A Long Time Coming: Our Return to In-Person Events

31st May 2022


Earlier this month, we were delighted to celebrate Africa in Motion’s inaugural Coconut & Cane event - an exciting new series of gatherings to strengthen ties within the Black diaspora using film, poetry, music, and food as a way to communally connect, learn, and grow.  


“By imagining the future, we can kickstart a necessary conversation and inspire change.”

 - Fiona Lamptey (producer of Film4's Foresight short films)


This particular gathering meant a lot to us, as it marked our first in-person event after the pandemic’s trials and tribulations that affected us all in so many ways. The arts and surrounding community truly helped us get through the worst of days, and as such, we couldn’t wait to finally be able to reconnect with old and new friends.


 Photography: ©Jamal Yussuff-Adelakun

Together with the incredible BE United Team, we took over part of Filmhouse Edinburgh and welcomed everyone to a fully packed day of wonderful films and inspiring conversations.  


“The best way to [navigate the creative industry as storytellers] is to speak our truths and to be clearly and explicitly who we are. We have to tell our own truths and support each other. The more we can keep anchoring our stories into the history books, the longer our stories will exist and the more power we will have as creators in the future.”

- Jeremy Ngatho Cole


We kicked off the first-ever Coconut & Cane with a screening of Lingui: Sacred Bonds (2021) - a strikingly emotional and thought-provoking portrait of sisterhood and community in an oppressive world designed and dominated by men.

Tackling the topic of abortion in a country in which practices thereof remain highly restrictive to this very day, Lingui lent itself as the perfect springboard into a post-screening discussion on women’s rights, safety, health, and wellbeing joined by ACES (Afrikan and Caribbean Elders Scotland) and KWISA (Kenyan Women In Scotland Association).

    Photography: ©Jamal Yussuff-Adelakun

“Many women [remain] marginalised throughout Africa. We are often made to choose between religion and personal choices.”

- Esther Kamonji 


“If you combat the system directly, you are ostracised.”

- Florence Menzies

After a short but sweet tea and coffee break, the afternoon’s programme continued with a screening of Foresight (2021), an urgent Sci-Fi anthology of short films produced by the incredible Fiona Lamptey.

If Afrofuturism is your thing (or even if it isn’t, but you’re intrigued by the exploration of alternate realities through the lens of culturally diverse filmmakers), Foresight is for you! The timely shorts were followed by a virtual Q&A, weaving audiences through themes of migration, black parenthood, memory work, climate change, and the effects of social exclusion.

“I feel like science fiction is Sun Ra – feeling alienated in a space that doesn’t represent you.” 

- Akinola Davies



Capping off our programme of screenings and talks, guests were ushered to the nearby SKYbar Edinburgh for an after-party, where they were greeted by a stunning panoramic sunset view of Edinburgh Castle, refreshments, and nibbles. It was a fantastic night bursting with energy and musically accompanied by the incredible DJ Josh Kilimanjaro.

To us, Coconut & Cane represents an opportunity to tackle a lack of representation in the film industry. We couldn’t be happier about the turnout and wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who came together to make this event possible.


 Photography: ©Jamal Yussuff-Adelakun

“We [should always] remember that our ancestors went through so much, so we could be here and tell our stories.
All we have to do is just be.”

- Courttia Newland


From the whole AiM Team, we truly hope you enjoyed the first-ever events of the series as much as we did. As our first in-person event since 2019, this one will have a pretty special place in all of our hearts. We can’t wait to reconnect again soon! And just in case you couldn’t make it to either of our big screen events, Lingui, The Sacred Bonds is currently available on MUBI UK - watch it here for FREE with our special partnership link, and Foresight is playing on All 4. Let’s continue to support Black creatives and their voices within the industry!


 “Whether through the prism of slavery or migration - so long as we’re investing in community and together[ness], we’ll be alright.” 

- Akinola Davies


To stay up to date on upcoming events and projects, follow us @AiMfilmfest on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.



This event was made possible thanks to Culture Edinburgh, Filmhouse, Film4, BE United, KWISA, and ACES.


Speaker Biographies

Eilidh Akilade is a writer and editor at The Skinny. She covers a range of topics around culture, intersectional feminism and race. Eilidh has also written for other publications such as gal-dem, Bella Caledonia, and GUM.

Dr Chisomo Kalinga is a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and is working on a research project that engages how indigenous literary practices (performance, form and aesthetics) are used to address community health and wellbeing in Malawi. She is also collaborating with the Malawi University of Science and Technology to launch the Malawi Medical Humanities Network (MMHN) - an interdisciplinary network for Malawian researchers worldwide to share events, programmes, projects, and exhibitions that explore the link between health and the humanities.

Florence Menzies has been living in Scotland since 1969 and is part of the Afrikan Caribbean Elders Association, which strives to be the voice of the diaspora and to establish lasting relationships in Scotland. She is a Kenyan mother of four, former nurse, and co-founder of Afridonia - a dance group set up in Edinburgh. Florence has always had a passion for caring and giving back to the community.

Esther Kamonji is part of KWISA, which was established for the development and empowerment of African women and their families, so that they may achieve their full potential in their local communities and in Scotland, the UK, and Africa as a whole.