After a feminist afternoon spent in Tate Modern's Tanks remembering political and personal triumphs and tears since 1970, I stumbled upon 8 Possible Beginnings / the Creation of African America, a 15-minute b/w film of paper silhouettes or shadow puppets by US artist Kara Walker, using the enchanting medium to rehearse the awful histories of black America and resistance. Apologies for the picture quality - snatched semi-clandestinely in the gallery.
“I don’t know how much I believe in redemptive stories, even though people want them and strive for them. They’re satisfied with stories of triumph over evil, but then triumph is a dead end. Triumph never sits still. Life goes on. People forget and make mistakes. Heroes are not completely pure, and villains aren’t purely evil. I’m interested in the continuity of conflict, the creation of racist narratives, or nationalist narratives, or whatever narratives people use to construct a group identity and to keep themselves whole—such activity has a darker side to it, since it allows people to lash out at whoever’s not in the group" - Kara Walker 2006
UPDATE 10 OCTOBER 2013 A larger solo show of Kara Walker's work is now at the Camden Arts Centre Finchley Rd NW3 until early January