Tag Archives: Representation

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: artanddecolonisation@gmail.com 

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

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Symposium: Race, Representation, Resistance: Cultural Criticism in the Digital Age

Depaul University Symposium Header

Location: Courtelyou Commons, 2324 N. Fremont St., DePaul University, Chicago 
Date/Time: March 7th, 4-9pm.


This free public event will address the provocative, explorative and suggestive work of cultural critics in the digital age. It is particularly interested in how cultural critics address an age that is repeatedly depicted as post-soul, post-race and post-black. 


The symposium will feature three exceptionally talented, perceptive, and incisive writers who have consistently produced intellectual work that deepens our interest in arts and culture; reveals new meanings and perspectives; expands our sense of culture; confronts our assumptions about value and taste; and sharpens our ability to respond to cultural texts. 


Lewis Gordon teaches in the Department of Philosophy and the Institute for African American Studies, with affiliation in Judaic Studies, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He previously taught at Temple University (where he was a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy and founded and directed the Center for AfroJewish Studies and the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought), Brown University and Purdue University. He will deliver a talk relating to his recent work on the market colonization of the virtual public sphere.

Armond White is the editor of City Arts, for which he also writes articles and reviews. He was previously the lead film critic for the alternative weekly New York Press (1997–2011) and the arts editor and critic for The City Sun (1984–1996). His presentation is entitled, ‘Monster: How Celebrity Effects Black Identity,’ and will use key texts (literary, cinematic, musical) from the early 1900s to the present that detail the evolution of Black Power as both an aesthetic and political construct. 

Francesca Royster is a Professor of English at DePaul University who has written widely about Shakespeare, Race and Gender, Black Feminisms, Cultural Studies and Popular Culture, and Literature and Film. Her talk will trace a rebellious spirit in post-civil rights black music by addressing a range of offbeat, eccentric, queer, or slippery performances by leading musicians influenced by the cultural changes brought about by the civil rights, black nationalist, feminist, and LGBTQ movements.

Refreshments will be served at the event. 

Please contact Daniel McNeil (dmcneil2@depaul.edu) to RSVP

Book Review: Human Zoos

A new review by postgraduate research student Emily Trafford of the University of Liverpool’s School of Histories, Languages and Cultures has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which looks at the 2008 publication Human Zoos.

P. Blanchard, N. Bancel, G. Boёtsch, É. Deroo, S. Lemaire, C. Forsdick (eds), Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires, 2008 (Liverpool University Press: Liverpool)

This recent collection of essays on the display of human otherness moves beyond the wave of freak show literature of the 1980s and ‘90s, and seeks to provide a more comprehensive overview of this peculiar exhibitionary practice. The display of the exotic Other for entertainment, education, and supposedly the advancement of scientific knowledge, occurred in numerous guises throughout imperial nations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The strength of the volume lies in its scope – in terms of time and place, the historical characters and stories that emerge, and the disciplinary approaches that its contributors utilise – all of which make Human Zoos a valuable resource …read more

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

Representations of Slavery Symposium Audio Now Online!

Selected images from : Positive Negative Guardian Paperworks via: http://www.lubainahimid.info/

We are happy to announce that audio recordings for the symposium recently held at Newcastle University – Representations of Slavery in Neoliberal Times – are now freely available online.

The recordings of papers and subsequent roundtable discussion are available to listen to on the School of Arts and Cultures webpages, these include:

Alternative Empathies: Representing Slavery’s Affective Afterlives
, Carolyn Pedwell, Newcastle University

Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money, 
Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire

Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times,
 Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

To listen to these recordings click here. Thanks to sympoisum organiser Daniel McNeil for letting us know about this great resource.

Upcoming Symposium: Representations of Slavery in Neoliberal Times

PLEASE NOTE PROGRAMME IS UPDATED IN AN ABOVE POST

Selected images from: Positive Negative Guardian Paperworks by Lubaina Himid via: http://www.lubainahimid.info/

We are happy to announce a one-day symposium to  be held at the University of Newcastle on Friday 25th May.

This symposium brings together speakers who address neoliberalism, contemporary slavery and modern slavery through the concept of representation (visual, affective, cultural and media).  It is hosted by Media and Cultural Studies, the Postcolonial Research Group and the Gender Research Group at Newcastle University.

