Enam Gbewonyo’s “Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls” on A&H Screening Room Channel

15th December 2023

Film still of Liz Gre and Enam Gbewonyo from “Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls” 2023 by Freddie Leyden

Arts&Heritage is delighted to share the next film available to view on our online Screening Room Channel. Under the Skin of the Guild: Wake of Lost Souls, 2022 is a new work  by artist Enam Gbewonyo (@enamgd) made with director Freddie Leyden with an original score composed by Liz Gre who also appears in the film and sound design from MRWIZE.

Under the Skin of the Guild: Wake of Lost Souls emerged from a closed live performance which A&H commissioned in April 2022 as part of our 10th anniversary programme. The subsequent film based on the performance is jointly commissioned by A&H and Guildhall Art Gallery, London.

Guildhall, London is the setting for a film which moves between the upper level where the Art Gallery is located to the lower levels of the building and the Great Hall, the original site of the first Zong Trail in March 1783. The Zong massacre was a mass killing of more than 130 enslaved African people by the crew of a British slave ship called ‘Zong’ on 29th November 1781 and the days following. Slave owners attempted to claim insurance for their “loss of cargo” having thrown these slaves overboard during the Middle Passage. This highly charged site was selected by the artist and the film invokes the ancestral spirits of the deceased slaves and channels the emotions tied to their murders, embedded as they are within the histories of Guildhall. The artist proposes that by having two black descendants of these victims, Gbewonyo and Gre, inhabiting a space so tied to the foundations of colonialism, Empire, patriarchy, and violence, a dialogue is created between the atrocities of the past and their imprints on the present. An atmosphere of fear, grief and defiance is poignantly illustrated as both artists move through the space level by level, moving as if though through time as well as space.

The film is now available to view here on our Screening Room Channel.

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