Auto Da Fé

Opening: Lisson Gallery, London January 2016

Two channel HD colour video installation, 5.1 sound 40 minutes 30 seconds

Director: John Akomfrah

Producers: Lina Gopaul and David Lawson

The work’s title translates as ‘Acts of Faith’ and the film itself looks at migration through the lens of religious persecution.

Presented as a poetic period drama, the film depicts a series of eight historical migrations over the last 400 years, starting with the little known 1654 fleeing of Sephardic Jews from Catholic Brazil to Barbados.

As the film develops, we are presented with tale after tale of populations being displaced along religious lines, right up to the present day migrations from Hombori, Mali and Mosul, Iraq. Religion, persecution and migration are, it seems, old and continuing bedfellows.

The work was filmed on location in Barbados, but the landscape is deliberately anonymous, reflecting the universal nature of these stories.


Lisson Gallery – London