On Video: Arthur Jafa’s Love and Dreams

Stills from the film, courtesy of the artist.

In an ongoing column called On Video for Glasstire, Peter Lucas spotlights lesser known videos that are currently available to be streamed online. In this essay, Lucas highlights the work Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death by famed filmmaker and cultural theorist Arthur Jafa. Coming to prominence for his cinematography on Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, Jafa has become world renowned for the beauty and intimacy of his work. His 2016 short film depicts Black life in America and the cultural conundrums that invokes, equally showcasing scenes of Black excellence with meditations of police brutality and the violence of the Trump Administration.

You can stream the film here.

“Jafa’s Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death debuted in 2016, four months after the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and just days after the presidential election of Donald Trump. Its New York opening drew massive crowds, and it was widely hailed as a powerful and timely expression of the African-American experience.”