Author Archives: blackatlanticresource

NOCTAMBULES: the hidden transcripts

Noctambules(version française en bas)

We are very happy to invite you to join us for the opening of our exhibition “NOCTAMBULES: the hidden transcripts” on occasion of the 7th “Forum Transculturel d’Art Contemporain” in Port-au-Prince in Haiti on April 6th, 2015.

“NOCTAMBULES: the hidden transcripts”

photographs by Josué Azor
curated by David Frohnapfel



19h30, 6th April, 2015
Villa Kalewes, 99 Rue Gregoire, Petionvile, Port-au-Prince


Conference & Artist Talk “La deconstruction du genre”

Barbara Prezeau-Stephenson, Josué Azor, Maksaens Denis and David Frohnapfel in conversation
16h30-18h30, 7th April, 2015
FOKAL, 143 Avenue Christophe, Port-au-Prince


Concept Note

Haiti’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities have long kept a low profile because of a strong social stigma that sparks fear of physical violence or social isolation. The Caribbean in general was often labeled as one of the most homo- und transphobic regions in the world. In April 2015 theforum transculturel d’art contemporain will discuss the theme Creation & Counterpower. As part of this conceptual framework the exhibition project “NOCTAMBULES: the hidde transcripts” will ask which social processes mark the LGBT community in Port-au-Prince as deviant and how homosexuality can manifest itself as a powerful counter-culture in this hostile and heteronormative environment. Which are the hidden transcripts (James Scott) and communal bonds the LGBT community in Port-au-Prince creates to resist marginalization and heal the wounds of permanent sexual oppression? Can art be a mechanism to escape the heteronormative matrix of power by developing particular queer aesthetic sensibilities? Can we find certain aesthetic codes that resist against a hetero-centrist colonialization of the visual arts? Josué Azor’s photographs document how an engagement celebration of two men was violently interrupted by homophobic attacks and juxtaposes these disturbing images of violence with the joyful celebrations of gay youth in Port-au-Prince at night. These juxtapositions of violence and release create awareness of queer infrapolitics and reflect on the socio-political disobedience of men and women in Haiti who search for possibilities to escape social discrimination and oppression by a dominant hetero-patriarchy.

David Frohnapfel & Josué Azor

Je suis très heureux de vous inviter de nous joinder pour le vernissage de nôtre exposition « NOCTAMBULES: the hidden transcripts » dans le cadre du « 7e Forum Transculturel d’Art Contemporain » à Port-au-Prince en Haïti le 6e d’avril 2015.


“NOCTAMBULES: the hidden transcripts”

Photographies de Josué Azor
Commissaire d’exposition David Frohnapfel



19h30, 6e d’avril 2015
Villa Kalewes, 99 Rue Gregoire, Petionvile, Port-au-Prince


Conférence & Artist Talk “La deconstruction du genre”

Barbara Prezeau-Stephenson, Josué Azor, Maksaens Denis et David Frohnapfel en conversation
16h30-18h30, 7e d’avril 2015
FOKAL, 143 Avenue Christophe, Port-au-Prince


Concept note

Les communautés gay, lesbien et transgender de Haïti ont pour longtemps adopté un profil bas à cause d’un fort stigma social provocant peur de violence physique ou isolation sociale. En générale les Caraïbes étaient souvent considérés l’une des régions les plus homo- et transphobes du monde. En avril 2015 le forum transculturel d’art contemporain discutera le sujet de Création et Contre-pouvoir. Dans ce cadre conceptuel le projet d’exposition “NOCTAMBULES: the hidde transcripts” s’interroge sur le type de procès sociaux qui identifient la communauté LGBT à Port-au-Prince comme déviante et comment l’homosexualité peut se manifester par un contre-culture puissante au sein de cet environnement hostile et hétéronormatif. Quels sont les hidden transcripts (James Scott) et liens communautaires que la communauté LGBT à Port-au-Prince met en place pour résister la marginalisation et guérir les blessures d’une oppression sexuelle permanente? Est-il possible que l’art puisse devenir un mécanisme pour s’échapper du matrix hétéronormatif du pouvoir en développant de spécifiques sensibilités esthétiques queer? Est-il possible de trouver certains codes esthétiques qui résistent une colonisation hétérocentriste des arts visuels? Les photographes de Josué Azor documentent comment une célébration de fiançailles de deux hommes fut interrompue violemment par des attaques homophobes et juxtaposent ces images troublantes avec les célébrations joyeuses de jeunes gays dans la nuit à Port-au-Prince. Ces juxtapositions de violence et décharge rendent compte d’une infrapolitique queer et réfléchissent sur la désobéissance socio-politique d’hommes et femmes en Haïti qui cherchent des possibilités de s’échapper à la discrimination et oppression sociale d’un hétéro-patriarcat dominant.

