Forum Lectures #22: Clive Chijioke Nwonka, University College London

Clive Chijioke Nwonka, University College London (2023)

Diversity Critical Perspectives in the Counter-Hegemonic Study of Racial Inequality in the Screen Sector

The development of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) over the past 20 years has coincided with a cyclical and conjunctural awareness of and research on prevalent racial inequalities in the sector. This has included studies on how Black and ethnic minority people are included in, represented by, and experienced the film industry in particular. Arguing for an ontological basis for our analysis of diversity as a technology that can account for how racialised identities are now subjected to a neoliberal reconfiguration of the very terms of industrial anti-racism, and therefore reconfiguring our approaches to how we understand racial inequalities in the UK film sector and its connected industries, this presentation allows for an exploration of how a diversity critical research approaches are crucial to a critical understanding of the multi-dimensional forms of racial inequality in the UK film industries. The presentation will also consider the historical significance of the academic study of Black and minority ethnic cinematic and televisual representation as a site of racial struggle and contestation, the political discourses the language and practice of ‘cultural diversity’ and ‘structural racism’ have and continue to be embedded in, and the various ways in which current critical race research seeks to decouple ‘diversity work’ from anti-racism and the implications of such a critical shift not just in informing inclusion policy strategies, but in the position and value of the study of race within UK film, TV and media scholarship.

About Clive Chijioke Nwonka

Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka is an Associate Professor in Film, Culture and Society at UCL and a Faculty Associate of the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation. Dr Nwonka’s research centres on the study of Black British and African American film, with a particular focus on Black aesthetics, images of Black urbanity and the modes through which Black identities are shaped by representations of social environments, architecture, social anxieties and the hegemony of neoliberalism within forms of Black popular culture. In addition, he has published extensively on racial inequality in the creative industries and ‘diversity’ policy frameworks. Nwonka is the co-editor of the book Black Film/British Cinema II and is the author of the forthcoming book Black Boys: The Aesthetics of British Urban Film (2023).

Forum Lectures

Forum Lectures is a series of lectures by Danish and international thinkers and cultural workers reflecting on how art co-forms commonality. Forum Lectures bring thinking and shared study back to the university and invite public lectures on the last Tuesday of every month from 17:00 - 19:00.

The initiative is hosted by the research group of the New Carlsberg Foundation research centre Art as Forum. Our researchers are occupied by a.o. the infrastructures of the arts, collective modes of production, the entanglement of political theory and aesthetic theory, assembling strategies of curation, dematerialized art, acts of strategic separatism and temporality in digital art.

The lecture is free and open to everyone interested.