FQ Columnist Bilal Qureshi discusses the new Netflix film, The Burial of Kojo, released in March 2019 as part of the platform's slate of high-profile films. The debut feature film by the Ghanaian-born and Brooklyn-based artist Samuel “Blitz” Bazawule (known by his stage name, Blitz the Ambassador), Kojo weaves together urgent questions of pollution, corruption, urbanization, and Chinese expansion into West Africa, but places them in the background of a deeply felt story of one daughter's search for her missing father. Qureshi discusses the film in the broader context of the crisis of representation that afflicts African peoples, countries, and stories, due to the absence of storytellers from the region on the global stage. These themes came into sharper focus for Qureshi during a visit to the Venice Biennale, which for the first time ever includes a Ghana Pavilion.
Elsewhere: Cinematic Arrivals in a Ghanaian Summer
Bilal Qureshi is a radio journalist and cultural critic exploring the intersection of international politics, identity and art. From 2008 to 2015, he served as producer and editor for NPR's All Things Considered. He now profiles authors, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians for the network. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. He also co-hosts the FQ podcasts for Film Quarterly.
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Bilal Qureshi; Elsewhere: Cinematic Arrivals in a Ghanaian Summer. Film Quarterly 1 September 2019; 73 (1): 73–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2019.73.1.73
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