David Frohnapfel & Josué Azor

Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean

Marlon Griffith, 2012, Kawa no ji, japanese washi, dimensions variable, installed at Mino, Gifu, Japan.

Marlon Griffith, 2012, Kawa no ji, japanese washi, dimensions variable, installed at Mino, Gifu, Japan.

‘Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean’ explores how the understanding and formation of sustainable community for the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. It fosters networks of exchange and collaboration among academics, artists, curators and policymakers from the UK and the Netherlands, as well as various countries in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean and their diasporas.

The second conference in this series will be held this week (3-4th December 2013) at InIVA, London – to see the full conference programme click here

Confirmed speakers include:
Alessio Antoniolli (UK), Marielle Barrow (Trinidad),
Charles Campbell (Jamaica/UK), Annalee Davis (Barbados),
Joy Gregory (UK), Therese Hadchity (Barbados),
Glenda Heyliger (Aruba), Rosemarijn Hoefte (Netherlands),
Yudhishthir Raj Isar (France/India), Tessa Jackson (UK),
Nancy Jouwe (Netherlands), Charl Landvreugd (Netherlands),
Wayne Modest (Netherlands),
Petrona Morrison (Jamaica), Jynell Osborne (Guyana),
Marcel Pinas (Suriname),
Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname), Leon Wainwright (UK), and Kitty Zijlmans (Netherlands)

Sustainable Art Communities is a two-year international research project led by Dr Leon Wainwright (The Open University, UK), with Co-Investigator Professor Dr Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden University), funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, UK), in partnership with the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam and Iniva, the Institute of International Visual Arts, London.

The First Conference in this series was held earlier this year (5-6th  February 2013) at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

Speakers included:

Petrina Dacres (Jamaica), Marlon Griffith (Japan/Trinidad), Rosemarijn Höfte (Netherlands), Tessa Jackson (UK), Erica James (US/Bahamas), Roshini Kempadoo (UK), Tirzo Martha (Curaçao), Wayne Modest (Netherlands), Nicholas Morris (Germany/Jamaica), Alex van Stipriaan (Netherlands), Leon Wainwright (UK) and Kitty Zijlmans (Netherlands).

Marlon Griffith, Location and Actions, Panel 4 Paper 2, 5 February 2013, Tropenmuseum

Marlon Griffith, Location and Actions, Panel 4 Paper 2, 5 February 2013, Tropenmuseum

Video footage of the conference is now available online at the Open Arts Archive.

To find out more about the project, the theme underpinning it and the resources generated from it click here.

The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History Conference

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


“The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History Conference” will take place on October 27–28, 2013, at the International Slavery Museum and Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool, England. [For full description, see previous post Call for Papers: The Black Jacobins Revisited—Rewriting History.]

The Conference Programme includes presentations by Selwyn Cudjoe (Wellesley); Robert A. Hill (UCLA and C.L.R. James’s Literary Executor); Bill Schwarz (QMUL); Christian Høgsbjerg (Leeds Met); Rachel Douglas (University of Glasgow); Fabienne Viala (University of Warwick); Peter Fraser (Institute of Commonwealth Studies); Nigel Carter (London Met); Raphael Dalleo (Florida Atlantic University); Rawle Gibbons (University of the West Indies, Director of three Caribbean Productions of The Black Jacobins Play); Yvonne Brewster (Director of London Production of The Black Jacobins Play; Founder of Talawa Theatre Company); and Nick Nesbitt (Princeton); among others.

There will also be a reading of extracts—Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History

View original 78 more words

Call for Papers – New Voices: Art and Decolonisation

We are happy to share this call for papers for New Voices annual one-day conference, organized by the AAH Student Members Committee, whose theme this year is: Art and Decolonisation.

