Opening: The Public Gallery

January 2010

Single channel HD colour video, 5.1 sound

45 minutes 6 seconds

Director: John Akomfrah

Producers: Lina Gopaul and David Lawson

Mnemosyne refers to the mother of the Nine Muses, the personification of memory in Greek mythology. Akomfrah’s tone poem is split into verses named after the daughters of Mnemosyne: Tragedy, History, Music, Sacred Song, Astronomy, Comedy, Erotic Love and Dance.

Created for the ‘Made in England’ project, Mnemosyne uses a vast array of archival material to hauntingly recast and retell the experiences of postwar immigrants – resuscitating the now familiar images of our multicultural and diasporic histories.

Centering on the West Midlands from 1960 – 1981 and interlaced with images of an unidentified frozen wasteland, contemporary ‘portraits’ of Brimingham, narrative and literary voices and a dub infused soundtrack Mnemosyne is an evocative bricolage which questions memory and suggests the possibility for endless re-interpretation of historical events.


  • The Public Gallery
  • BFI Gallery
  • Carpe Diem