Opening: Prospect 4: The Lotus and The Swamp

October 2017

Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound

Time 53 minutes

Director: John Akomfrah

Producers: Lina Gopaul and David Lawson

Associate Producer: Ashitey Akomfrah


Charting the dark tragedy of Charles Joseph “Buddy” Bolden the undisputed king of New Orleans music scene if the early 1900’s – institutionalised in his early thirties and never seen in public again – Precarity is an exploration of the diasporic condition, the legacy of creativity, displacement and dispossession.

Bolden’s booming cornet and itinerant musical style is apocryphally famed as creating the sound of modern jazz. With no surviving recordings of Bolden’s music only myth and legend remain.

As much a ghost story as it is a portrait of a historical figure, Precarity, weaves together fragmented histories and archival remnants to connect the experience of those suffering at the violent ends of history and state power.