The Diaspora Suite

Ephraim Asili


Collection: Single Artist Compilations

Tags: African-American, Landscape, Music, Poetry, Post-colonialism, Race, Social Justice, Travel

The Diaspora Suite

Ephraim Asili’s five-part series The Diaspora Suite is both a personal and global study of the African diaspora. Created over the course of seven years, every film in the series has a unique rhythm built around a specific amalgam of footage shot in American and international locations — each an important site within the African diaspora. Forged Ways (2011) travels between Harlem and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; American Hunger (2013) features Philadelphia, Ocean City, and Cape Coast, Ghana; in Many Thousands Gone (2014), Harlem and Salvador, Brazil; in Kindah (2016), Hudson, New York, and Jamaica; and in Fluid Frontiers (2017), Detroit and Windsor, Canada.

Locating a shared geographical and historical lineage, The Diaspora Suite charts a movement from decoding to encoding, documenting and creating within the landscape.

"Asili has concluded a five-part film suite that examines the African diaspora through a series of immeasurable equations: America and abroad (with films shot in Ghana and Ethiopia, as well as Brazil, Jamaica, and Canada); personal and collective history; the past and the present; imaginations and realities; and image and sound. Abandoning digital video for 16mm, Asili has developed his documentary impulse into something more spontaneous and musical, his eye attuned to the unexpected rhythms afforded by montage."

— Jesse Cumming, Cinema Scope, Fall 2017

For a limited time, watch Fluid Frontiers on VDB TV.

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Included Titles

Ephraim Asili

Forged Ways

2010 | 00:15:00

The Diaspora SuiteFilmed on location in Harlem (NY) and Ethiopia, Forged Ways oscillates between the first person account of a filmmaker, a man navigating the streets of Harlem, and the day to day…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: African-American, City, Expedition/Travel, Experimental Film

Ephraim Asili

American Hunger

2013 | 00:19:00

The Diaspora SuiteOscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger explores the relationship between…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: African-American, Experimental Film, Memory, Migration, Post-colonialism, Race, Time

The Diaspora SuiteFilmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, NY ( an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: African-American, Experimental Film, Memory, Migration, Music, Post-colonialism, Race

Ephraim Asili


2016 | 00:12:00

The Diaspora SuiteKindah was shot in Hudson, NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: African-American, Experimental Film, History, Memory, Post-colonialism, Race, War

Ephraim Asili

Fluid Frontiers

2017 | 00:23:00

Fluid Frontiers is the fifth and final film in the series entitled The Diaspora Suite, exploring Asili’s personal relationship to the African Diaspora. Shot along the Detroit River,…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: African-American, Experimental Film, History, Language, Memory, Poetry, Post-colonialism, Race

Exhibitions + Festivals

Smithsonian African American Film Festival, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 2018 Media City Film Festival, Windsor ON, 2018 BAMcinématek, Brooklyn NY, 2018 Conversations at the Edge, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago IL, 2017