In 1970, the director Sarah Maldoror spent three months on the remote Island of Diabada to shoot the film Guns for Banta. The film, commissioned by the P.A.I.G.C. (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) and produced by the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, was supposed to tell the story of the political awakening of a young woman, leading her to take the arms against the Portuguese colonizers. For reasons that were never disclosed, that film was seized by the Algerian government before editing. To this day, the reels have not been located. Guns for Banta would have been the first feature film by Sarah Maldoror. By screening my work Foreword to Guns for Banta, retelling the story of the shooting of the missing film, and screening this together with Mortu Nega, a film shot in 1988 by Guinean director Flora Gomes, I would like to make visible and to question senses, gestures, and networks of community, resistance, and revolution that could link Monangambeee (1969), Sarah Maldoror’s first short film, to Guns for Banta, Mortu Nega, and Sambizanga (1972). I would also like to evoke Maldoror’s aesthetic and political legacy in another (counter-)cine-geography, directed toward the Caribbean.
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Foreword to Guns for Banta, 2011, 26 min
Flora Gomes, Mortu Nega, 1988, 92 min
Presented by Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc together with Christian Kravagna and Viktoria Metschl (in English)
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc lives in Metz. Exhibitions (selection): Concerning Solitude, Jumex Foundation, Mexico (2018); A Room in My Mother’s house, Wacapou, Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart (2018); The Night Readers, French Competition, Cinéma du Réel festival, Paris, (2017).
Christian Kravagna is an art historian and curator. He is professor for postcolonial studies at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
Viktoria Metschl is a researcher and writer in film studies. She lives in Vienna and Algiers.