Fresh from hearing his goosebump-inducing talk at The Design Indaba conference last week, we are still trying to process the force that Sunu Gonera is. The Zimbabwean-born director who settled in Los Angeles for work on a new movie has not faltered in his goal of sparking a very important conversation about black identity.
His talk at the recent Design Indaba was credited as one of the best, which is nothing to scoff at when you consider that he was the first speaker of the entire festival. In the talk, he spoke about his approach to Afrofuturism and how it’s enabled him to express who he truly is. Admitting that he’s not entirely sure what Afrofuturism is, he thinks it’s about black culture merging their origins with the possibilities that lie ahead of them.
There exists no better example of Gonera’s conscious handling of this subject than his campaign for Absolut Vodka with rapper Kuli Chana. The video is a sumptuous representation of an otherworldly African reality and paired with Chana’s irresistible music, it was always going to be a hit and it was. It took home every accolade it was nominated for, including a Gold Lion in entertainment.
In a time when black and African culture is finally receiving the attention and respect it deserves, creatives like Sunu Gonera is an important trail-blazer. Consider the scope of someone’s experiences, from growing up in Zimbabwe in the midst of a civil war, to moving to Los Angeles – the land of plenty. He’s seen every facet of human nature and through his skill, he’s able to portray that in a raw and honest way.
Though Gonera has been producing stellar work for a while, most notably the film Pride in 2007, his latest work is simply a cut above. It goes without saying that this African talent is one to watch, in every capacity.
Watch the video that Sunu Gonera directed for Absolut Vodka’s One Source campaign.