underpin societies.

The accompanying music, especially composed by Ross Lambert and Eddie Prevost, takes the form of an intimate series of improvised musical dialogues, expressing their own personal relationships to Ken Saro-Wiwa and his works.

Gareth Evans, Time Out film editor writes:
“This exceptional campaigning essay film speaks to all the shortlisted artists about their thoughts on the issues his death raises. But it moves far beyond mere topicality; being at once a deeply committed, wide-ranging celebration of a remarkable man’s extraordinary legacy and a quietly damning examination of appalling abuses on so many levels in the Niger Delta. Reflective, compassionate and creatively invigorating in its responses to endemic abuses, what gives the film real power is its understanding that what is happening in Ogoniland affects and implicates us all”.

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