hacking time mines

Saul William’s fan­tas­tic musi­cal fea­ture Nep­tune Frost (2022), sets the tone for the coali­tion series “Hack­ing Time Mines”. In the Afro­fu­tur­is­tic sci-fi musi­cal, the myth­i­cal encounter of a miner and the inter­sex Nep­tune sparks a hacker com­mu­ni­ty’s rebel­lion against neo-colo­nial­ism and gender restric­tions. Nep­tune Frost is a thrilling explo­ration of queer­ness, romance, col­lec­tive resis­tance and the role of the medium of music within it. Its non-linear nar­ra­tive modes, blur­ring the lines between dreams and real­i­ty, in-between the past, the present and the future, make it a vivid exam­ple of cycli­cal tem­po­ral­i­ty that is rooted in African and Afro-dias­poric cosmologies. There are many genealog­i­cal traces to Afro­fu­tur­ist vision­ary Sun Ra’s bril­liant sci-fi movie Space is the Place (1973). Space is the Place looks out­ward, beyond the earth­ly con­fines, and takes music as a vehi­cle for space travel, as well as a hacker’s device, to decode and recode the dom­i­nant scripts of real­i­ty. Sun Ra sees him­self, as an African Amer­i­can, as being left out of Euro­cen­tric his­to­ry books – as his story – and is rather inter­est­ed in mys­tery that he … read more


Matthias De Groof
Belgium, Congo 2018 | 46 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sun, 21-May-23 04:30 PM
Q&A via Zoom with:
Matthias De Groof, Mehkar Azari Kiyoso
In the middle of a photo ses­sion in the Royal Museum for Cen­tral Africa in Bel­gium, a pho­tog­ra­ph­er is dis­turbed by the images cap­tured, macabre mem­o­ries, a mau­soleum of his … read more


Maisha Maene
Congo 2022 | 14 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sun, 21-May-23 04:30 PM
Q&A with:
Maisha Maene
An ’afro­naut’ emerges from the wreck­age of a space­ship in the vol­canic crater of Mount Nyi­ragon­go. As he descends into the city below, encoun­ter­ing the people of present-day Goma, he … read more


Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams
Rwanda, USA 2021 | 105 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sat, 20-May-23 03:00 PM
Q&A with:
Maisha Maene, Pius Vögele (Uni Basel)

Already hailed as a future cult film, this lav­ish­ly dec­o­rat­ed musi­cal impress­es with its rich­ness of asso­ci­a­tions. In a fan­tas­tic vision of the future, many con­tem­po­rary issues appear bun­dled and pack­aged into a rebel­lious anti-colo­nial­ist appeal.   

The story takes place in Rwanda, the young miner Matalusa flees after his broth­er Tekno has been slain and sex­u­al­ly harassed by a priest. One night he is sur­prised by beings from anoth­er world, towards which he moves in the fur­ther course. At the same time the inter­sex­u­al Nep­tune drifts through dif­fer­ent places. Both arrive at a hacker com­mu­ni­ty hiding like par­ti­sans in the moun­tains in a camp made of recy­cled com­put­er parts. Their love at first sight trig­gers a cosmic push - trans­lat­ed into vir­tu­al dimen­sions. The cyber par­ti­sans team up with coltan miners and become hack­tivists, prepar­ing to revolt against the resource-rich, cock­roach-breed­ing econ­o­my and gain 5 mil­lion fol­low­ers overnight…  

This film will be screened simul­ta­ne­ous­ly at Unseen as part of our #Junction_Nairobi, fol­lowed by a shared discussion.

Saul Williams is a renowned author and musi­cian since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, was released in 2001. He has per­formed in over 30 coun­tries and read in over 300 uni­ver­si­ties, with invi­ta­tions that have spanned from the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lin­coln Center, The Louvre, The Getty Center, to count­less, vil­lages, town­ships, com­mu­ni­ty cen­ters, and pris­ons across the world. The New­burgh, NY, native gained a BA from More­house and an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, and has gone on to record with Nine Inch Nails and Allen Gins­burg, as well as count­less film and tele­vi­sion appear­ances. In 2016 he start­ed the multi-tiered Mar­tyr­LoserK­ing project with an album of the same title. 2019 fol­lowed the second album Encrypt­ed & Vul­ner­a­ble, which acts as the score for NEPTUNE FROST  

Anisia Uzey­man was born in Rwanda in 1975 and is an actress, play­wright, stage and film direc­tor. She stud­ied acting at the Col­lege of The­atre in France. As an actress, Uzey­man appeared in the award-win­ning films TEY (2012) by Alain Gomis and AYITI, MON AMOUR (2016) by Guetty Felin. Her exper­i­men­tal debut film, DREAMSTATES, pre­miered at the 2016 New York African Film Fes­ti­val and was shot entire­ly on iPhone. She has writ­ten and direct­ed four plays, includ­ing Immac­u­late and HOW/Particle (at La Générale de Paris). Uzey­man has also direct­ed music videos for Sons Of An Illus­tri­ous Father, Saul Williams and Mehdi Cayenne.

Direc­tors: Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Anisia Uzeyman
Music: Saul Williams
Key Cast: Cheryl Isheja, Kaya Free, Eliane Umuhire, Dorcy Rugamba


Wanuri Kahiu
Kenya 2009 | 21 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sun, 21-May-23 04:30 PM
The film is set in the East African region, 35 years after World War III, in a world with no water and toxic soil. The story is told through the … read more


John Coney
USA 1974 | 85 Min. | engl. subtitled

Fri, 19-May-23 10:00 PM
Q&A with:
Pius Vögele
Jazz legend Sun Ra plays with sev­er­al nar­ra­tive levels in this multi-lay­ered futur­is­tic sce­nario. First, the film is based on his music and the con­cept album of the same name. … read more


Kantarama Gahigiri
Rwanda, Switzerland 2019 | 10 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sat, 20-May-23 03:00 PM
Q&A with:
Cheryl Isheja (via zoom), Kantarama Gahigiri (via zoom), Pius Vögele (Uni Basel)
There she stands, con­fi­dent­ly, like a god­dess of tech­no­log­i­cal junk, sur­round­ed by end­less moun­tains of rub­bish, plas­tic, stench and rare earths. An angry appeal to the world to take respon­si­bil­i­ty … read more