Shorts and Influences with Akosua Adoma Owusu
UnionDocs (322 Union Ave., Brooklyn)
$9 suggested donation
In the short films she has made since 2005, Owusu, who was born in the U.S. to parents from Ghana, has explored the oppositions and syntheses produced by this triple consciousness, using an array of formal strategies to locate intersections and divergences between the African, the African American, and the White American.
Whether working with original footage recorded in the United States and Ghana or from archival material, Owusu has paid particular attention to each of these cultures’ racialized symbols of femininity. She has documented the proliferation of white baby dolls in Ghana, riffed on the advertising of domestic appliances in the United States, and has made multiple investigations into the charged semiotics of women’s hairstyles in both continents.
Uncovering the histories embedded within everyday objects, and tracing the threads that bind the local to the global and the personal to the political, Owusu’s impressionistic films achieve a casual complexity to mirror all the complications of lived experience.