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Short Film Re-Imagines 'Death in Venice' As A Story Of African Migration Across The Mediterranean

'Sea of Ash' short film re-imagines Thomas Mann’s 'Death in Venice' within the context of African migration across the Mediterranean.


All production stills via All Theory No Practice

Sea of Ash is a new short film from South African visual artist and filmmaker Michael MacGarry that re-imagines German author Thomas Mann’s 1925 novella Death in Venice within the context of African migration across the Mediterranean. Filmed in various locations throughout Italy, Mann's Tadzio becomes a young West African refugee who has survived the treacherous sea journey into Europe. Running at just over thirteen minutes, the narrative follows Tadzio, played by Senegalese actor Pape Babacar Kebe, from the mountains of northern Italy to the Venetian coast where he embarks on a doomed attempt to return home.

MacGarry recently told Design Indaba that "[his] work principally concerns the ongoing ramifications of imperialism on the African continent.” His previous short Excuse Me, While I Disappear won the El Rey Award for Excellence in Narrative Short Filmmaking at the 2015 Barcelona Film Festival. Sea of Ash will premiere at the FNB Joburg Art Fair in September 2015. Watch the film's trailer below.

Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

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Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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