For more than three decades Arthur Jafa (born 1960, Tulepo, Mississippi) has developed powerful artworks that refer to and question representations of blackness and whiteness. His work has been on view in museums, at film festivals and in art centers worldwide.
Jafa is an artist, director, editor, and award-winning cinematographer whose poignant work expands the concept of black cinema while exploring African American experience and etnic relations in everyday life. He has stated, “I have a very simple mantra and it’s this: I want to make black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of black music.” Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artifacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa’s practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent power, beauty and alienation embedded within forms of black music in US culture?