Lullabies for the Distance/d
Miatta Kawinzi is an experimental filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores practices of re-imagining the self, identity, place, and culture through abstraction and poetics.Artist Bio
Lullabies for the Distance/d is an experimental film traversing vast geographic and psychological terrains of West Africa and the Americas to suture spaces of liberatory diasporic connection. In dialogue with historical Black radical visions of pan-African unity, this project updates and queers the question of when, where, and how people of African descent globally find and forge spaces of liberation and safety to be and breathe fully and freely. Through its process of making and presentation, the film contributes to a wild future of increased understanding, harmony, unity, solidarity, and power-building across the African Diaspora. I am uplifting the necessity of broadening the parameters of pan-African discourse to explicitly include and hold space for those of us who are queer. This project grows out of my own ongoing journey of research, making, dialogue, and travel tracing notions of Black utopia across place, space, and time. It is informed by family histories of migration encompassing East and West Africa, the Caribbean, and the US, and my ongoing personal search for a space of belonging and refuge across multiple spaces.
The experimental film will be shown internationally in tandem with community discussions to further animate its themes and offer space for personal connections to be explored and shared. This mid-length film will combine analog and digital moving image and sound techniques, poetics, the language of the body, the language of water, the wisdom of plants, the echoes of different landscapes, and performative sequences to dream beyond distance and stitch together connection.
Miatta Kawinzi received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Miatta Kawinzi (she/they) is an experimental filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores practices of re-imagining the self, identity, place, and culture through abstraction and poetics. Of Liberian and Kenyan heritage, Kawinzi was raised in Tennessee and Kentucky and has been based in NYC since 2010. Their work engages interior and exterior landscapes to illuminate themes of inter-connectivity, hybridity, diaspora, and queered temporalities.
Their work has been presented at the Africa Center, Microscope Gallery, Center for Art, Research and Alliances, Times Square Arts, CUE Art Foundation, BRIC, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Maysles Cinema (all in NYC), Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (CA), Pan African Film Festival with LACMA (CA), Ann Arbor Film Festival where she received the No. 1 African Film Award (MI), and New Orleans Film Festival (LA). Her residencies include Smack Mellon (NY), MacDowell (NH), POV Spark (NY/DC/Italy), Cité internationale des arts (France) with LMCC, the Bemis Center (NE), Beta-Local (Puerto Rico), and the Bag Factory (South Africa). She is a recipient of the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, New York Artadia Award, and Queer|Art Barbara Hammer Grant. She received an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art and Cultural Theory from Hampshire College.