School of Design

ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles

Screening and Q&A – WAX PRINT: 1 Fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History

WAX PRINT: 1 Fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History

WAX PRINT: 1 Fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History

From the villages of Indonesia to the cotton fields of America, from European industrial mills to the bustling markets and sewing schools of West Africa, the story of one fabric and how it came to symbolise a continent, it’s people and their struggle for freedom.

In African homes across the world a benign textile lies unassuming and taken for granted. With a multitude of names from ‘Dutch Wax’ to ‘Liputa’ and ‘Kitenge’ to ‘Ankara’ this textile has become an important part of African cultures across the diaspora. A symbol of strength and identity in the face of oppression.

Surprised to learn from her Nigerian grandmother that ‘traditional’ African wax printed fabrics were a colonial invention made in the UK and Holland, British-born filmmaker and fashion designer, Aiwan Obinyan, sets out on a journey across four continents to trace the two-hundred year history of this iconic textile that has come to visually represent Africa and Africans.

Followed by a Q&A with Director Aiwan Obinyan.

Free, booking essential via Eventbrite.
Location: Clothworkers North Building LT Cinema (2.31)School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. The venue is fully accessible.

Director biography
Aiwan Obinyan is a Nigerian-British, Filmmaker, Composer and Fashion Designer. She has worked in the film and music industries, as a musician, studio engineer, composer and filmmaker. Her work has appeared on national and international TV and in 2013 she founded AiAi Studios a music production, and audio post-production company specialising in music for Film & TV, sound design, editing and dubbing mixing. waxprintfilm.com

Part of Resists: exploring resist-dyed textiles across cultures exhibition programme.

This event is co-hosted and sponsored by Leeds University Centre for African Studies.

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