A self-proclaimed “child of the world,” Hall, though already comfortably ensconced in the pantheon of British intellectual deities, deserves far wider public recognition for his outstanding contribution to postwar culture, art and thought—as does, for that matter, Akomfrah, who, thankfully, at last seems to be getting the prominence his directing talents deserve.
As Akomfrah himself has eloquently said, “To hear Stuart Hall speak about what it is to be different in society gave you a sense not simply of self but of agency, of what you could do with your life.” I wholly concur. This film gave me a sense of what I, too, could achieve with my life. Hopefully, those watching, from whichever social stratum or racial background they hail, can be similarly inspired. Such would be a fitting legacy for Hall, a cerebral man for all seasons and for all peoples.
Editor’s note: The Unfinished Conversation by John Akomfrah is currently showing at Tate Britain until March 23, 2014. The Unfinished Conversation was commissioned by Autograph ABP, London. For more information visit tate.org.uk.
Lindsay Johns is a London-based writer and broadcaster. He currently blogs on current affairs and culture for the Daily Mail online.