Fi Dem ⅠV- An introduction on becoming unruly

Fi Dem ⅠV- An introduction on becoming unruly, 2021

Fi Dem IV: An introduction to becoming unruly is a newly created work by artist and dancer Zinzi Minott. 

It is the the latest iteration of her work Fi Dem which is a durational moving image project and continued investigation into Blackness and Diaspora. On the anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking in the UK on 22nd June 1948, Minott returns to work. Each iteration is a filmic manifestation of a year lived, a body moved and moving through a reflection on the legacies of The Windrush Generation.

Originally created for her first solo show in London, which was cancelled weeks before the opening, the work has been untethered until Minott was reminded of the works DIY origins. 

Supported by friends, family and colleagues Fi Dem continues, an annual circular, unnerving dropping of anchor. 

Fi Dem IV: An introduction to becoming unruly, like preceding instalments of Minott’s project, invokes the HMT Empire Windrush’s mid-century voyage from Jamaica to London. Made within the context of the Black square, performative activism and individualistic clamours for power and representation Minott suffers and pokes and the thin veneer of social advancement. 

The artist introduces us to her child- self to give us a sense of duration, her smiling image grappling with the glitch overlaid upon her. The glitch, Minott has often referred  to as ‘how racism feels, confusing, and unnerving “did I just see that?”’ We are forced to reckon with this small Black body already managing her racialization, her identities and the fatigue of having a black body and a Black life in this context. The work is an attempt to find rest in a sea of broken promises of progress — both past present and future — and to hold her own hand. Her inner child’s hand.

The work as ever draws from multiple archives, personal and public and develops her love for reusing and repeating footage. 

For Minott, a trained dancer, who was raised within sound system culture, the work screams to be pushed through a stack and be at odds with images that allow for moving and carving space central to her training and to the migratory lives of Black Caribbeans. You should watch it, but you should also move to it.

This work has created change in Minott clearly, the film shares its title with an associated text as with Fi Dem III: Ancestral interference. At the end of the text “An introduction to becoming unruly” as she signs off, we become aware the artist has renamed herself, aka “The Unruly body”.

You can read the text here.