Stuart McPhail Hall (1932-2014) arrived in Britain from Jamaica as a student in 1951 and, by 1968, had become a key architect of cultural studies and one of Britain’s foremost public intellectuals. A founder of the New Left Review in the 1950s, Hall joined the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in 1964 and became director there in 1968. Hall believed identity and ethnicity not to be fixed, but to be the subject of an ‘ever-unfinished conversation’. In The Unfinished Conversation, artist John Akomfrah interweaves archival imagery of Hall with news footage from the 1960s and 1970s, all overlaid with a stunning soundtrack incorporating the writings of William Blake, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf; Jazz and Gospel music.

“Akomfrah’s film… is as unexpected as it is brilliant.” – Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 2012

John Akomfrah’s The Unfinished Conversation is an Autograph ABP Commission. Executive producer Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP. Produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, Smoking Dogs Films Production, in collaboration with Professor Stuart Hall.


“For as long as I can remember, the cinema was the space of the immersive experience…now a number of us are also trying to see if galleries can be temples of the immersive experience.” John Akomfrah

Film Programmer John Gore caught up with John Akomfrah during the opening of his exhibition at the Mead Gallery to ask him about his work, Miles Davis and making film for galleries. Listen to the podcast online below:

Happening Elsewhere

Sport, Sport, Sport
A Screening Programme of Soviet Era Cinema and Artist Moving Image
Sat 28 Feb 2015 9.30am-6pm
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London