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Watch: Race and Class are under critique in Ephraim Asili's film "MOVIE TOTE"

Some of the more striking works in the (what I like to call) "new cinema" -- moving image art pieces that radically challenge traditional narrative structures -- have emerged from the cinematic movement focusing on the African diaspora. Filmmakers like Amir George (Shades of Shadows) and Terence Nance (Swimming in Your Skin Again) have been prolific with moving image works expounding on the idea of Afrofuturism, and thus heightening the arts dialogue on what it means to be an African American today.

Which brings me to Ephraim Asili, a filmmaker whose impressive body of work over the years not only focuses on the African diaspora, but also carries on the renegade visual language of pioneering avant-garde titans like Jonas Mekas. Asili's work ranges from documentary to montage to appropriation art, but the vision is always consistent; a vision that aims to make a clearer sense of the ubiquitous images we take for granted (e.g. the quilted images of Obama in FORGED WAYS). And in revisiting these images, albeit through still photos or motion, we can give those visions a new historical context (or perspective). Asili's MOVIE TOTE is a perfect example of this, appropriating clips from The Prelinger Archives and giving somber awareness to muted civil strife and inequality.

Watch Asili's short film exploring race and class in the U.S. below.