Artist filmmaker and CREAM PhD researcher Hope Strickland has been awarded this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize for her film, I’ll be back! (2022).
I’ll Be Back! begins and ends with the story of the rebel slave Francois Mackandal. In 1758, Mackandal was condemned to be burned at the stake, not only for his crimes but for his radical powers of metamorphosis.
Filmed in archives and museums across the UK, I’ll Be Back! explores a series of collections holding objects of colonial violence. Amongst these is a book containing a diagram of a slave ship, a key document in the abolitionist movement widely published for its shocking nature, and a collection of insects gathered in Sierra Leone by a colonial topographer mapping borders and defining British and French territory in West Africa. Shifting across digital, 16mm and archival formats, the film interrogates institutional collecting practices and reconsiders the distances between myth, history, and machinations of power.
Hope is an artist-filmmaker from Manchester, UK. Her current work is concerned with postcolonial ecologies and the bonds between resource extraction and racial violence; as well as the temporal fractures and intimacies that can be found in working across archival, digital and 16mm film practices. Her PhD research at CREAM is funded by the Quintin Hogg Scholarship.
I’ll Be Back! is currently on show with Aesthetica Art Prize 2023 at Leeds Art Gallery until 4th June and at FACT, Liverpool, alongside work by Ashley Holmes, until 9th April. On April 29th, it will be screening at part of this year’s Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick, Scotland.