African Soldier^ - 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW / What's On / African Soldier^
John Akomfrah

African Soldier^

Free London / Nottingham

Image credit: Composite image courtesy of Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery. Images reproduced with the kind permission of the Estate of Lieutenant Colonel G C Hill and IWM

John Akomfrah’s new multimedia installation remembers the millions of Africans who fought as soldiers or served as porters during the First World War.

Combining mixed archival sources with newly filmed material, artistic reflections and tableaux reconstructions, this groundbreaking work by one of the UK’s most celebrated filmmakers reveals how the conflict shaped the recent history of Africa and the lives of its inhabitants.

In 1914, both Britain and Germany controlled vast territories in Africa. Native men were enlisted to fight alongside Europeans on both sides, supported by an army of porters responsible for transporting food and equipment. Of the 100,000 deaths among British forces during the East Africa campaign, 90 per cent were porters and 45,000 came from Kenya alone.

Projected onto three screens, African Soldier tells a story of vast scope and enormous courage. In doing so it commemorates and celebrates the African men and women whose suffering has been neglected for too long.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, New Art Exchange, Nottingham and Smoking Dogs Films

You May Also Like

The Head And The Load

William Kentridge The Head And The Load

London

Premiered in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, this ambitious installation and performance piece tells the story of the African porters and carriers who served during the conflict.

SS Mendi: Dancing The Death Drill

Isango Ensemble, Fred Khumalo SS Mendi: Dancing The Death Drill

Southampton

More than 600 South African volunteers drowned when the boat carrying them to war sank in 1917 –but this new play relays the tale of one man who survived.

A New Film By Peter Jackson

A New Film By Peter Jackson

Premiered at the London Film Festival, screened in schools and on BBC One, this new colourised film from the Oscar-winning director uses archive footage to portray the war as never before.

Make Me Up

Rachel Maclean Make Me Up

BBC TV Broadcast

A feature-length film inspired by suffragette protest, premiering in cinemas and on BBC TV exactly 100 years since the first UK women won the right to vote.

Close

Don’t Miss Out

Join the mailing list

Be the first to hear about our programme and event news.

For more information about how we collect, store and use your personal information, please see our Privacy Policy

Close