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Akosua Adoma Owusu

Reluctantly Queer

Doc. expérimental | super8 | noir et blanc | 8:0 | Ghana | 2016

This epistolary short film invites us into the unsettling life of a young Ghanaian man struggling to reconcile his love for his mother with his love for same-sex desire amid the increased tensions incited by same-sex politics in Ghana. Focused on a letter that is ultimately filled with hesitation and uncertainty, Reluctantly Queer both disrobes and questions what it means to be queer for this man in this time and space.

Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984) is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities. Interpreting the notion of "double consciousness" coined by sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois to define the experience of black Americans negotiating a sense of selfhood in the face of discrimination and cultural dislocation, Owusu aims to create a third cinematic space or consciousness. In her works, feminism, queerness and African identities interact in African, white American, and black American cultural environments. Owusu's films have screened internationally in festivals like Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, New Directors/New Films (New York) and the BFI London Film Festival. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Fowler Museum and the Indiana University Bloomington, home of the Black Film Center/Archive. Named by IndieWire as one of 6 pre-eminent Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema, she was a featured artist of the 56th Robert Flaherty Seminar programmed by renowned film curator and critic Dennis Lim. Her film "Kwaku Ananse" won the 2013 African Movie Academy Award. She has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Creative Capital, the MacDowell Colony, the Camargo Foundation and most recently Goethe-Institut Vila Sul in Salvador-Bahia. Currently, she divides her time between Ghana and New York, where she works as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.