Film Screening: Free Renty and a Live Q&A with Director David Grubin

Tuesday 11th October

CSIS is pleased to host a film screening of Free Renty: A story of slavery, Harvard University and decolonising the archives


To celebrate Black History Month CSIS is pleased to host a film screening of Free Renty: A story of slavery, Harvard University and decolonising the archives.

About this Event:

Free Renty (2021) is an American documentary film centring on the debate surrounding ownership of historic artefacts associated with slavery, are they the property of the enslavers or the enslaved? The film follows Tamara Lanier, an African American woman who has filed a lawsuit against Harvard University to acquire daguerreotypes (a historic form of photography) of her enslaved ancestor (her great-great-great grandfather) named Renty. These daguerreotypes were commissioned by a Harvard professor to use in their research and teachings in order to “prove the superiority” of the white race. This documentary, and the continued court case, advances contemporary debates around decolonising the archives and university curriculum.

After we screen the film we will be joined live (via Zoom link) by the Director David Grubin. David is an accomplished director, writer, cinematographer, and producer who has produced over 100 films on topics of art, history, and science. He will discuss how he was introduced to Tamara Lanier, filming this documentary, and take questions from audience members.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

For more details about the film, see:

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