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Untitled by John Akomfrah

Untitled by John Akomfrah

©Smoking Dogs Films. Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films.

Gift from the Contemporary Art Society.

This photograph comes from John Akomfrah’s dual screen film work Auto Da Fé (2016) that presents 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. Akomfrah uses the aesthetics of period drama to consider the historical and contemporary causes of these migrations and focuses on religious persecution as a major cause of global displacement. The works allude to the reality of global migration and persecution that has taken place throughout the centuries and, unfortunately, continues today. Auto Da Fé is a medieval Spanish term meaning Act of Faith.