Tuesday 21 April 18:30 - 21:00

King's College London
S-2.23 (Strand Building)

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Menzies Screening #2: 'Commemoration' (Black Anzac)

Film, Media & Entertainment

The second Menzies Screening of 2019/20 focuses on the often overlooked contribution of Indigenous soldiers in Australia's armed forces.

Marking the 250th anniversary of Cook's first Pacific voyage, this year's Menzies Screening series offers a chance to rethink some of the myths (and mythologising) about Australia's settler past. In the lead-up to Anzac Day (April 25th) - Australia's national day of remembrance - this second screening tackles one of foundational moments of Australia's national identity, its participation on the European battlegrounds of World War One.

Highlighting the overlooked contribution of Indigenous soldiers in WWI, Black Anzac (d. Tim Anastasi, 2018) documents settler street artist Hego’s journey to expose this undertold story of Australian history. From a colossal wheatpaste mural in Redfern depicting Ngarrindjeri soldier Alfred Cameron Jr, to his efforts to place the soldier 'in country' via a second mural at Meningie, South Australia, Hego's work demonstrates the positive potential of art to reshape historical narratives, and bring communities together.

This Menzies Screening will open with a short contextual introduction by our resident film expert Dr Stephen Morgan, and the screening will be followed by an informal drinks reception and open group discussion about the film and its contexts.

Please note: these events are free and open to all, but spaces are limited and advance booking is necessary.

TRAILER: https://youtu.be/4I6w35pxq3A


Following on from explorations of Australia within a transnational context, and cinema’s role in perpetuating and solidifying settler colonial regimes in Australia and beyond, this year’s Menzies Screening series seeks to re-centre Indigenous narratives that are often marginalised within settler conceptions of Australian history.

The 2019/20 series marks the anniversary of the first voyage of Captain James Cook, whose arrival in the Pacific - aboard the HMS Endeavour - would prove fateful for many lands and many peoples. The particular nature of 250th celebrations in both Australia and New Zealand has caused a great deal of consternation, both from Indigenous groups, and within the broader population.

In an effort to revisit some of the myths about Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia, as well as other dominant, often problematic, versions of Australian history, this year’s screening series will present a selection of films that revise and re-frame approaches to Australia’s past. From reversals of the ‘discovery’ narrative, to Indigenous perspectives on Australian history, culture and society, this series places some of the core narratives of Australia’s settler colonial nationhood under the microscope.

Each session will begin with a short contextual introduction by our resident film expert Dr Stephen Morgan, and will be followed by an open group discussion. These screenings are free and open to all, but advance booking is necessary.

Menzies Screening Series (2019/20):

24/03/20 - MS#1: 'Discovery' - Too Many Captain Cooks (Penny McDonald, 1989) + Babakiueria (Don Featherstone, 1986) [Book Here]

21/04/20 - MS#2: 'Commemoration' - Black Anzac (Tim Anastasi, 2018)

14/05/20 - MS#3: 'Knowledge' - We Don't Need A Map (Warwick Thornton, 2017) [Book Here]

DR STEPHEN MORGAN is an academic and historian, based at Queen Mary University of London, who specialises in the cultural history of British and Australian cinema and the broader intersections of Empire and nation within settler colonial cinemas. As well as serving as the Screenings Coordinator for the Menzies Australia Institute, he is also the Co-Programmer of the London Australian Film Society & Festival.

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The MENZIES AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE is the lead Australian research centre in Europe, and is part of the School of Global Affairs at King's College London. It seeks to deepen understanding of Australia in the United Kingdom through research, teaching and engagement.

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