Akosua Adoma Owusu

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BIOGRAPHY

Akosua Adoma Owusu is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University. Her films explore the colliding identities of black immigrants in America through multiple forms ranging from cinematic essays to experimental narratives to reconstructed Black popular media. Interpreting the notion of "double consciousness," coined by sociologist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to define the experience of black Americans negotiating selfhood in the face of discrimination and cultural dislocation, Owusu aims to create a third cinematic space or consciousness. In her works, feminism, queerness, and African identities interact in African, white American, and black American cultural spaces.

Owusu's films have screened internationally in festivals and museums like the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Locarno International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, MoMA and the BFI London Film Festival. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Fowler Museum at UCLA and is available for streaming on the Criterion Channel. Named by IndieWire as one of six preeminent “avant-garde female filmmakers who redefined cinema,” she was a featured artist of the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Her film Kwaku Ananse won the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Award. Recent projects include Welcome to the Jungle (2019) a multi-channel video installation made in collaboration with the CCA Wattis Institute. Owusu has received numerous fellowships and grants including the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists (2020), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2015), and the Creative Capital fellowship (2012). She has taught Non-Fiction and Expanded Cinema at CalArts, Northern Virginia Community College and the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.