Friday, Jan 11, 2019

11.15 - 13.00

Filmstudio 2, Filmakademie Wien (mdw campus)

Filmscreening and Paper Presentation  “Milli's Awakening” (e)

In the works of many German Expressionists, Black women were merely portrayed as »objects of desire«. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, for example, was less interested in exploring the anatomy of the female body. Rather, he wanted to feel his own manhood through the alleged »bondage to nature« of his motives. In 1911, at the height of German colonialism he painted »Sleeping Milli« naked on a couch. The only source of his inspiration was his male sense of eroticism. While numerous art historians take the aesthetics as well as the sexual fantasies of Kirchner in the focus, the documentary film »Milli’s Awakening« wants to immerse in the thought and emotions of his »muse« and let Milli awake figuratively: Black female artists of various generations, who have overcome the common colonial stereotypes and have formed their own self-determined identity as Black Women within the white German majority society report on their challenges in and with German art institutions, visual representation and political and social exclusion. 2018 winner documentary feature at Black Laurel Films

Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology from the University Münster. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, she considers herself to be an »academic activist«, two important features that can be seen individually, but never separately from each other.

Rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage, her political and academic works relate to the past, present, and future of the African Diaspora in Germany. This is also the focus of her numerous art installations that have been shown in museums throughout Germany. Since 2015 Natasha’s annual performance »M(a)y Sister«, which is dedicated to the Afro-German poetess and activist May Ayim, has been shown at the HAU Theatre in Berlin. Her first documentary film »Milli’s Awakening« was screened at the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art from June to September 2018 and received the Black Laurel Film Award as Best Documentary Feature in October 2018. For more information see:


artist talk: Tonica Hunter

Tonica Hunter, born in London, of Jamaican heritage, is a practitioner of various community-focused strategies which promote activism through arts and culture. In this capacity, she has founded and worked with various collectives (Sound of Blackness, Series:Black) and projects in Vienna which serve the black community and contribute to conversations and thinking on diversity in Austria.

Having studied languages and postcolonial literatures during her undergraduate degree in the UK at Warwick University, she went on to complete a Master of Science in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford in 2012. Tonica later moved to Vienna in 2014 to work at a Migration Policy Think Tank based here on various migration related projects.
Tonica currently works in Research and Development within the Austrian National Library’s Digital department.

(c) Ina Aydogan

moderation: Ela Posch, Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM), mdw