Black Life


Experience the vitality and range of cultural production in the African diaspora through this multidisciplinary event series.

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  • josé e. abad

  • MahaWam

  • Stephanie Hewett

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past


  • Presented Tuesday, June 1, 2021

    Black Life: Nina Collins, Eisa Davis, Geetha Ramanathan, Dawn L. Troupe, and John Wilkins in Conversation

    In conjunction with BAMPFA’s presentation of Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground, watch a live conversation and Q&A about Collins’s work with Nina Collins, Eisa Davis, Geetha Ramanathan, Dawn L. Troupe, and John Wilkins.

  • Premieres Wednesday, April 28

    Black Life: Adrian Octavius Walker

    Black Life co-curator Ryanaustin Dennis interviews mixed-media artist Adrian Octavius Walker at Pt. 2 Gallery in Downtown Oakland a day before the opening of the Represented Group Exhibitionwhere Walker will be exhibiting new print work.

  • Black Life Podcast

    For this season of the Black Life Podcast, cocurators Ryanaustin Dennis and Ruth Gebreyesus will be highlighting some of the rare treasures of BAMPFA’s Film Library & Study Center.

  • Friday, June 25, 6 PM PDT

    Black Life: Sam Vernon

    Artist Sam Vernon offers a talk on the occasion of a new print project made in collaboration with the BAMPFA Film Library. Register for this event and receive a print piece in the mail!

  • Recorded Wednesday, May 12, 1PM PDT

    Black Life: Seret Scott, Dawn L. Troupe, and Neyat Yohannes in Conversation

    On the occasion of BAMPFA’s presentation of Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground, watch a conversation with actor/directors Seret Scott and Dawn L. Troupe, moderated by Neyat Yohannes.

  • Presented Thursday, December 3, 2020

    Black Life: Darol Olu Kae

    Award-winning Los Angeles–based filmmaker Darol Olu Kae presents a specially woven visual mix, screened in collaboration with Locally Grown TV.

  • Recorded February 26, 2021

    Black Life: Dax Pierson

    Music producer Dax Pierson discusses his work with Black Life cocurator Ryanaustin Dennis.

  • Black Life Podcast: jose e. abad

    Ryanaustin Dennis interviews jose e. abad, a queer social practice performance artist whose work explores queer futurity through an intersectional lens.

  • Black Life: Claudrena N. Harold

    Claudrena N. Harold, a professor of African American and African studies and history at the University of Virginia, shares the essay “The Art of Peer Pressure: Black Fire UVA!”

  • Black Life Podcast: Sanford Jenkins

    Black Life host Ryanaustin Dennis talks with filmmaker Sanford Jenkins about his career and the development of his new narrative feature Joy and Pain.

  • Presented Thursday, September 17, 2020

    Black Life: Mandy Harris Williams

    The Los Angeles–based artist explores an urgent question: As America's trajectory takes a turn toward the fascistic, what sorts of pop artistry can really augment progressive ideals?

    Programmed by Ruth Gebreyesus and Ryanaustin Dennis

  • Black Life Podcast: Akande X

    Black Life host Ryanaustin Dennis speaks speaks with writer and thinker Akande X, whose work explores the intersection of blackness, comedy, the Internet, and politics.

  • Black Life Podcast: MahaWam

    Black Life host Ryanaustin Dennis speaks with Oakland-based musician, nightlife organizer, producer, and DJ MahaWam.

  • Presented Saturday, January 25, 4 PM

    Black Life: Europa Grace

    Europa Grace presents an experimental performance considering the structures of value exercised by the modern black body.

    Programmed by Ryanaustin Dennis

  • Presented Saturday, February 22, 4 PM

    Black Life: Stephanie Hewett

    Choreographer and movement artist Stephanie Hewett presents (E)cho Queue, a performance that aims to reclaim the inextricable connection between techno music and black life.

    Programmed by Ryanaustin Dennis

Available Films

  • Black Life: Losing Ground

    Kathleen Collins
    United States, 1982

    Free Streaming Presentation

    Kathleen Collins’s nuanced portrayal of a strained marriage expands beyond the domestic sphere to explore existential and aesthetic questions. One of the first features directed by a Black woman, it “still feels fresh, over three decades later” (Indiewire).

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