Top five things to know about John Akomfrah

Top five things to know about John Akomfrah

7 December 2023

If you're new to John Akomfrah's work, here's some essential things to know about this important contemporary filmmaker and visual artist.


He's a British filmmaker, writer, and producer.

He's known for his experimental and avant-garde films. Many of his films explore Black British history and experiences.


He's a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective.

This collective began in London in 1982 following a period of civil unrest in Brixton. The group created films focused on race, identity, and immigration.


His films often use archival footage and still photographs with soundscapes.

He combines to create multilayered films; audiovisual collages that explore memory and identity. Other examples of his multi-screen films include 'The Unfinished Conversation' (2016) and Purple (2017).


He's racked up many accolades to date

He has exhibited work at major art museums and institutions (think Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou and the Guggenheim Museum). He received a knighthood in the 2023 New Years' honours list and has got the honour of representing Britain at the 2024 Venice Biennale.


He's no stranger to Devon

His commission for the River Tamar Project, 'Tropikos' (2014), was filmed on the banks of the river Tamar and explored the relationship between the waterways of south west England and the history and legacy of European colonialism.