Shot in 16mm black and white, still/here (2000) is a meditation on the vast landscape of ruins and vacant lots that constitute the north side of St. Louis, Missouri, an area populated almost exclusively by working-class and working poor African Americans. The film explores the vestiges of a once-thriving community through evocative imagery of derelict cinemas, fading billboards and abandoned domestic spaces, asking the viewer to reflect on the causes of this decay. Through a complex interweaving of the area’s musical, social and cultural history alongside ‘a series of visual and aural breakdowns, erasures, contradictions and gaps’, Harris reflects on the destruction of a community and the wider politics of class and race in American society.
still/here is Sun Song (2013), directed by Joel Wanek, who worked on the cinematography of Harris’ film. Focusing on Durham, North Carolina, and inspired by jazz musician Sun Ra, Wanek employs the city’s transit system as a microcosm of race relations in the wider state.
still/here (Christopher Harris, USA, 2000, 60′)
Sun Song (Joel Wanek, USA, 2013, 15′)
Following the screening will be a discussion between Christopher Harris and film curator and writer Karen Alexander.
In partnership with Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image‘s Essay Film Festival
“A meditation on the vast landscape of ruins and vacant lots that constitute the north side of St. Louis, Missouri, an area populated almost exclusively by working-class and working poor African Americans.”