Dr Ken Fero, Lecturer in Directing, was recently interviewed in Paris at the prestigious Musee National De L'Histoire De L'Immigration. Fero is collaborating with the museum in contributing research for an exhibition for March 2019 entitled Paris-London Music Connections (1962-1989).
This exhibition will explore the links between migration, music and urban identities by showing how the people of these two cities took this universal way of expression to make their voices heard, claim their place in public discourse and contribute to the transformation of Paris and London into global cities. As a national institution the exhibition is expected to attract several thousands of visitors over the running period as well as significant press coverage. Housed in the Palais de la Porte Dorée, built for the Colonial Exposition of 1931 and, since 2007, the Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration takes a fresh look at the history of France by showing the part played by immigrants in economical development, social evolution, and the cultural activities of the country.
The interview explored the process of political documentary film making in the UK for Black communities during the Thatcher period in comparison with Mitterrand’s position in France. It dealt with the Notting Hill Carnival as an expression of cultural resistance and discussed the differences between the Rock Against Racism concerts and Rock Against the Police. Finally it explored the construction of an image of a community and the notion of being ‘historians of the moment’.
Fero will also be exploring what Alexander Kluge has outlined the capacity of film as an instrument for pure research. “This notion of a ‘utopia of film’ is part of a process that led to the production of three of my research films in the Communities of Resistance series all co-directed with Mogniss Abdallah from Agence Im’Media, a collective of journalists and activists based in Paris. Our interest is in the collision between culture, politics and society and in presenting a reality that has been hitherto ignored. It's important in the current climate that we strengthen the links with our research, educational and cultural partners in Europe and this project aims to build and develop those relationships."
The Faculty of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences funded research project will also lead to a number of screenings of Fero's multi award winning feature documentary 'Injustice' which is currently being being prepared for distribution in France and will be screened in Paris in early May.
Fero has previously worked for Channel 4 Television on the seminal documentary 'Sweet France' about second generation immigrant urban youth political experience. It documented France’s Arab community from the Algerian Revolution to the uprisings by youth in the banlieues across the country. The film went on the win a Mentione Speciale at the Images du Monde Arabe in France as well as Milano Province Prize 5th Festival of African Cinema in Italy.
More recently Fero has acted as a commentator on the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement as a media and human rights expert.