John Akomfrah (born 1957) has achieved recognition for his experimental approach to making nonlinear video essays. Working with longtime collaborators at Smoking Dogs Films, Akomfrah investigates ways to engage our personal and collective memories. He finds poignant segments from the audiovisual archives of the 20th century and mixes them together with high definition documentary footage and recreations to prompt new understandings about the history of the planet. As Akomfrah has said, “Art can pose problems in unique ways, allowing for other meaningful dialogues. It’s about proposing, not imposing.”
Akomfrah has had numerous solo exhibitions including New Museum, New York, NY, Bildmuseet, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, DC; SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Barbican, London, UK; and The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia. He has also been featured in many international film festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, Utah, USA, and Toronto International Film Festival, Canada (2012), as well as numerous group shows across the country.