I don’t usually provide extracurricular reading beyond a podcast because making time for the podcast episode itself can feel like a stretch. But in this interview Jemma references a lot of her own work, as well as lots of other people’s and considering the brilliance of that work, I wanted to collate it all in one place (along with some of my own reading recommendations) in case you felt inspired to do some homework.
Jemma is is a writer, researcher and curator based in London, currently completing a PhD on practices of freedom in the arts. Most recently she was Head of Programming at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival and she has also held positions at the BFI London Film Festival, British Council and Independent Cinema Office. She is also the founder of a curatorial initiative called I Am Dora and is a fellow of the Clore Leadership programme.
We talk about a myriad of things including her role as programmer and her ambivalence around that label, community, colonialism, the need to redefine or abolish the idea of linear progression, what leadership means to her, and why she hopes it will be dismantled, the issues at the heart of campaigns like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, how to structurally enable care, out of office emails, embracing possibility and joy and much much more.
The episode can be listened to here…
- Follow Jemma on Twitter
- Jemma’s linktree
- Notes on Programming Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2021
- An interview with Matt Turner for Sentient Art Film which goes into more depth on Jemma’s programming collective ‘I Am Dora’ and also tells a slightly more expanded ‘career story’.
- ‘This Work Isn’t For Us’
- The video piece Jemma created as a reflection on making and disseminating ‘This Work Isn’t For Us’.
- A Letter to Leena about care
Things Jemma talks about in the podcast
- Activist collective Resist + Renew
- Jordan Lorde’s ‘Shared Resources’
- Ryan Coogler on rejecting his invasion to join the Academy
- The White Pube
- Healing Justice London
- The bare minimum collective’s manifesto
- I also recommend this conversation on YouTube between Lola Olufemi – who is a member of bare minimum – and curatorial collective Languid Hands, as it touches upon some of themes / terms that Jemma references, including radical resistance, abolition and liberatory praxis.
Reading & viewing recommendations
- ‘Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power’ – Lola Olufemi
- We briefly discuss ideas around abolitionist thinking, which Lola disseminates expertly in her book, but if you’re looking for a wider, deeper reading list on the subject I really recommend the one put together by Abolitionist Futures.
- I am also very excited to read Lola’s latest book: ‘Experiments in Imagining Otherwise‘, which has just been released.
- Picture books written by Toni Morrison and her son Slade that Jemma is reading with her own daughter
- ‘Me, Not You: the trouble with mainstream feminism’ – Alison Phipps
- Merata: How Mum Decolonised The Screen, a documentary about trailblazing Maori filmmaker Merata Miti currently on Netflix.
- When the documentary was released So Mayer wrote a great piece on Merata for Sight & Sound.