In advance of the screening of Fatal Assistance, filmmaker and activist Raoul Peck joined the Forum for Scholars and Publics for a lunchtime discussion moderated by Achille Mbembe. They discussed Peck’s career as a filmmaker and his thoughts on contemporary visual representations of Africa and the Caribbean.
Filmmaker and political activist
Raoul Peck was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was educated in Haiti, Zaire (Congo), the United States, France and Germany. His parents fled the Duvalier dictatorship in 1961, finding asylum and a new life in the Republic of Congo, which became their second home for nearly twenty-five years. Peck initially attended school in Leopoldville, later public school in Brooklyn, New York, and finally Orleans, France. He lived for an extended time in Zaïre and Germany and studied industrial engineering and economics at Berlin University. He started a Ph.D. in Development Strategies, which he chose to abandon after two years following the sudden death of his doctorate mentor. He was accepted into the competitive film program at The Berlin Germany Academy of Film, where he received a degree 1984. Peck has worked as a journalist and photographer and film professor. He currently resides between France, Haïti and New York.
Duke University and Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research
Achille Mbembe specializes in French; Decolonial and Post-colonial Studies; and Globalization, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity. He holds a position at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has written extensively in African history and politics.