NENEH CHERRY - KONG

Directed by
Jenn Nkiru

A protest song paired with intimate portraits of powerful women.

Iconic artist and activist Neneh Cherry is back with ‘Kong’ - a protest song that meditates on the history of colonialism alongside Europe’s current refugee crisis. The Swedish singer-songwriter paired the song with minimalist, slow-moving visuals from Peckham artist and director Jenn Nkiru - a fast rising star of the art and film world. The visuals move just as slowly and purposefully as the song itself, featuring stunningly intimate portraits of powerful women. The video snaps back and forth between shots of slow-swaying dancers and Cherry singing. In a recurring shot, her bare skin spattered with white paint, Cherry has a biting, dignified gaze that demands the viewer to carefully consider the message of the song. “Bite my head off/ Steal my world/ We’ll always be another risk worth taking.”

“I’m interested in the concept of black universality - a centering of blackness from which others can also empathise and assign an aspect of themselves,” Nkiru told British Council this year. Nkiru’s 2017 short film “Rebirth Is Necessary” threads together striking clips of the black experience, through faces of the young and old and from vintage and modern footage. The film won best documentary in the 2018 London Independent Film Festival. As a newcomer in a white and male-dominated industry Nkiru’s advice to the underdog: “work quietly + KEEP GOING.”

http://www.jennnkiru.com/

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