Conceived by Kahlil Joseph and fugitive broadcasting since 2019, BLKNWS presents an uninterrupted stream of highly-curated found footage, originally-produced segments, and current and historical news clips in a two-channel format that resists reactive narratives in favor of free-flowing knowledge association. Onye Anyanwu is currently producing an untitled BLKNWS feature film with A24 and Participant Media. Academy Award-nominated cinematographer and visual artist Bradford Young shares his three-channel video REkOGNIZE, a meditation on photography, memory, and movement. An in-person roundtable discussion with all three artists in conversation with Deana Lawson and Tina Campt follows the screening.

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. This event is cosponsored by Princeton’s Department of Art & Archaeology.

Join the Event

The conversation and 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. Please note that the panelists may be unmasked while presenting onstage.


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 at least one week prior to the event date.

About the Guest Artists

kahlil joseph wears navy baseball cap, white tee and jeans while seated on bench

Kahlil Joseph. Photo by Jake Michaels

Kahlil Joseph is a Los Angeles-based American artist and filmmaker best known for his large-scale video installations. His most recent and ongoing project, BLKNWS, is a two-channel fugitive newscast that blurs the lines between art, journalism, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique. Exploring film as a powerful collective experience that can be manipulated through its essential visual and audio components, BLKNWS reflects upon the contemporary period through samples of popular culture, archival material, and filmed news desk segments that expose the glaring under-development of the news media format through a distinctly Black lens. The project is currently in production as an untitled BLKNWS feature film with A24 and
Participant Media.

In 2016, Joseph was nominated for an Emmy award for his co-direction of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade. He is a recipient of a 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, a 2017 Los Angeles Artadia Award, and a 2020 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Film & Video. In addition to his personal practice, Joseph serves as the artistic director of The Underground Museum, a pioneering independent art museum, exhibition space and community hub in Los Angeles that he co-founded with his sister-in-law, Karon Davis, and his late brother, the visionary artist and curator Noah Davis.


Onye Anyanwu

Onye Anyanwu. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

Onye Anyanwu’s work weaves through the avant-garde and the everyday to expand the boundaries of narrative and experimental filmmaking. She began her career in New York City as a casting director working with directors such as Mark Romanek and Paul Hunter. She is co-founder of Gamma Wave Films, a Los Angeles-based film and fine art production company that has collaborated with artists including Arthur Jafa, FKA twigs, Sampha, and Kendrick Lamar. Since the inception of Gamma Wave Films, Anyanwu has produced genre-defying artworks that are held in collections of art museums and institutions around the world. She is also a founding member of The Underground Museum.

Anyanwu is currently producing an untitled BLKNWS feature film with A24 and Participant Media, an expansion of the ongoing project conceived by husband and creative partner Kahlil Joseph that uses an innovative practice of conceptual journalism to reimagine what the news can look like.


bradford wearing hoodie andbaseball cap sits in profile looking toward window

Bradford Young. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Bradford Young is a cinematographer and visual artist. His recent film contributions include: Ava DuVernay’s WHEN THEY SEE US; Denis Villeneuve’s ARRIVAL, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA for achievement in cinematography; Ron Howard’s SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY; Ava DuVernay’s SELMA, for which Bradford was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in a Motion Picture; JC Chandor’s A MOST VIOLENT YEAR; David Lowrey’s, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, and Andrew Dosunmu’s MOTHER OF GEORGE, both of which won him Sundance US Dramatic Competition Excellence in Cinematography awards (2013). Other films include Dee Rees’ PARIAH, for which he won the 2011 Sundance US Dramatic Competition Excellence in Cinematography award, Ava DuVernay’s MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, Tina Mabry’s, MISSISSIPPI DAMNED, Paola Mendoza’s ENTRE NOS and Andrew Dosunmu’s, RESTLESS CITY.

Bradford is also co-founder and CEO of TRIBE 7, a film optics company specializing in customizable lenses and color science for film production. Bradford is an 2014 inductee into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a 2015 inductee into the American Society of Cinematographers.



Fugitive broadcasting since 2019, BLKNWS presents an uninterrupted stream of highly-curated found footage, originally-produced segments, and current and historical news clips in a two-channel format that resists reactive narratives in favor of free-flowing knowledge association. Conceived by Kahlil Joseph as a conceptual post-media company operating as a work of art, BLKNWS is held in collections of fine art museums around the world while actively collaborating with the likes of Harvard University and The Vinyl Factory in print and media.

In 2019, Joseph received a VIA Production | Acquisition Grant to support the international debut of BLKNWS at the 58th Venice Biennale. BLKNWS was incubated at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University through roundtable discussions with faculty, staff, and students as part of Joseph’s 2018-2019 Presidential Residency on the Future of Arts. The work premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers program in conjunction with limited screenings at 12 art house theaters nationwide, including New York’s IFC Center. BLKNWS was a cornerstone project of the fifth iteration of the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition Made in LA 2020: a version, installed at both the Hammer and satellite broadcasts in predominantly Black-owned businesses and civic centers throughout Los Angeles.


REkOGNIZE (2017) is a three-channel video installation and a meditation on photography, memory, and movement. Artist and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival) finds inspiration in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, a site of the early 20th-century Great Migration. During this time, millions of African Americans moved from the rural southern United States to cities in the north and west. The Hill District saw a flourishing of culture during these years and was a site of artistic development for luminaries such as August Wilson, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Errol Garner, and many others. REkOGNIZE takes its visual cues from the Pittsburgh landscape, especially the city’s tunnels, which serve not only as literal entry points into the city, but also as metaphors for this movement of people and culture.

Presented By

  • Department of Art and Archaeology
  • Program in Visual Arts