“We also live in a very specific echo chamber and once you step out of that bubble it can feel quite alienating,” says Akinola Davies Jr about the privileges and limitations of creating community outside of cultural norms. “It’s trickier to find the balance, but the one thing that being creative does is hopefully allow people to have a relationship with self expression in whatever form.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast from his base in London, the director and moving image artist talks about his music videos and films often documenting the broad and diverse collective identity of his community.
Growing up in Lagos before moving to the UK, Akin has developed a unique and striking visual language that explores race, gender and identity—particularly surrounding the Black diaspora in Britain and beyond. Early in his career he worked with independent music broadcasters Just Jam and co-founded the iconic PDA club night in London, building an impressive portfolio crossing film and installation, radio and live events. Akin has also produced music videos for the likes of Klein, Farai, Tirzah and CURL, as well as shooting for campaigns by Kenzo, Bianca Saunders and Gucci. Most recently, Akin’s short film Lizard premiered at London Film Festival in October last year, while winning official selection for Sundance 2021.
‘Support Systems’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes, featuring Colin Self, Legacy Russell, Maria Minerva, Lawrence Lek, and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb.**