Events

Black Earth is a film series organized by Princeton’s Dorothy Krauklis ’78 Professor of Visual Arts Deana Lawson in collaboration with Visiting Professor in the Program in Visual Arts and the Department of Art and Archaeology Tina Campt. It aspires to a twofold intervention in how we envision the multiple ecologies of our planet. On the one hand, it is a meditation on Earth’s landscape through a deep dive into one of the primary materials that supports and sustains it: soil. It engages soil in its most elevated state, as nutrient rich black soil that nurtures and enriches a multitude of species. On the other hand, it hones in on Earth as a social ecology inhabited, shaped, and enlivened by Black genius. The series includes films by Khalik Allah, Rob Herring, Kahlil Joseph and John Akomfrah and curated conversations with the filmmakers and a selection of their collaborators.

The Black Earth series is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund.

On February 14 to kick off the series, filmmaker Khalik Allah screens his award-winning film, Black Mother, an audio-visual love letter to Jamaica, followed by an in-person Q&A discussion with the filmmaker.

Part film, part baptism, Black Mother brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Thoroughly immersed between the sacred and profane, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.

 

Watch the Film

The screening event is free and open to the public. Advance tickets required; reserve tickets through University Ticketing.

Get directions to the James Stewart Film Theater and find other venue information for 185 Nassau Street.

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all guests are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the maximum extent, which now includes a COVID booster shot for all eligible to receive it, and to wear a mask when indoors.

Accessibility

symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe event space is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are asked to contact the Lewis Center at LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least one week prior to the event date.

Watch the Trailer for 'Black Mother'

About the Director

khalik in profile tilts head forward, seated by brick wall

Photo courtesy Khalik Allah

Khalik Allah (b. 1985) is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker who practices Camera Ministry with an eye as open as his heart. The resulting work has been described as “street opera” and noted for its beautifully visceral humanity. After a number of short films that reflect relationships formed through portraiture, Allah advanced his artistry with the feature length documentary Field Niggas (2015), shot at nighttime on the corner of Harlem’s 125th St. and Lexington Avenue. This corner also served as the basis for his first photography book Souls Against the Concrete, published by University of Texas Press in 2017. Allah continued with Black Mother (2018), an ecstatic expression of reverence and realities across Jamaica. This award-winning film has been seen in festivals, museums and schools around the world; further released in the UK and the US through distributors Dogwoof and Grasshopper Film. Allah’s films are available on the Criterion Channel. Khalik is currently at work on his second photo book from 125th and Lexington. Khalik became a Magnum Photos Nominee member in 2020. Check out Khalik Allah on Instagram

About the Film

Black Mother

A film by Khalik Allah
77 minutes / DCP / 1.85 / 5.1 / United States / English / Not Rated
A Grasshopper Film Release
A Cinereach Presentation

Crew

Directed by Khalik Allah
Produced by Khalik Allah
Leah Giblin
Edited by Khalik Allah
Cinematography by Khalik Allah
Sound Design & Score by Khalik Allah
4th Disciple: Josh Furey