November 26, 2017

Music in Migration: screening and panel discussion, ICA London

An Opera of the World, Manthia Diawara on the island of Lesbos, 2016 © Manthia Diawara / Courtesy Maumaus | Lumiar Cité
An Opera of the World, Manthia Diawara on the island of Lesbos, 2016 © Manthia Diawara / Courtesy Maumaus | Lumiar Cité

Where: ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
When: 18.00, 26th November 2017
Who: Manthia Diawara, Suzi Hall, Hannah Catherine Jones, John Bingham-Hall

Screening and discussion of Manthia Diawara’s film An Opera of the World 
Ticketed event: £7-£11, from the ICA website

Who can tell the story of contemporary migration when it entails such trauma?
What happens when artistic cultures migrate and meet?
How do migrants navigate between tradition and assimilation?

The centrepiece of An Opera of the World is a staging of Wasis Diop’s Bintu Were, A Sahel Opera, in Bamako, Mali, in 2008, a pioneering work telling the story of migration from West Africa to Europe by combining traditional Malian music with the structure of the Western art form. Weaving together this performance with classical works and footage from the current migrant crisis, the film invites meditations on the role of music in experiences and representations of contemporary migration from Fatou Diome, Alexander Kluge, Nicole Lapierre, Richard Sennett, and Diawara himself.

In this event, the sociologist Suzi Hall and the artist Hannah Catherine Jones are invited to use the film as a starting point to offer their own provocations. The discussion will ask what happens when artistic forms meet and merge, and address the politics of cultural expression as it migrates and encounters other forms.


Manthia Diawara, filmmaker
Suzi Hall, sociologist
Hannah Catherine Jones, artist
Chair: John Bingham-Hall, urbanist

The evening is presented as part of Crossings: Stories of Migration, in partnership between the ICA and Theatrum Mundi, a laboratory that promotes debate about issues in contemporary urban culture.


Details of artwork                            

An Opera of the World (2017)

Digital video, color, sound, 70:22 min.

Coproduced by Maumaus / Lumiar Cité (Portugal, USA, Mali) with core funding from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and 3sat

Greek Film Archive (Tainiothiki), Athens