As an adult Maya feels like an ordinary Dane, while Jeanette identifies as black. She feels a strong connection to her father’s African ancestors, who were shipped from Ghana to the Caribbean as slaves. All her artwork challenges structural racism, which she sees as pervasive in Danish mentality and society.
Maya begins to realise that there is a chapter in their shared history that she unknowingly has skipped. And that it is necessary for her to try to see things from Jeanette’s perspective in order to maintain their friendship.
The visual artist, Jeannette Ehlers, and the director, Maya Albana, became best friends when they were children. They both had Danish mothers and non-Danish fathers, from Trinidad and Malaysia respectively. This created a common bond between them in Odense in the 80s, where people of colour were a rare sight. Their friendship has lasted more than 30 years, but something between them has radically changed.
As we approach the 100-year anniversary for the sale of the former Danish colony, the Danish West Indies, Jeanette decides to build a memorial: A gigantic sculpture of the female rebel Queen Mary, who was one of the main leaders of the labour revolt, Fireburn, which aimed to change the poor living conditions for the plantations workers at St. Croix. The sculpture is made in collaboration with La Vaughn Belle, an artist from US Virgin Islands.
During the four years it takes to build the sculpture, Maya gets to grips with the reasons for Jeanette’s change.
”A The Black Chapter” is a personal story about friendship and understanding the DNA of racism. It challenges the common version of the history of Denmark and prompts the audience to consider what it really means to be Danish.