Screening: ‘Rolling in the Deep: Mer-Creatures and Mythology’ at the Barbican, London

Sirenomelia, Italy 2022, Dir Agnes Questionmark
Sirenomelia, Dir Agnes Questionmark (Italy 2022)



The Emerging Film Curators’ Lab is a career development programme that gives young people a chance to establish themselves in the UK cinema exhibition sector. The first Emerging Film Curators’ Lab of 2022 takes place on December 1 with Rolling in the Deep. Curated by Charlie Clark and Anna Keeley, it focuses on mermaids in world film and explores themes of Afrofuturism, gender fluidity, deep-sea diving and colonial power. 


Rolling in the Deep invites audiences into underwater worlds – with a programme of six experimental, documentary and fiction short films from the UK, Philippines, Ghana and Italy – in which mermaids and their co-species imagine life beyond capitalist and patriarchal systems and explore water as a political and poetic space. 


Highlights of the film programme include Drexciya, a portrait of an abandoned public swimming facility in Accra, Ghana, set on the Riviera, once a colonial luxury tourist development. In His Island, a small fishing community struggles amidst an oil spill. Meanwhile, a joyful young boy battling with his identity finds comfort in his dream of becoming a mermaid. Sirenomelia, where artist Agnes Questionmark performs, becomes a mermaid in this experimental micro-short, exploring hybrid identities and her own transition. The Siren of the Deep, is a term used by diving communities to describe an overwhelming pull to stay at the bottom of the ocean and never come back up. Cosmonauts and divers recall states of bliss and the pain of their return to Earth in this art exhibition short. 


Rolling In The Deep will include a live poetry performance from multidisciplinary artist and writer Alexandrina Hemsley. The event concludes with a ScreenTalk with Dr Geoffrey Maguire and Alexandrina Hemsley, who will discuss the films and how they resonate with studies of water and mythology in their own work.


Explore alternative portrayals of the mer-figure and the role of myth in shaping collective and political imagination this Thursday, December 1.


Find tickets here




Words by CLOT Magazine




Website https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2022/event/emerging-curators-rolling-in-the-deep
(Media courtesy of the Barbican)
28 Nov 2022