Voldemārs Matvejs (Vladimir Markov) Bamana culture group, Mali, photographed in Musée du quai Branly, 1913. Courtesy Information Center, Art Academy of Latvia

Voldemārs Matvejs (Vladimir Markov) Bamana culture group, Mali, photographed in Musée du quai Branly, 1913. Courtesy Information Center, Art Academy of Latvia

Date of event: 16 November 2013

Location: Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

Deadline for abstracts: 1 October 2013

Art and its histories have ‘complex entanglements’ with empire and imperialism, to borrow a phrase from theorist Nikos Papastergiadis. In collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute, New Voices investigates the intersections of art and decolonisation to ask what the specific implications of decolonisation are for art and art history. This symposium turns attention to the geo-political struggles, revolutions and cultural recalibrations that artists and art historians have championed, challenged and negotiated as imperialism and colonialism weakened their grip and took on new forms.

We invite proposals that explore themes including:

  • Art, national independence and self-determination
  • Cultural affirmation and hybridity
  • International Indigenous collectives and networks
  • Global exhibitions and the complexities of national representation
  • Contemporary approaches to ethnographic collections
  • Historiography, methodologies and their relationships to decolonisation
  • Case studies of how curators, artists and collectors have engaged with postcolonial art historiography to produce new narratives while learning from the past

Submit abstracts of 350 words, with a 150-word biography, to the organisers, Charlotte Stokes, Imogen Wiltshire, Sibyl Fisher and Anna Beketov, by 1 October 2013 via email: 

To read the call for papers in full click here

To find out more information about this one-day conference of the AAH website click here

CFC: SAVVY Journal 5th Edition


At The Shrine

Reflections, Reciprocalities and Reverberations: Fine Art and Music

The fifth edition of the SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art will explore the influence of music on contemporary art practices and map interfaces between visual media, fine art, and music in the African and African diaspora context. The title of this collection, “At the Shrine” is a reference to Fela Kuti‘s Shrine Nightclub and concert venue; a cultural space and an epitome of a social sculpture. This music venue captures our vision of the links between visual expression, music, and critical inquiry.

The mutual relationship between music and fine art, which goes back to time immemorial, manifests itself on different levels. Both artistic languages inform each other in diverse enriching ways. Some of these points of intersection that have crystallized and proven to be ground-breaking in a variety of disciplines in recent decades include, but are not limited to: Performance/ Performativity – e.g. the enigmatic blend of music and performance art, as in the case of Les Têtes Brulées, or the socio-political vigour channelled through the audio and visual of Fela Kuti’s music, which has since been an important source of inspiration for many visual artists; Photography – e.g. the presence of James Brown’s music in Malick Sidibe’s photography, the synergy between Johannesburg’s jazz scene and a whole generation of Drum photographers, or the field of music portraiture championed by the likes of Samuel Nja Kwa; Video – ranging from video art, as in the case of Goddy Leye’s “We Are The World”, to music video clips featuring a variety of musical styles from Azonto, through Coupé Decalé or Kwaito to Rai that have completely transformed the production and consumption of popular culture in Africa; Illustration, Patterning, and Painting – which have been essential in the making of outstanding record covers and album posters; the interconnectedness between music and fashion design; the influence of the likes of Sun Ra on Afrofuturism; Experimental Composition and Sound Art as in the case of Emeka Ogboh; Theatre/ Theatricality – the links in popular theatre traditions between multimedia theatre groups that rely on popular music bands and sign-board painters, such as in Ghanaian and Nigerian Concert Party traditions; Electronica – artists, musicians are creatively reusing music software, online resources, and mobile phone technologies to refigure older styles of music, dance, communication and visual imaging. Some of these forms are explicitly understood as art while others are ephemeral forms of expression. Street Art – graffiti, spoken word, poetry, street dance are forms that link musical, political and counter-cultural expression.

This edition of SAVVY Journal is not intended as an anthology of music and fine art. Instead, we   ask contributors to investigate where disciplines meet, how genres are demarcated, and what emerges from their various encounters, as well as explore the nexus between performativity, fine art, music and technology. Indeed we are concerned with the ways in which ideas of genre and modality are themselves made and unmade in artistic practice. We are interested in articles on the role of sound appropriation in the conceptualisation of art works and of visual aspects in the creation, performance and consumption of sound and music.

