The final of the trilogy, Dear Babylon begins with the introduction of the fictional “AC30 Housing Bill”, which states that London tenants renting from a housing association must pay a flat fee of £18,000 to their landlords to continue their tenancy.
This provocation sets the narrative in motion: we’re transported to a gauzy, neon-coloured house party, a disco ball swirling lights around the sound of lovers rock. When news comes down about the bill passing, our trio of protagonists—Ada, Jazz and Rooney—mobilise to interview their neighbours and create a film on the situation. (Though Jazz asks: “How is a film going to change public opinion? I prefer my riot idea…’). Thus, with Dear Babylon, Akingbade narrativized her own project. The beautifully shot film is anything but a standard take on gentrification, and makes the viewer encouraged that the artist will continue to find new forms to further continue working on the important topics which her work has sustained time and again.
Ayo Akingbade (UK) is an artist and film director based in London. Her works draw on notions of urbanism, power and stance. Her 2016 film Tower XYZ received a Special Mention Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and won the inaugural Sonja Savić Award at Alternative Film/Video Festival (Belgrade). She is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and exhibited in ‘New Contemporaries’. Akingbade is a graduate of London College of Communication and is currently studying at Royal Academy Schools.
Claudette’s Star (2019), So They Say (2019), Dear Babylon (2019), A is for Artist (2018), Street 66 (2018), Tower XYZ (2016), In Ur Eye (2015)