Daughters of the Dust

Members of the Peazant family struggle with the decision to leave their island and move north. On the eve of their departure, memories of their Gullah history and its African roots come rising to the surface.
January 2019
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Daughters of the Dust

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Director: Julie Dash

Presented by: Galerie Myrtis

Starring: Alva Rogers, Bahni Turpin, Barbara-O, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Cora Lee Day, Tony King, Trula Hoosier


1991, USA, 112 minutes, Digital, PG

Distributor: Cohen Media

Program Notes

At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina — former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions — struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.

Cohen Media Group is proud to present the 25th anniversary restoration of director Julie Dash’s landmark film Daughters of the Dust. The first wide release by a black female filmmaker, Daughters of the Dust was met with wild critical acclaim and rapturous audience response when it initially opened in 1991. Casting a long legacy, Daughters of the Dust still resonates today, most recently as a major in influence on Beyonce’s video album Lemonade. Restored (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first time with proper color grading overseen by cinematographer Arthur Jafa, audiences will finally see the film exactly as Julie Dash intended.

“One of the best of all American independent films; [Dash] turns one family’s experience of the Great Migration into a vast mythopoetic adventure.”
— Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“It is an astonishing, vivid portrait not only of a time and place, but of an era’s spirit.”
— Rita Kempley, Washington Post

Presented in conjunction with Delita Martin’s solo exhibition Between Spirits and Sisters, on view at Galerie Myrtis through February 2, 2019.

“-Women create Sande on the spot where they group together, sharing with one another, excluding men. This space is defined by privacy and secrecy- Women together in their womanhood, in a free exchange of words and actions among sisters -This is Sande.”
— Sylvia Ardyn Boone, Radiance From The Waters: Ideals of Feminine Beauty in Mende Art

The duality of women in this body of work project the spirit and its connection to the physical world, which reinforces the bond amongst women and how they co-exist in the physical and spiritual realms. The mask seen in the work is my interpretation of the Mende mask, specifically created for young girls being initiated into Sande. These masks are created as a reminder that human beings have a dual existence viewed as one body.

Join Delita Martin and Myrtis Bedolla for a post-film discussion in which Martin will reflect on the film in relation to her work.

Delita Martin is an artist currently based in Huffman, Texas. She received a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University and an MFA in printmaking from Purdue University. Formerly a member of the Fine Arts faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Martin currently works as a full-time artist in her studio, Black Box Press.

Working from oral traditions, vintage and family photographs as a source of inspiration, Martin’s work explores the power of the narrative impulse. Her process of layering various printmaking, drawing, sewing collaging and painting techniques allow her to create portrait that fuse the real and the fantastic. In her work, she combines signs and symbols to create visual language. By fusing this visual language with oral storytelling, she offers other identities and other narratives for women of color.

Myrtis Bedolla is the founding director of Galerie Myrtis, a contemporary fine art gallery and art advisory located in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2017, Galerie Myrtis was voted, Best Gallery by the Baltimore Sun. Bedolla possesses over 30 years of experience as an advisor to individual collectors, and public and private institutions in the acquisition and sale of fine art; and provides professional curatorial services, lectures and educational programming to corporate, civic and arts organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, University College, and received her curatorial training at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and earned an on-line certificate in Cultural Theory for Curators from the Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Berlin, Germany.

More information about Between Spirits and Sisters can be found on Galerie Myrtis’ website HERE.

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