Furthermore, this edition will explore and identify those artists who, using various textures and formats, work on this crossroad of sound and vision. Also, from a more general point of view, we are interested in reflections on how the encounter of image and sound in popular music has influenced culture and society. The impact of soundtracks on social and political movements on and beyond the continent would be another fascinating topic.

For this edition, the SAVVY Journal editorial will be enriched by the following guest-editors:

Dr. Hauke Dorsch (African Music Archives, Mainz), Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga / Pan African Space Station, Cape Town) and Prof. Jesse Weaver Shipley (Haverford College, Philadelphia).

We invite essays from writers of all backgrounds – artists, curators, art historians, and theoreticians, scholars – not exceeding 3500 words in length, discussing the above mentioned or related issues.

Additionally, we are interested in more general articles such as artist-features, exhibition reviews and previews of circa 1500 words.

For more information please visit

Submissions to:

Deadline: 15th August 2013


  • Manuscripts with max. 3500 words in length, as text document WITHOUT formatting
  • Author’s names and short biography of ca. 100 words at the end of the article
  • Texts must be accompanied by five keywords
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English or German. All German texts should also be accompanied by an English translation
  • All bibliographic references must be included in the document’s last page
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT  use the footnote or endnote facility in your word-processing program; just add the notes, numbered, at the end of the main text
  • VERY IMPORTANT: please include the following info: – artist’s (or author’s) name in CAPTIONS, title of work must be in italic, date of work, media, dimensions, collection (or place of exhibition), photo credits. e.g._: Jane Alexander, The Butcher Boys, 1985/86 (plaster sculpture), National Gallery of Arts, Cape Town, South Africa.
SAVVY | art.contemporary.african
SAVVY | kunst.zeitgenössisch.afrikanisch
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Chief-Editor)
Andrea Heister (Dep. Chief-Editor)
SAVVY Journal c/o SAVVY Contemporary e.V.
Richard Str. 43/44
12005 Berlin

Book Review: Wounds of Returning

We are pleased to announce that a new book review by postgraduate student James West of the University of Manchester has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which takes a look at the 2007 publication Wounds of Returning.

Jessica Adams, Wounds of Returning: Race, Memory and Property on the Postslavery Plantation, 2007 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)

Wounds of Returning book coverThe author’s description of this study as an ‘eclectic, unconventional plantation tour’ (15-­‐16) probably best surmises Wounds of Returning, a highly original but often frustrating work on the spatial, cultural and ideological legacy of southern plantations since emancipation. Adams builds from a Lockean foundation concerning the connection between property and the individual to argue that race forms an integral part of the relationship between possession, property and personhood in the American south. Using a wide array of cultural and literary artefacts Adams assesses the ways in which plantation culture has been negotiated through film, music, literature and tourism …read more

If you are interested in contribution a book review to the Black Atlantic Resource please contact us.

Frederick Douglass Heritage Plaque

Many thanks to Hannah Rose Murray for passing on this information:

Abolitionist-Frederick-DouglassFrederick Douglass, famed abolitionist and former African American slave, is well known in the United States for his work as a social activist. His travels in Britain however, are often neglected on both sides of the Atlantic, but the Nubian Jak Community Organisation hopes to change this. Created by Jak Beula, this non-profit organisation has installed numerous heritage plaques to African Americans and Black Britons, including Malcolm X and John Archer (among others). On the 20th February, a plaque to Frederick Douglass will be unveiled in Kensington, at the former home of British abolitionist George Thompson. (Whilst lecturing in London, Douglass stayed at Thompson’s house.)

Born a slave in 1818, Frederick Douglass grew up on a plantation in Maryland. He escaped slavery in 1838, and attracted the attention of William Lloyd Garrison, who recognised Douglass’s talent for oratory. Douglass travelled here in 1845 for nineteen months, creating a sensation across the country.

The heritage plaque is supported by the U.S. Embassy, who will be there on the 20th, as will NBC news. Local school children have also become involved in the project, and some of their work will be displayed in the Embassy.

To find out more information about how you can support the Nubian Jak organization and the Frederick Douglass heritage plaque project please visit:

You can follow “Nubian Jak Projects” on Facebook or on Twitter: @nubianjak