After a marathon viewing session on cecileemeke.com, we knew we were in love. It’s not often we find mind-blowing content that steals our attention and has us crawling through a thoroughly-enjoyable YouTube vortex of socio-political issues, as presented through various young people of African descent.
Cecile Emeke is a writer, visual artist and filmmaker based in London, England. Cecile Emeke’s work is groundbreaking, defies all expectation and is so unconventional because it addresses the things that we see but ignore. Cecile Emeke is an artist who uses film as her canvass. With the wave of popularity brought in by her short-film, Ackee and Saltfish, about two Afro-Carribean twenty-something girls in London on a quest to find a good Carribean restaurant, we discovered the creative genius of Ms Emeke.
Emeke uses film to address issues peculiar to young, black people today. Her film series #Strolling “connecting the untold st,ories of the black/African diaspora” features different young people sharing their views on controversial topic from race, to sexuality, religion, rape culture, to feminism, cultural heritage and everything in between as they walk through their cities. Cecile brings to limelight the very things we find taboo in our society of false political correctness with the intent of sparking conversations.
A favourite of ours, Flaner, focuses on two “black”, Parisian, young women, sharing their experiences, the problems of being a black, French woman, race relations, the difficulties of finding community in their country, and juxtapose the differences between Black French culture and African American or Black British culture, among others. The product is a very enlightening piece, which delves into an often forgotten section of black society.
As a filmmaker, Emeke lets her subjects truly shine. She employs great cinematography and editing skills, with honest and sometimes humorous commentary by bold subjects; a combination which makes the viewer forget it’s a documentary of sorts and leaves the viewer feeling as full and satisfied as if (s)he’d consumed a 2-hour movie.
Emeke launched the web series, Ackee and Saltfish, based on the short film of the same name and nobody can seem to get enough. Heralded as the new reason to ditch Girls, it’s impressive to watch Emeke pull of such comic greatness in 3-6 minute films. Emeke also recently launched the must-watch, Fake Deep, “a poetry-film visual that addresses the benevolent misogyny within society. This is the first poem of the Agitatingpoetry-film series”. It had us like “Woah! So true!” and we eagerly anticipate the rest of the series.
However, we should warn you, Emeke’s work will lead you on a marathon YouTube spree. We dare you to not keep watching. It is literally impossible to get enough of her work, even after watching every single one of her films.
Emeke’s films will humour you, touch you, (might)enrage you, but will never leave you devoid of emotion; a coveted response by every artist.