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A screening of the award-winning African film “Pieces of Identity” Thursday April 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium opens the first Lawrence University African Studies Lecture Series.

Winner of the 1999 Étalon de Yennenga, the most prestigious award in African cinema, “Pieces of Identity” confronts issues of identity facing people of African descent in an ever-widening diaspora through the story of an old village king entering the Westernized world and his beautiful, but wayward, daughter.

Following the film, Professor Jude Akudinobi in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara, presents the address, “Identity, Cultural Production and African Cinema.”

Akudinobi, who teaches cinema in the UC-Santa Barbara black studies department, will discuss the roles modernity and tradition play within the African social fabrics of music, art, religion, myth and ritual, among others, and how African filmmakers engage the issue of ‘identity’ in their craft.

Akudinobi, who earned a Ph.D. in cinema-television critical studies from the University of Southern California, is the founding film editor of the scholarly journal “African Identities.” In addition, he has written essays for “The Black Scholar,” “Social Identities” and “Nka: The Journal of Contemporary African Art,” among others, and co-wrote a screenplay adaptation of playwright/poet Aime Cesaire’s “The Black Tempest,” a radical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

Lawrence’s African Studies Lecture Series is sponsored by the Susan and Richard Goldsmith African Studies Fund. Established in 2000 by Susan and Richard Goldsmith, who served as Peace Corps volunteers in Africa after graduating from Lawrence in 1965 and 1964, respectively, the fund promotes the study of issues of global significance with respect to the cultures and societies of Africa.