Wednesday 7 April 2021, Wax Print, Film Screening by Aiwan Obinyan
Wednesday 7 April 2021, 6pm GMT
Virtual Event, hosted on Zoom using the screen share facility. A Zoom webinar link will be send to all ticket holders on Tuesday 6 April 2021 (please email email@example.com if you haven't received the Zoom link by two hours before the talk begins).
The film screening of Wax Print will be followed by a panel discussion. The film lasts for approximately 1 hour 38 minutes.
About the filmmaker
Aiwan Obinyan is a Nigerian-British, Filmmaker and Composer, residing in London. She works in the film, theatre and music industries as a musician, audio engineer, composer and filmmaker. Her work has featured on national and international Television and Stage productions with clients including gal-dem, BBC, VICE, Young Vic Theatre, Adidas, ITV, Channel 4 and more. In 2013 she founded AiAi Studios a film and music production house, specialising in all things documentary, music and podcast production.
About the film
In African homes across the world a benign textile lies unassuming and taken for granted. With a multitude of names from ‘Dutch Wax’ to ‘Liputa' and ‘Kitenge’ to ‘Ankara’ this textile has become an important part of African cultures across the diaspora. A symbol of strength and identity in the face of oppression.
Surprised to learn from her Nigerian grandmother that ‘traditional’ African wax printed fabrics were a colonial invention made in the UK and Holland, British-born filmmaker and fashion designer, Aiwan Obinyan, sets out on a journey across four continents to trace the two-hundred year history of this iconic textile that has come to visually represent Africa and Africans.
The Industrial Revolution. Cotton is king. Mills across Europe spin and weave cotton sourced from North America. Colonialism leads to the discovery of batik in Indonesia. Dutch and English traders copy the designs and industrial innovators mechanise the process leading to the creation of Wax Prints. In the scramble for Africa, Wax prints are brought on merchant ships and sold by missionary trading companies in the bustling markets and village squares of West Africa. Local women are economically and politically empowered by this new import. Business is booming for all. But at what cost?
The late 20th century sees the influx of Chinese counterfeiters flooding the market with cheap copies, business declines and one by one the big Wax Print companies close their doors. From this decline emerges a new cottage industry, where designers reclaim the means of production in their homes, studios and local communities. But when all is said and done, is Wax Print African? And who gets to decide?
All virtual talks and film screenings are non-refundable.