Menzies Screening #5: Echoes of Empire

Book now for the fifth and final Menzies Screening of 2017/18 will be held at King’s College London on May 24, and will feature special guests Sonal Kantaria and Saeed Taji Farouky screening and discussing their work.

Full event details:

The Menzies Centre for Australian Studies presents the fifth in a series of screenings and discussions taking a broad, critical approach to Australia’s place within international cinema landscapes. From films of historical interest to those of topical importance, the Menzies Screenings series offers a curated selection that complements and expands upon some of the themes of the broader Menzies Centre programme.

In this final instalment, Menzies Screening convenor Stephen Morgan will be in conversation with two London-based photographers and filmmakers – Saeed Taji Farouky and Sonal Kantaria – both of whose works touch upon the history and legacy of Empire, and who have each made short film works in collaboration with Aboriginal Australians.

A brief introduction to their past work and the broader intersections of Empire, will be followed by a screening and discussion of the two films. Saeed’s short drama They Live in Forests, They Are Extremely Shy (2016, above right) tells the fictionalised story of an Indigenous Australian man (played by the late Yolngu/Murrungun actor Tom E. Lewis) invited to London for the Colonial Exhibition of 1886, where he has an unexpected encounter that brings home the reality of the colonial endeavour. Sonal’s experimental film After the crow flies (2016, above left) developed out of ongoing connections with Aboriginal Elders in Western Australia, and was made in collaboration with Clarrie Cameron, a Nhagardi Elder who navigates the viewer through the stark landscape of his traditional country whilst discussing the effect of colonisation on his peoples and on the shape of contemporary Australia.

The screening, discussion and Q&A will be followed by a drinks reception.


Sonal Kantaria is a visual artist and academic based in London and holds a Masters in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster, UK. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Film Studies at King’s College London. Her film and photography work has been exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally. Her recent film work After the crow flies has been screened at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK) and the Whitechapel Gallery (London), and was selected for the BAFTA recognised Aesthetica Film Festival in 2016.

Sonal has exhibited photographic work at Australia’s Perth Centre for Photography, as well as Next Level Projects (presented by Autograph ABP) and the Photographers Gallery in London. In 2013 she was invited by Curtin University in Western Australia as a visiting academic to facilitate and run a refugee settlement project: teaching photography and enabling community photographic projects with groups of young refugees. She was also commissioned as a community artist by DADAA to devise and teach a number of photography workshops to Aboriginal teenagers (2014-2016).

Sonal has completed artist residencies in Western Australia at Perth Institute for Contemporary Art (2015), the City of Greater Geraldton (2014) and at the Perth Centre for Photography (2013). She has worked as a visiting lecturer at the London College of Communication, the University of Westminster and the University of Hertfordshire, and as a visiting academic at Curtin University in Western Australia. / @sonalkantaria

Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-British filmmaker who has been producing work around themes of conflict, human rights and colonialism since 1998. His latest documentary film, Tell Spring Not to Come This Year, premiered at the Berlinale 2015 where it won two awards including Audience Choice Award. It has been selected for over 40 international film festivals, received a theatrical release in the UK and is currently available on Netflix.

Farouky is the designer and lead tutor of Re:Creative film school, a free film course at South London Gallery aimed at young people from backgrounds underrepresented in the film industry. In 2011 Farouky was awarded a Senior TED Fellowship for his work, and he has previously been named Artist-In-Residence at the British Museum and Tate Britain.

He has been a speaker and human rights educator with Amnesty International for over 10 years and has been teaching filmmaking and cinematography since 2009. In that time, he has given over a hundred talks, workshops and masterclasses. / @saeedtaji

Dr Stephen Morgan is an early career researcher based in the Film Studies department at King’s College London and the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies. His current research considers layered histories and the cinematic treatment of settler colonial spaces, with a particular focus on interations and negotiations between the British and Australian contexts. / @stemorgs


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s