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It’s one thing when war causes the destruction of memory. But, there’s a hidden war – when memory dies through a more or less conscious forgetting. How do we tell our history when we migrate from our memory? One year ago, we entered history through a time rip – the chance discovery of hundreds of rusted cans of films in the abandoned rooms of Nigeria’s old Colonial Film Unit in Lagos. This discovery led to a huge find: approximately 10,000 cans of films in relatively good condition at the National Film, Video and Sound Archives in Jos. Their sudden presence triggered questions: What is the value of having a film archive and what use could there be for it? What is involved in getting access to this film archive? What institutional and infrastructural arrangement would support a film archive? (Didi Cheeka)

Part of the presentation is the screening of a digitized excerpt of the film Shaihu Umar, which is currently being restored by the Arsenal with the support of the Federal Foreign Office and in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture as well as the Nigerian Film Corporation. Shaihu Umar is a film version of the book by the same name by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria, who was in office from 1957 to 1966. The film was considered lost for decades.

Didi Cheeka is an off-Nollywood filmmaker and critic. He is the co-founder and curator of Lagos Film Society, as well as the founder of Lagos Film Review. Cheeka is the initiator of ‘Reclaiming History, Unveiling Memory,’ an archive-based project of Lagos Film Society to restore, digitize, and provide curatorial context for rediscovered films from Nigeria’s Colonial Film Unit.

All panels, talks, and presentations in English language.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur