PerAnkh – The June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive

15 April to 4 June 2023

Zineb Sedira, poster for PerAnkh – The June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive, 2023

Courtesy Zineb Sedira

The June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive (JGPACA) holds a unique collection of artefacts and archival material, which has at its core the interest of Pan-African cinema and its relationship with Black British cinema and culture. Over a period of seven weeks, the exhibition at Raven Row will reveal histories and ideas in African and African diasporic film, recalling significant events and bringing together the work of filmmakers around a wide range of themes, debates and interests. 


The exhibition is structured around a programme of feature films, shorts, documentaries and television programmes by celebrated filmmakers including Timité Bassori, Safi Faye, Gaston Kaboré, Sarah Maldoror, Djibril Diop Mambéty and Ousmane Sembène, and is complemented by a series of intergenerational panel discussions bringing together local and international practitioners. An Archive Studio and Reading Room within the exhibition enables direct public engagement with the collection. The exhibition also includes an installation of the earliest audio-visual works by the Black Audio Film Collective, Expeditions 1 – Signs of Empire and Expeditions 2 – Images of Nationality (1983–84), and a new work by Chimurenga, a collective of researchers and artists from Cape Town, South Africa, which maps the intersecting ideas and narratives that inform and shape the JGPACA. Artist Zineb Sedira has designed a poster for the exhibition. 


The JGPACA has been established as a ‘living archive’, evolving around the work of film curator and archivist June Givanni, who has been collating and sharing this material since the 1980s. A key figure in the Black British independent cinema movement, she was involved in the landmark Third Eye Festival of Third World Cinema with the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1983, later establishing the African-Caribbean Film Unit at the British Film Institute (BFI) in 1992. At the BFI, she also co-initiated the Black Film Bulletin and played a key role in the historic Africa ’95 conference, marking the presence of African filmmaking in the centenary of cinema.


To date, the JGPACA holds more than 10,000 items – including over 700 feature films, television programmes, short films and documentaries, as well as audio recordings, photographs, posters, manuscripts, magazines, books and documents – connecting African film with the film cultures of diaspora communities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe.


PerAnkh, an ancient Egyptian term referring to knowledge centres, is a title intended to reinforce the essence of the archive and this exhibition, curated by June Givanni, with Awa Konaté.


Image: Zineb Sedira, poster for PerAnkh, 2023.