Radical Collectivity: Ephraim Asili Interviewed by Chrissie Iles
Ephraim Asili is an artist, filmmaker, and professor in the Film Department at Bard College. His new film, The Inheritance, is an ensemble work that unfolds through a fictional narrative scripted by the artist and based partly on his own experience in a Black radical collective, interwoven with documentary recollections of the West Philadelphia-based liberation group MOVE, victims of a notorious police bombing in 1985. Cameos by MOVE’s Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr., and Mike Africa Jr., as well as poet-activists Sonia Sanchez and Ursula Rucker, are layered with pan-African histories and the Black Arts Movement in a rich narrative collage of Black liberation, cinema, music, and thought. The film, commissioned by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, premieres at the Toronto Film Festival on September 14, and Asili’s new artist’s book, Measuring Time, will be published by the Visual Studies Workshop later this fall.