In Milli’s Awakening eight Afro-German women talk about their lives. The name of the film refers to painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s (1880-1938) piece Schlafende Milli (eng. Sleeping Milli), in which a black model is displayed mainly as an object of male desire, as eroticized and exoticized. Through the film Kelly brings Milli to life figuratively. She interviews artists living in Germany, who have overcome colonialist stereotypes and created their own “black woman identity” inside a German, majority white society. The interviewees talk about the challenges they face in the German art world, how they and their art is commonly displayed and how they feel they’ve been politically and socially excluded.
Natasha A. Kelly, born in London and raised in Germany, is a writer, researcher and curator. In the core of her research is postcolonialism and feminism. Milli’s Awakening is her first film and it was a commission for Berlin Biennale 2018. The film has won the Black Laurel award in the documentary film category. This year a book of the same name was released, where the interviews can be read in their entirety.
Natasha A. Kelly will be present at the screening and afterwards for a Q&A.
The event is the first screening of the film in Finland and is organized by Goethe-Institut Finnland.
Photo: Anh Trieu, Henning Fehr, Philipp Rühr