Tag Archives: The Last Angel of History

Behind the Mask: Space Children

While doing some research I came across this event that took place last year at the British Library. Space Children: From Dr. Funkenstein to the ArchAndroid featured interviews with George Clinton and Nona Hendryx in which they discussed their spaced-out fashion styles as well as a screening of John Akomfrah’s The Last Angel of History. There are only a couple of videos about it online. Does anyone know of a video of the entire event? Let me know.


Moving on the Wires: Film, Films, Films

* One of the inspirations for starting this blog was watching this clip from John Akomfrah’s The Last Angel of History. I remember looking everywhere to find out where to watch the whole film, until a supporter of the blog eventually shared it with me. Still, I know there were others who looking for it, too, and if you still are, one place to get the DVD is at Icarus Films for about $35. Enjoy and thanks Stefan Nottelmann for the information!

* A few days ago, I wrote about and did a review of Beasts of the Southern Wild. The lead actress, Quvenzhane Wallis, will be in a new film, Boneshaker,written and directed byFrances Bodomo. The film is about Ghanaian family’s trip to a Pentecostal church to cure their daughter of a “spirit” and reflects Bodomo’s experience of dealing with migration, cultural change and cultural clashes. Read Her Film’s interview with Bodomo in which they talk about her film concepts, which include “doppelgangers, imaginary friends, ventriloquist dummies, and the un-institutionalized crazies who constantly break society’s view of itself” through an African perspective.

In Flight….

Egyptian Goddess Maat Balance Painting

We have come full circle. At the beginning of this blog, I wrote how I was inspired to create this blog because of a clip from the documentary, “The Last Angel of History.” Fortunately, one of my followers, Mr. Thumble Waddle, gave me a link to the documentary and I was finally able to see it in its entirety. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the film:

“…Mothership connection is like the link between Africa as a lost continent in the past and between Africa as an alien future…” – Kodwo Eshun

“Roaming the internet, the data thief discovers a new word, Africa. Somewhere in this street is the secret of the mothership. The data thief knows that the first touch with science fiction came when Africans began playing drums to cover distance. Water carried the sounds of the drums; sound covered the distance between the old and the new world.”

“Our music is a mirror of the universe. We explore the future through music.”

“I am the firmament computer, I am the sky computer” – Scratch Lee Perry

“The data thief knows that there is a connection between music, space and the future.”

“The line between social reality and science fiction is a science fiction”

“Ever since the 50s you had electronics, which summoned up the alien, the monster; In the 70s you had Disco, which summoned up the idea of the clone and the robotic; by the time you get to the 80s, and Derrick May, techno is now something like a species…” – Eshun

“Techno to me means…to express man and machine intertwined…to bring these two elements together…to take technology up to level of human instinct…to make people see the human side of the technology…” Derrick May (That is what makes up the best Techno music)

“Black existence and science fiction are one in the same…the form itself, the conventions of the narrative in science fiction, in terms of the way they deal with subject, it’s usually someone who is at odds with the apparatus of power in the society and whose profound experience is one of cultural dislocation, alienation, estrangement…” – Greg Tate

“Our thief from the future gives up the right to belong in his time in order to come to our time to find the mothership connection. The thief becomes an angel, the angel of history. The data thief can visit the old world and the new, but he cannot be a part of either. He doesn’t know that is his problem.”

“Science fiction doesn’t try to predict the future, but rather offers a significant distortion of the present…We sit around and look at what we see around us and we say how can the world be different” – Samuel R. Delany (science fiction writer)

“New words: Sonic warfare, sonic Africa, Afrofuturism, digitized diaspora, Analog ecology.”

“Technology has broken time down because we are the future…We are always looking for the future and it is right underneath our nose….Because of technology and being able to take from any of those eras, time is irrelevant.”

Sadly, I will be putting this blog on a hiatus as I travel to London for a study abroad trip (that part is not sad hehe). You can follow the blog, A London Overture, that I will be running during my stay there. Thank you for reading my blog and I will be back the week of August 8th.

Up, Up and Away…….

Taking It From the Streets: The Making of Modern R&B

Yesterday, I came across another documentary that was directed by John Akomfrah, who directed “The Last Angel of History.” The Vh1 documentary is “Urban Soul: The Making of Modern R&B,” and it covers the history of R&B from the 70s to now and how artists, like Chaka Khan, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and Mary J. Blige, bridged the gap between Hip-Hop and R&B. Here are the parts:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

The Last Angel of History

Do you know how long I have been trying to find this film?! And the only place where I can find it, sells it for almost $300!!!!

Directed by Ghana-born English director, John Akomfrah, the 1995 documentary, The Last Angel of History,explores the intersections between Black music, science fiction, and African Diasporic religion, spirituality and history. The “data thief” collects fragments of the past to crack a code to open the door to his future. It is similar to the West African word, Sankofa, which I have a tattoo of on my back.

“In keeping with the futuristic tenor of the film, the interviews are intercut with images of Pan-African life from different periods of history, jumping between time and space from the past to the future to the present, not unlike the mode of many rock videos or surfing the Internet.”

This film is perfect for someone like me, fusing together several of my interests and providing some of the basis for my blog.

Anyone want to go on an archeological dig with me on the internet to find a cheaper DVD of this film or to find where this film is showing?