Samona Olanipekun is a British-Nigerian self-taught freelance producer based in London. He’s produced films across the globe and for a multitude of global brands and publications. “Kindred” is his first foray into directing. Samona’s appreciation for heritage stories that transcend time and place gives the viewer a peek into a world unseen. He is particularly passionate about where story-telling meets social impact.
Samona draws inspiration from everyday life, whether it be his family, friends, strangers, or allegories. He does so to create his films, with “Kindred” being a particularly personal one which loosely alludes to his parent’s migration to the UK. Commissioned by the Barbican, Samona was asked to interpret the theme of “Globalisation”. Shot on 16mm film, he explores the journey of migration, and the reality of ones shifting cultural identity. “The idea, the motivation and the courage it takes for one to migrate fascinates me. I wanted to visually explore various protagonists on different stages of that collective journey,” he says.
The film features an array of juxtapositions. From the innocent young children playing to the brutish behaviour of the anti-immigration raid officers. The scenes of the rustling leaves on a tree, to that of barbed wire and security cameras. The city and the rural. Along with a medley of Western and African culture, this makes for a well-balanced presentation of disparate stories. Each character has a story, and the viewer is given permission to observe their lives. Samona mentions how “the process was very much a collaboration”, and this is clearly communicated in the film. One perceives the various emotions of the people and how this creates a collective journey. The film concludes with the two young boys from the beginning, but this time wearing space blankets. This makes for a strong finish which brings together two opposite realities.
The film skillfully evokes the beauty of a simple life, while recalling the painful effects migration can have on it.
See Samona’s short film “Kindred” exhibited at Tate Exchange in Tate Modern in the “Southwark Untold 2.0” exhibition. The exhibition is co-curated by Pempeople in association with us. Pempeople are a non-profit social enterprise based in Peckham. Working directly with the local communities, they strive to encourage people to empower themselves. To see Samona’s film along with the work of other artists, come to Tate Exchange.
“Southwark Untold 2.0” opens on the 16th August 7:30-9pm. See you all there!
Tate Exchange – @tateexchange
Pempeople – @Pempeople
Southwark Untold 2.0 Event : https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/tate-exchange/workshop/southwark-untold