You Hide Me Still : 50 ...

You Hide Me: 50 Years On Webinar Series In 1970 Ghanaian filmmaker Kwate Nii Owoo managed to enter the British Museum to make this short film about the valuable African artefacts held there.  His film is held in the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA), and together with partners the Africa Centre, SOAS University […]

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The relatively small collection of audio materials were also collected in the pre-digital era and are on standard audio cassettes. The majority are interviews with filmmakers, (eg. Filmmakers John Akomfrah, Djbril Diop Mambetey in London; actress Rosalind Cash FESPACO Ouagadougou).

The collection consists of over 700 (VHS/Umatic/Beta) tapes and a large number of dvds (as yet unquantified). The collection includes predominantly independent films and some television programmes (eg. episodes and trailer for the 1980s Ken Saro-Wiwa Nigerian sitcom series Basi and Company), and a few mainstream commercial films, from the UK, Africa and the African diaspora generally.

Film Directories & Listings

From the pre-digital age, printed directories and thematic pamphlets were provided by distributors and production units, such as the Association des Trois Mondes in Paris who would provide a contextual article and a list of films on a particular theme (eg. La Palestine Vue Par Son Cinema [Palestine seen through its Cinema] Cannes 2001).

June Givanni’s Story

June Givanni is a pioneering international film curator with 30 years experience in film and broadcasting who is regarded as a resource for African and African diaspora cinema.

The development of the Pan African Cinema Archive is based on her collections from years of working in cinema. Her motivation for the archive is to make this valuable heritage collection as widely accessible as possible.

Manuscripts & Ephemera

This collection includes scripts and film dialogue transcripts and project proposals totaling 140 catalogued items so far. These will not be online and will be available for restricted consultation by appointment only after specific individual clearances from the rights holders concerned.

Photography & Stills

There are hundreds of still images – in fact quite possibly thousands – of shots that have been captured by June Givanni and others. The photographs vary in quality and style usually determined by their purpose and the conditions in which they were taken. They feature black and white and colour photos, and a small selection of slides.

The posters (100+ catalogued to date) cover a geographical source and representation of the 5 main regions or sub-regions featured in the archive: Africa, The Caribbean, North America, Europe, the UK. They are a mix of glossy commercial and more subtle art house creations as well as specially commissioned posters, publicizing films for the most part but also other events.


The publications catalogued so far are at 400 plus and counting not taking into account duplicates). The collection includes significant journals such as the Black Film Review (USA); and the Black Film Bulletin*(UK); Ecran D’Afriques/African Screens (FEPACI/Italy), and The Black Filmmaker (bfm: UK).

The series of webinars in this showcase was organised by the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA) with partners SOAS/African Screen Worlds; AFFORD; and The Africa Centre; with assistance and support from The Art Fund and MayDay Rooms. The film You Hide Me was made by Ghanaian filmmaker Nii Kwate Owoo in the British Museum in London in 1970 and presented the case for the restitution of African art, which is still resonant today. This series was arranged to mark the 50th anniversary of this film and bring it to wider attention. The film – which is held in the JGPACA – can also be seen on the Vimeo on Demand platform:  

You Hide Me: 50 Years On (Pt. 1 of Webinar Series) – Restitution, Curating & Teaching African Art  (07@mbkno@05)  
The first in this series of 4 webinars foregrounds the need to rethink the sources of knowledge and institutional frameworks that underpin the curating and teaching of African art, and the value of Africa’s historical cultural knowledge for a better understanding of the issue of restitution.  

You Hide Me: 50 Years On (Pt. 2 of Webinar Series) – Restitution and the Moving Image  (07@mbkno@05)  
The second event in the You Hide Me: 50 Years On webinar series focusses on the demand for restitution in the context of African film and moving image archives more generally.  

You Hide Me: 50 Years On (Pt. 3 of Webinar Series) – Restitution & Securing African Heritage  (07@mbkno@05)  
The third event in the You Hide Me: 50 Years On webinar series discusses the topic of restitution in relation to the role of African organisations such as the Africa Centre in having a voice in defending the future of African heritage.  

You Hide Me: 50 Years On (Pt. 4 of Webinar Series) – Actions Going Forward  (07@mbkno@05)  
The fourth webinar in the You Hide Me: 50 Years On webinar series draws together the main discussion points, ideas and suggestions for taking forward the issues raised around this broad and resonant topic of the restitution of African Art. It was held on 24 November 2020.  


‘YOU HIDE ME!’ | On Vimeo VOD  
“In 1970, ‘YOU HIDE ME’ a film written, produced and directed by Nii Kwate Owoo, Ghanaian documentary and feature film maker, on the colonization of African art, was seen as controversial. The film is an expose of the theft and concealment of ancient and rare African Art, hidden in plastic bags and wooden boxes in the basement of the British Museum. For many the film heightened the already growing antagonism towards Western art establishments, and the role they played in the looting and hoarding of precious works of art from the ancient cultures of the world.” Nii Kwate Owoo

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