“Conakry” (2013), 10’20”, original languages: English and Portuguese. Directed by Filipa César. Written and Performed by Grada Kilomba and Diana McCarty.
“Conakry” is a homage to Amílcar Cabral. This poetic cinematographic essay is a single shot 16mm film staged at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in Berlin, and based on archival images of the liberation struggle in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, against portuguese colonization. Directed by Filipa César, written and performed by Grada Kilomba and Diana McCarty, “Conakry” reflects on Amílcar Cabral and the importance of film archive in a post-liberation African world.
The focus is on the documentary film reel of a particular event, shot by Flora Gomes, Sana Na N’Hada, Josefina Crato and José Columba Bolama – “The Week of Information” hosted in Conakry, at the Palais du People, in 1972, during the liberation struggle, where Amílcar Cabral curates an exhibition on the state of the war against Portuguese domination. McCarty narrates as a radio host explaining the events as the camera moves through the building to find Kilomba, who relates the historical relevance and amnesia of these images. “Conakry” describes and exposes how accessing almost forgotten footage of militant imaginary can be an instrument for recovering memory.