Nosferasta: The Book
Spanning 500 years of colonial destruction, human trafficking and blood sucking, Nosferasta is a Rastafarian vampire film that reimagines Oba’s origin story in the late 15th century, when he is seduced by the vampire Christopher Columbus, ensuring his undying allegiance to the colonial project. Combining film forms and jumping across multiple timelines,
Nosferasta examines the guilt of being complicit in imperial conquest, while acknowledging the extreme difficulty of unlearning centuries of vampiric conditioning. Ultimately, the film tackles an uncomfortable question:
How can you decolonise yourself, if it’s in your blood?
Interspersed with excerpts from Oba’s literacy diaries, Nosferasta: The Book features critical essays, speculative fiction and visual contributions by Peggy Ahwesh, Lou Cornum, Alex Esco, Sabel Gavaldon, Adam Khalil, Mutabaruka, Oba, Austin Sley Julian, Bayley Sweitzer, and Laura Vallés. Designed by fag tips (aka Virgil b/g Taylor).
Nosferasta: The Book is published by Gasworks as part of the European Cooperation project 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, co-funded by Creative Europe and the Royal College of Art.
Marking the first UK commission by Brooklyn-based filmmakers Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer in collaboration with Oba, Gasworks has published a 176-page book that explores the ever-expanding vampiric universe of Nosferasta.
Adam Khalil is a filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn. He was raised as a member of the Ojibway tribe in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He is a core contributor to New Red Order (NRO), and a co-founder of COUSIN, a collective that supports Indigenous artists expanding the form of film. His work has featured at the Whitney Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, and e-flux, New York; Tate Modern, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Toronto Biennial. Grants and awards include an Alpert Award in the Arts, Creative Capital, Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, and Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Bayley Sweitzer is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn. His work has featured at Film at Lincoln Center and Anthology Film Archives, New York; LACMA, Los Angeles; Other Cinema, San Francisco; Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Modern, London; Bozar, Brussels; Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; and the Berlinale. He is recipient of a Creative Capital Award. Sweitzer also works professionally as a focus puller and is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. He acts as a settler accomplice of the collective New Red Order (NRO).
Oba ‘the Artist and Musician’. Born Wendell Scotts in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Oba is an artist, chef and actor based in Brooklyn. His paintings, sculptures and t-shirts have featured at Motel Gallery and Rumpelstiltskin, Brooklyn. From 2016 to 2018, Oba was lead singer of the avant-noise supergroup Dead Companionship alongside Austin Sley Julian, Adam and Zack Khalil. He starred as King Alpha in Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer’s 2018 film Empty Metal. Oba’s world-class corn soup has been slurped at the legendary Club Temptation in Flatbush, as well as fine establishments across the world.