Jabu Nadia Newman Shares Visual Poem 'The Dream That Refused Me'

Siyabonga Jim

Still from Jabu Nadia Newman's short film 'The Dream That Refused Me'

Jabu Nadia Newman Shares Visual Poem 'The Dream That Refused Me'

South African writer and director Jabu Nadia Newman has released an Afrofuturistic poetic film that reframes Black culture.

Jabu Nadia Newman has shared the short film The Dream That Refused Me which explores the current shifts taking place in South African Black culture. The Dream That Refused Me is a spoken word spectacle with visuals that intersect reality with the mythical space and cyberspace. The visual poem is but one chapter in a four episode series that dives deep into Black aesthetics, culture and ritual.

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The Dream That Refused Me is narrated through Siyabonga Jim's Xhosa poem UBIZO, this according to Between 10 and 5. Jim's sonorous voice rouses even those who are deep in sleep with his poem that calls out Black consciousness to the corrupted modern ways of living. The film's scenes seamlessly shift from the wilderness to the online space where social influencers dominate. The particular scene has been described by the director as an Afrofuturistic satire which takes a critical but comical look at the commodification of emerging trends in Black culture.

Newman's latest film is fine cinematography with a stellar cast and amazing costumes. The Dream That Refused Me keeps the integrity of African storytelling through spoken word and gives life to it with an Afrofuturistic lens. Newman shared her directoral approach with Girls In Film"I wanted to take something as ancient and intrinsically African as storytelling to create a modern and contemporary film".

Newman burst onto the filmmaking scene with the 2016 hit web series The Foxy Five, an intersectional show focusing on the lived realties of young Black women in Cape Town. The Dream That Refused Me was created in conjunction with the cultural platform Nowness as part of the No Direct Flight series which "explores the aesthetic of the African diaspora".

Watch The Dream That Refused Me below.