Promonews - 27th Jan 2021

Having collaborated with Headie One and Fred again.. on her latest release, FKA twigs has collaborated with director Emmanuel Adjei on the magisterial video for Don't Judge Me - a metaphorical exploration of the experience of being Black and British today.

This is a double whammy of two distinct sequences that have their own riveting quality, and then weave together towards the greater message. Like most things created by twigs and Adjei - directors who are working together for the first time - they gradually create an indelible impression.

On the one hand, there is twigs herself, sitting in a chair a grand room in a grand English house. But can she escape what reveals itself to be a gilded cage. Before she can get through the door of the room, unseen forces drag her back to the chair. When she negotiates the door, she only gets so far before flying back to her first position once again. It's a continual struggle, which increasingly calls upon angular choreography as well as wirework.     

And then in a mysterious counter-scenario to twigs's struggles, we are taken into another scene, the details of strange and shocking sculpture, and the people surrounding it. The artwork is Kara Walker's fountain sculpture Fons Americanus, a satirical take on a classic Victorian mode of art, cast in concrete - which has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London. The cast around the sculpture are eminent Black Britons - listed below - who have shared a particular struggle, shaped by cultural, systemic and structural biases, to be who they have become.

"From someone’s appearance, we are unable to judge whether a person discriminates over colour, sex, religion, or gender," says Emmanuel Adjei, talking about the theme of The Invisible Oppressor, which has informed the video for Don't Judge Me. "The oppressors within the people surrounding us, most often remain invisible until their abuse against others is revealed. This is one of the reasons why, for generations, discrimination is so hard to fight. Who must the victim fight against if it can’t identify the perpetrator?

"In this audio-visual document we get to witness artists FKA Twigs and Headie One, amongst other Black British influentials, fighting against invisible forces of judgement and oppression. Having the enormous Victorian-inspired fountain 'Fons Americanus' by visual artist Kara Walker - depicting the historical, sorrowful story of slavery and colonization - as our setting, and particularly as the spirit of the film, this important monument creates another layer of depth and meaning to an invisible yet shared history."

PRO Credits


DirectorEmmanuel Adjei
DirectorFKA Twigs
ProducerMorgan Clement
ProducerAlex Chamberlain
Production CompanyObject & Animal
Executive ProducerMorgan Clement
Executive ProducerDom Thomas
Production ManagerChanel Parkinson
1st ADTy Hack
Director of PhotographyPaul Özgür
Focus PullerMichael Hobdell
2nd ACJomar O’Meally
2nd ACElisa Spigariol
GafferWill Pope
Art DirectorPaulina Rzeszowska
WardrobeTheo White
WardrobeMatthew Josephs
HairTaiba Taiba
Make-upMarina Belfon-rose
Make-upBea Sweet
EditorMatt Newman
EditorEmmanuel Adjei
Editing companyTrim Editing
ColouristJoppo Te Veldhuizen
Grading companyDe Grot
Post production companyMathematic
Post ProducerHadi Dahrouge
Post ProducerMikaella Zarka
VFXFred Brandon
CommissionerScott Wright
LabelYoung Turks
LabelXL Recordings
Other creditsCast: Clara Amfo, Efua Baker, Munroe Bergdorf, Nicole Crentsil, Lisa Elde, Danto Earth, Renni Eddo-lodge, Solomon O.b, Mahlon Romeo, Kukua Williams, Benjamin Zephaniah

Promonews - 27th Jan 2021

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