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ARTIST TALKS

The founder and creator of AfroPunk shares a compelling story about the irony of losing his black punk dream––only to regain it in a most unexpected way.

 

At a time when images of black people were portrayed through a very limited, reductive, and often negative mainstream lens, James Spooner set out to redefine Blackness for alternative kids embracing the ethics of punk rock rebellion culture throughout the country. James added nuance to what it is to be “Black” by telling punk kids’ stories and developing AfroPunk both as a film, culture, and later as the AfroPunk Festival. James relays the story of finding punk culture, the reasons behind making the film, where the protagonists are today, building the AfroPunk community, and why he had to step away from the festival after being ensnared in a punk vs. capitalism tug of war. What does it mean to be punk? Or a rock n roll nigger? How do Black people find their voice in hegemonic spaces? Filled with humor and a quick course on Punk 101, James delivers a message that still resonates today.

If you are interested in SCREENING the film, or scheduling an ARTIST TALK with a 40 minute slide show on the history of AfroPunk and DIY punk culture, please be in touch.  

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SELECTED PAST SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS/SCREENINGS:

  • Seattle Arts and Lectures

  • Vancouver Comics Arts Festival

  • LA Made: Los Angeles Public Library Speaker Series

  • Nike Headquarters

  • Emerald City Comic Con

  • M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery in partnership with the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 

  • Binghamton University

  • Cornell University 

  • LA Zine Fest

  • Short Run Comics Festival

  • NonFiction Comics Festival

  • Cartoon Crossroads: Ohio

  • Pygmalion Festival

  • Small Press Expo: DC

  • AfroFuturism Lounge

  • San Francisco Zine Fest

  • Books With Pictures

  • Broad Museum

  • BreakFree Festival

  • New York Public Library

  • New York Center for Fiction

  • MOCADA Museum 

  • Beyond Baroque Literary & Arts Center

  • Chicago Humanities Festival

  • Toronto Comics Festival

  • Chicago Inner City Schools

  • Los Angeles, CA - LA Zine Fest

  • Portland OR - Hollywood Theatre 

  • Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design  

  • MailChimp Company Talk 

  • Montreal POP Festival 

  • FilmBar, Phoenix 

  • Columbia University 

  • Hamilton, Colgate University 

  • New School, New York 

  • San Antonio Texas, Xingonas in The Pit 

  • Bellingham, WA Pickford Film Center 

  • Tacoma, King’s Books 

  • Seattle, Ark Lodge Cinemas 

  • Gary, Indiana Film Festival

  • Soho House, Chicago

  • Elastics Arts Space 

  • Punk Black Festival 

  • Duke University 

  • The Hammer Museum, UCLA 

  • Whittier College

  • Cal State Los Angeles

  • C-Squat, New York City

  • American Film Institute

  • Northwestern University

  • Missouri State University

  • The MOMA – New York 

  • DuSable Museum of African American History

  • DePaul University, Chicago

  • Columbia College Chicago

  • The Brooklyn Academy of Music

  • Brown University, Providence Rhode Island

  • Gilman Street, Berkeley

  • Fireside Bowl, Chicago

  • Yale University

  • Harvard University

  • Oaklandish

  • Massachusetts College of Arts

  • Georgetown University

  • Emory University

  • DePauw University

  • George Washington University

  • ABC No Rio

  • Rutgers University

  • New Orleans Independent Media Center

  • Indiana University

  • Anthology Film Archives, NYC

  • Echo Park Film Center

  • Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center

  • University of Delaware

  • Black Cat, DC

  • East Carolina University

  • Emerson College

  • University of South Carolina

  • Boise State University

  • Oberlin College

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Berkeley College of Music

  • Guilford College, North Carolina

  • York University, Toronto 

  • University of Kansas

  • Stone Center for Black Culture and History, UNC -Chapel Hill

  • The Rotunda, Philadelphia

  • University of Montana

  • University of Delaware

  • Bard College

  • New College of California, San Francisco

  • University of South Florida

  • Cal State University of Monterey Bay

  • University of Michigan

  • MJQ Concourse, Atlanta

  • TIFF, Toronto International Festival

  • American Black Film Festival

  • Festival International de Cine de Mar del Plata

  • Milan International Film Festival

  • Black Harvest Film Festival

  • Jamerican International Film Festival

  • The Fuji Rock Festival

  • South by Southwest Festival

  • San Francisco Black Film Festival

  • Langston Hughes Film Festival

  • Roxbury Film Festival

  • And hundreds of other book stores, organizations, universities, and independent spaces…

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