Ikoko Atura is fictional film produced by Brian C. Smithson, Ph.D Candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University in cooperation with the Beninese Yoruba filmmakers' union. It tells the story of how Christians, Muslims and Traditionalists come together for mutual benefit around an indigenous religious tradition.
Esteban Quintana presentation as part of the Black Gods & Kings Lecture Series, October 2016
Lecture presentation of Marie Maude Evans as part of the Black Gods & Kings Lecture Series, November 2016
November 17, 2016 - Amilton Costa presentation part of the Black Gods & Kings lecture series.
Talabi Faniyi, Chief Priestess of the Goddess Osun, presentation during the Black Gods & Kings Lecture Series, December 2016
This film explores the ethnographic reality of the zonbi in Haiti, the film imagery of the zombie in the US, and the metaphorical meaning of this outsized fantasy in both countries.
Journalist David Brooks and evangelical Christian pastor Pat Robertson joined Haitian Protestants in blaming Vodou for the devastating 2010 earthquake. J. Lorand Matory uses the gorgeous liturgical art of the Haitian Vodou religion and of allied traditions to contrast the Afro-Atlantic theological understanding of the person, the universe, and the life well lived with European and Euro-American understandings that are no more logical, realistic, or beautiful.
The orichas and the foddunes of Cuba and its diaspora come alive through music and dance. This film documents a 2014 conference of the Center for African and African American Research at Duke University about the diverse genres of Afro-Cuban sacred drumming that turn human beings into gods. The cutting-edge ideas that emerged at the conference are illustrated in performance footage. “Lucumí Music” both illuminates and instantiates the century-old encounter among priests, dancers, drummers, researchers, state officials, and tourists has shaped the practice of Afro-Cuban religion today.