"Lovers Rock" by Steve McQueen
February 6, 2024

Les Encres de l’Atlantique: “Lovers Rock”

Reid Hall | 4 rue de Chevreuse 75006 Paris
Free and open to the public / Registration required
Three Institute Fellows, Jay BernardDavid Scott, and Maboula Soumahoro, will be in conversation about Lovers Rock, the second installment of Small Axe, Steve McQueen five-film anthology series released in 2020 -- a monumental and ambitious attempt to cover the contemporary Afro-Caribbean experience in the United Kingdom. This events opens “Les Encres de l’Atlantique”, a series of six evenings held at Reid Hall celebrating Black History Month.

Register here

Lovers Rock (2020)
68 min

Lovers Rock (dir. Steve McQueen) is a coming of age story rich in West Indian culture and follows Martha, a 15-year-old girl, who climbs out of her parents’ house late on a Saturday evening, to attend a Blues Party in Notting Hill with her best friend. She succumbs to the music and meets a young man who sweeps her off her feet; but she meets others who make her realize that her life is not quite as secure as she might think, seeing the potential dangers that lie just around the corner in adult life. This is a story about falling in love.

Les encres de l’Atlantique
February 2024 — Black History Month


Jay Bernard (FRSL, FRSA) is an interdisciplinary writer and artist from London whose work is rooted in social histories. Jay was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2020 and is the winner of the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for their first collection Surge. Recent work includes My Name is My Own, a physical performance piece in response to June Jordan premiered at Southbank Centre’s Poetry International; Joint, a poetic-play about the history of joint enterprise; Crystals of this Social Substance, a sound installation at the Serpentine pavilion; and Complicity, a pamphlet based on the collection at the Tate. Jay was a 2022-2023 DAAD literature fellow in Berlin, and is a 2023-24 Fellow of the Institute for Ideas and Imagination.

Maboula Soumahoro is an associate professor in the English Department of the University of Tours and president of the Black History Month Association, dedicated to celebrating Black history and cultures. Notably, she is the author of Le Triangle et l’Hexagone : réflexions sur une identité noire (La Découverte, 2021), translated in English by Dr. Kaiama L. Glover as Black is the Journey, Africana the Name (Polity, 2021) and prefaced by Saidiya Hartman. She was the inaugural Villa Albertine Resident in Atlanta (2021–2022) ; Mellon Arts Project International Visiting Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University ; and Visiting Faculty at Bennington College (2022–2023). From 2013–2016 she served as a member of the National Committee for the Memory and History of Slavery. She is a 2023–2024 Fellow at the Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination. She translated Saidiya Hartman’s classic work, Lose Your Mother : A Journey Along The Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) from English as À perte de mère – Sur les routes atlantiques de l’esclavage, released in September 2023 (Brook).

David Scott teaches in the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University. He is the author of Formations of Ritual (1994), Refashioning Futures (1999), Conscripts of Modernity (2004), Omens of Adversity (2014), Stuart Hall’s Voice (2017), Irreparable Evil: An Essay in Moral and Reparatory History (forthcoming 2024), and (with Orlando Patterson) The Paradox of Freedom (2023). Scott is the founder and editor of the journal Small Axe and director of the Small Axe Project. He is a 2023–2024 Fellow at the Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination.


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