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Africa Fashion & Cinema: Black Girl and On-stage Conversation

TUE 20 SEP 2022 – 6:30PM

17 Queensberry Place
London SW7 2DT

Kofi Ansah Indigo Coutureur
Kofi Ansah 'Indigo' Couture 1997 – Narh & Linda
© 1997 Eric Don Arthur

Style as rebellion. Considered the starting point of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène’s film Black Girl will be followed by an on-stage conversation:

Christine Checinska and Elisabeth Murray, Lead Curator and Project Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum will discuss Africa, fashion and film.

The discussion will be led by Producer, Curator and Author, Nadia Denton.

Black Girl

dir: Ousmane Sembène
with Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine

Senegal/France | 1966 | b&w | 59 min | cert. PG
In French with English subtitles

Considered the starting point of African cinema, La Noire de… is Ousmane Sembène’s first feature film and is based on his own novel. A complex, layered critique on the lingering colonialist mindset of a supposedly postcolonial world, it is also a stylish film set between Dakar and Antibes.

Diouana, a young Senegalese woman moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and what looked like a bright and exciting opportunity turns out to be a figurative and literal prison. As Diouana cleans the couple’s appartment in western clothes and jewelry with her innate poise, her timeless beauty is enhanced by their simplicity. Style is her small rebellion in face of circumstances.

Christine Checinska


Dr Christine Checinska is the V&A’s inaugural Senior Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion and Lead Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition, July 2022 – April 2023.

Prior to joining the V&A, Christine worked as a womenswear designer, academic, artist and curator. Her creative practice and research explore the relationship between fashion, culture and race. Christine’s recent exhibitions include an intervention for Makers Eye: Stories of Craft, July-October 2021, Crafts Council Gallery, and Folded Life February 2021, Johanne Jacobs Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. Her recent publications include ‘Re-Fashioning African Diasporic Masculinities’ in Fashion and Postcolonial Critique, Elke Gaugele and Monica Titton (eds.), 2019. In 2016 she delivered the TedxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism.

In industry for over thirty years, Christine has created womenswear collections for iconic British brands such as Margaret Howell, where she was a Senior Designer, during the late 1990s.

Elisabeth Murray
Photographs by Vanley Burke


Elisabeth Murray is the Project Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition and a contributor to the accompanying publication. She joined the Performance, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department at the V&A in 2016. Prior to working on Africa Fashion, Elisabeth worked across the 20th-century and contemporary fashion collections and contributed to the Mary Quant exhibition.

Before joining the V&A Elisabeth worked in the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace. Elisabeth has an MA in Museum Studies from UCL, specialising in audience representation in museums.

Nadia Denton


Nadia has worked in the UK film industry for over a decade as an Impact Producer, Curator and Author. She specialises in Nigerian Cinema and coined the term BEYOND NOLLYWOOD. She has worked with the Berlinale EFM, British Film Institute, British Council, Doc Society, London Film School, SUNDANCE Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Comic Relief.

Her books include The Nigerian Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Beyond Nollywood and The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Finance, Market and Distribute Your Film.

She has been a V&A African Heritage Tour Guide since 2016.

Special thanks to:

John Smedley
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