This is the ARCHIVED WEBSITE for the 2010 Africa in Motion Film Festival.               For up-to-date information visit:
Posted 19th September 2009

A Dialogue between Jonathan and Ezra

What is A Truth in Black & White and why have you started this collaboration?

Jonathan: A Truth in Black & White arose out of a feeling within myself, an urge to make art that transcended what I had been doing previously. I wanted to make powerful work that had a core of something immovable. I’ve had a strong pull towards making this kind of work for as long as I can remember and in a sense this urge surfaced during a powerful conversation with Ezra about a year ago. We were speaking about the miracle of having a son (both of us had just had our first child) and we found ourselves talking about this urge, this need to make work that connects directly with people and speaks to their heart. We spoke as we always do, with real honesty, love and respect and found at the end of the conversation that we had agreed to have an exhibition together in Edinburgh. Like all of these things you only get a sense of what you are doing once you are a little way down the road so now, looking back having had two very successful exhibitions together, I would say that the core of what we are doing is concerned with Truth. By this I mean speaking the truth with as much heart as we can in our work, in the workshops that we offer for free to kids around the world, in the interviews we do, in the documentary that we are making and trying to make a strong sound that unifies rather than divides. Wouldn’t you say so Ezra?

Ezra: Well I would also begin by saying that the root of this is our love for each other, where we come from and the experiences that have shaped us. We appreciate our families and the strength they gave us to be proud and firm about who we are. Then having the courage to be that person was a strong part of our collaboration. I feel so many times in my conversations with Jonathan how he reinforces what is so true about us; it is almost as necessary as air. My Grandfather used to say this a lot: ’No man is an island’. Always in the context of some discussion involving the future of the community or on the issue of self-determination in terms of overthrowing apartheid, as he was convinced that the future of South Africa was not of one people dominating another state, but one which celebrated all the diverse communities and cultures that had converged on the land. I now have grown to understand what my grandfather meant and a Truth in Black and White is really a collaboration that speaks of the fact that none of us live just to ourselves, that it is in unity, working together, supporting one another, coming together, that the true magic of life and its many inspirations become unravelled.

Jonathan: Yes, absolutely. Working on a project like this with such a great friend, a brother, is truly inspiring. It brings out the desire to be the best, to transcend the habitual and make work that is inspirational and true. Although in one sense we came from really different backgrounds there is also a strong parallel in many aspects of our upbringing. What Ezra says about family being strong is true, and now that we are both fathers it only heightens the feeling of continuum, of carrying a message through generations. Being African has a strong resonance for us too I’d say, it is at the heart of much of what we do. This isn’t really meant in the nationalistic sense but far more about heart. This essence of Africa is something that we carry with us proudly as we tour the exhibition worldwide so being involved with the Africa in Motion film festival is very exciting for us. Unlocking the stories of this great continent is certainly something that we’re proud to be a part of.

Ezra: Absolutely, and the theme of this years AiM is so appropriate for what we are about. Reconciliation is at the core of any creative development. Having an open heart, being able to forgive and develop as a people is powerfully facilitated by true and unflinchingly honest artwork, be it film, visual art or literature. Telling these stories give us the chance of catharsis and ultimately of coming together. So yes, reconciliation is very, very important.

Back to Films and Events

Contact us

By email

By phone +44 (0)7807 485 058

Subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates on AiM and other African film events.

Follow us