Dark Matter by Adeyemi Michael
It was during the DARK MATTER exhibition in Science Gallery London that History of Dark Matter Retold was conceptualised. Scientist and actress Laura-Joy Pieters collaborated with director Adeyemi Michael to produce a film that portrayed Laura’s birth and heritage. When speaking about what she wished to communicate with the film, Laura expressed that “The achievements of black women are all around us and are present throughout history, yet they are rarely ever seen or acknowledged, much like the nature of the elusive dark matter”.
One of the best things about the film is that it conveys how science can overlap with fantasy, and how fantasy is often the best narrator of real-life experiences. It uses science fiction to engage in a retelling of the discovery of dark matter, using the birth of a black woman, a group who know well what it feels like to balance ubiquity and invisibility in unison. American sci-fi author Octavia Butler spoke about black women in science fiction, a genre that was originally considered to be for boys, and how in retellings of weird and wonderful realities, a lot of authors‘ imaginations didn’t stretch as far as to include female protagonists – and until we started writing our own stories it was unimaginable that black women could be protagonists too.
DARK MATTER originated at Science Gallery at King’s College London in 2019.
Adeyemi Michael is a Nigerian born, London raised multi-award winning artist and filmmaker. His work deals with reimagining the human experience and placing value on the African Diaspora. He is intent on carving out narratives that allow the stories he tells to have agency, nuance and license to be free from constraint. His latest Fantasy Documentary ‘Entitled’ for Channel 4’s Random Acts screened at BFI London Film Festival (2018) and London Short Film Fest and won Best Short Film at the Screen Nation Awards (2019).
Laura Joy Pieters is a chemistry graduate and actress who is passionate about the representation of science in the performing arts. Her specific interest lies in science fiction that questions where we came from and where we might be headed, unravelling the world’s greatest mysteries and telling stories from lesser heard voices. This includes works of Afrofuturism that allows herself and others a platform for their experiences.