On Multiple Screens, John Akomfrah Deftly Weaves Tales of the African Diaspora

John Akomfrah’s extraordinary survey at the New Museum, “Signs of Empire,” should be required viewing for those who consider themselves activists, artists, critics or leaders — or people who simply want to expand their worldview.

His four video installations, which take up the museum’s entire second floor, explore postcolonial history, nature and migration. And several films, including his best-known work, “The Last Angel of History” (1995), serving as an investigation into the origins of Afrofuturism — how culture from Africa and the African diaspora intersects with technology — are screening on Wednesdays in the museum’s basement.

Mr. Akomfrah, a Ghanian-born, British artist who is receiving his first museum survey exhibition in the United States, emerged as an artist with…

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