ACT Shorts in the Museum pairs South African short film, art and conversation

ACT Human Rights Film Festival logoOn Oct. 24, the ACT Human Rights Film Festival and Gregory Allicar Museum of Art will present a collaborative curation of film and art titled “Migrations, Movements, (Im)Mobilities.” This event explores intersecting themes of two recent, critically acclaimed short films from South Africa and works of South African art on display at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art 

The free educational art experience features the South African short films Mthunzi and Mma Moeketsi and remarks from Associate Professor David Riep and Postdoctoral Fellow Jay Schutte. Riep teaches in the Department of Art and Art History and serves as the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art’s associate curator of African Art, while Schutte works in the Departments of Anthropology Geography and Communication Studies. 

Schutte, originally from Cape Town in South Africa, joined with ACT’s programmers to select the films. Both films will make their Colorado premiere at ACT Shorts in the Museum. 

“The theme provides an opportunity to explore migration, movement, and mobility as tropes, metaphors, and aesthetic sensibilities that emerge in, and are performed through, this selection of South African artworks and short films,” says Schutte. 

South African short films
Stills from Mthunzi and Mma Moeketsi

Mthunzi accomplishes a great deal in nine minutes. It is based on a real life encounter the director experienced in which he found himself assisting a woman who was having a medical emergency and became inadvertently embroiled in racial tensions. The film world-premiered at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival and will make its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival in early October.  

Mma Moeketski runs 26 minutes and explores the true story of what befell a mother (Mma Moeketski means Moeketsi’s mother) whose son participated in the Marikana Platinum Mine wage strike. Known as the Marikana Massacre, this episode in 2012 was the deadliest use of force by South African security forces since 1976. Tension builds as Mma Moeketsi is only able to ascertain what is happening at the mine through the news.  

Following the film screening and collaborative talk by Riep and Schutte, participants will be encouraged to tour the galleries and view several works of art on exhibition at the museum.   

Riep’s comments will highlight works of art from the museum’s southern African permanent collections that have served as indicators of identity in contested spaces.

“I will discuss how visual arts cross boundaries and contexts to assert notions of place, self, and belonging,” Riep says. “The works of art highlight both locally constructed historical notions of identity, and newly formed approaches to visual representation through gender, form, media, and function.”  

ACT Shorts in the Museum will take place on at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art in the University Center for the Arts. A short reception will precede the event from 5 to 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. Admission is free, but please RSVP here, as space is limited. CSU’s Africa Center is partnering in the event.  

ACT Shorts in the Museum is a collaboration between ACT Human Rights Film Festival and the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art. This program is supported by The Lyric, City of Fort Collins – Fort Fund, The Eye Center of Northern Colorado, and Trader Joe’s. Learn more