Manthia Diawara

The Malian writer, filmmaker, cultural theorist, scholar, and art historian Manthia Diawara conducts his research mainly in the field of black cultural studies. Rather than limiting black culture to a single definition, he emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and embracing its various manifestations. Diawara’s notable contributions include his publications on black film, such as “African Cinema: Politics & Culture” (published by Indiana University Press in 1992) and his edited volume “Black-American Cinema” (published by Routledge in 1993). As a filmmaker, he has written and directed multiple films.

AI: AFRICAN INTELLIGENCE is his latest essay film and explores the points of contact between rituals of African possession cults, as found in traditional fishing villages on Senegal’s Atlantic coast, and the emergence of new technologies in artificial intelligence.

The screening will be followed by a short audience discussion with the artist, moderated by Monika Szewczyk. Szewczyk is a research fellow at the Städelschule for the 2022/2023 academic year, and was recently appointed chief curator of Audain, The Polygon Gallery.

The screening is organized by the Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule in cooperation with the DFF. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art within the framework of the QuiS funding program.


Wednesday  28.06.2023

20:15 Uhr


Portugal/Senegal/Belgien 2022. R: Manthia Diawara. Dokumentarfilm. 110 Min. OmeU
English, French and Wolof original version with English subtitles
Zu Gast: Manthia Diawara, Monika Szewczyk (Städelschule)
Filmreihe: Manthia Diawara

Manthia Diawaras neuester Essayfilm untersucht die Berührungspunkte von Ritualen afrikanischer Besessenheitskulte, wie sie in traditionellen Fischerdörfern an der senegalesischen Atlantikküste zu finden sind, und dem Aufkommen neuer Technologien im Bereich der künstlichen Intelligenz. Mit Blick auf die Verquickung von Tradition und Moderne fragt Diawara, wie wir von entkörperlichten Maschinen zu einer humaneren und spirituellen Kontrolle von Algorithmen gelangen können. Könnte Afrika der Kontext sein, in dem sich solch unwahrscheinliche Algorithmen entwickeln?