White Afro

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    White Afro

    Directed by

    Ghana, USA


    6 min

    • English
    • Twi


    A barber school haircut training video on how to give a white person an "Afro" hair-do. In her fascinating new film, the director Akosua Adoma Owusu continues her research that combines hairdressing and racial context. The power of her editing, her salutary work of rare archives and her aesthetic originality are reinforced by the political significance of her work, underlined in a subtle way by Toni Morrison’s words. This film definitively confirms the extremely original and innovative work of this internationally renowned artist − exhibited and presented in museum collections − who shows how important it is to always redefine the boundaries between video art and cinema. - Charlotte Corchète, Locarno Film Festival


    • Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Prize - Locarno FF



    Nana Saah Adwubi Kete (voice)
    Dylan Bowman
    Akosua Adoma Owusu

    Akosua Adoma Owusu


    Instead of ‘Africanizing’ Western stories, I’m interested in reclaiming African history rendering them into what is happening in the present day.

    Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984) is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities where the African immigrant located in America has a triple consciousness. Interpreting the notion of “double consciousness,” coined by sociologist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to define the experience of black Americans negotiating selfhood in the face of discrimination and cultural dislocation, Owusu aims to create a third cinematic space or consciousness. In her works, feminism, queerness, and African identities interact in African, white American, and black American cultural environments. Named by IndieWire as one of six preeminent “avant-garde female filmmakers who redefined cinema,” she was a featured artist of the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar programmed by renowned film curator and critic Dennis Lim. Owusu has exhibited worldwide, including at the Berlinale, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, New Directors/New Films (NY), and London (BFI). Her film Kwaku Ananse won the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Award. Her film WHITE AFRO won the Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Prize at the 2019 Locarno Film Festival. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. She has received fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Creative Capital, the MacDowell Colony, the Camargo Foundation and most recently from the Residency Program of the Goethe-Institut Salvador-Bahia. Currently, she divides her time between Ghana and New York, where she works as a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

    Selected Filmography