Location: Research Beehive, Room 2.20, Old Library Building, Newcastle University

Time/Date: Friday 25th May 2012, 13:00 – 18:00, followed by a wine reception at Northern Stage.

Speakers:

Professor Marcus Wood, School of English, University of Sussex

Film Performance and the Memory of Slavery in Very Liberal Times

Professor Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire

Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money

Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times

Roundtable participants:

Dr. Kate Manzo (Politics, Newcastle), Dr. Diana Paton (History, Newcastle), Dr. Rachel Wells (Fine Art, Newcastle)

This is a free event, but places are limited. To book a place, please contact: Carolyn Pedwell: carolyn.pedwell@ncl.ac.uk

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Abstracts

Film Performance and the Memory of Slavery in Very Liberal Times

Professor Marcus Wood, School of English, University of Sussex

Marcus Wood will introduce and screen three short performance films that explore how the traumatic memory of slavery and colonization has been encoded in art and literature. High Tar Babies questions assumptions surrounding the concept of blackness and is intimately related to Wood’s recent tar paintings about race, hatred, slavery, and love. Kiss the Bat plays with the symbolism of the baseball bat. It highlights its significance as a symbol of at once American achievement – in that the sport is a successful cultural export – and ghetto brutality, dysfunction and violence (the bat being a weapon of choice). Stick features the adventures of a giant hockey stick as it moves through the Baroda riots in Gujarat and various sacred spaces of Hindu culture in India.

Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money

Professor Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire 

This essentially visual presentation will attempt to show how The Guardian newspaper in 2007, and then just as strongly during subsequent years, constantly suggests that European sports teams and clubs disproportionally overspend when buying, selling and keeping black players.  While this is not an unusual stance by journalists in the British sporting press, The Guardian by frequently and jokily representing footballers and athletes via mocking photographs, degrading texts and or damaging juxtapositions of both, subtly ‘reminds’ its readers, many of whom are public health and social workers, teachers and academics as well as workers in the creative industries, of historically familiar racial stereotypes. The newspaper designers, by taking this approach, contribute to a situation in which the athletes remain within a ‘state of unbelonging’.

Much of Lubaina Himid’s recent creative visual practice has been taken up with building this archive of images and texts. The creation of a series of paper works, Negative Positives, in which ‘over-painting to emphasise’ has gone some way towards reclaiming the dignity of the people represented has however, to some degree, minimalised the findings and rendered them outside the debates they were intended to develop. Through the sharing of a range of these collected images both overpainted and in their original state, many from the year of commemoration 2007, Himid will invite discussion around how this subtle and oftentimes witty degradation of wealthy black elites undermines the campaigns opposed to contemporary slavery while at the same time visually fixing the black person as ‘other’ to be bought and sold.

Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times

Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

In dominant discourse on ‘trafficking’, mobility, debt and dependence are configured in a very particular way and the kind of debt involved is clearly marked as disturbing, dangerous, illegal, morally wrong. The trafficker’s objective is to make repayment impossible and so to establish personal, inescapable, and highly asymmetrical relations of power and dependency. Relations between trafficker and victim are represented as the very antithesis of freedom – trafficking is frequently referred to as ‘modern slavery’. And yet debt that generates relations of dependency is also often a feature of forms of mobility that are legally sanctioned; debt that compels people to take on work that they would otherwise refuse is hardly uncommon in Western liberal democracies; and the techniques used to recover legally sanctioned loans from citizen-debtors can be highly coercive. But legally sanctioned debt, backed by the coercive powers of the state, is not framed as ‘modern slavery’. Indeed, in neoliberal times, access to credit, i.e., the ability to indebt oneself by entering into socially sanctioned creditor-debtor relations, is a marker of social inclusion, something that both reflects and affirms political belonging and subjectivity. Starting from an interest in debt as a social relation, and in questions about why some debt relations are sanctioned while others are denounced, this paper is concerned with the ways in which liberal discourse on freedom, rights and citizenship constructs particular types of debt and dependency as ‘modern slavery’ while endorsing other arrangements that, from the vantage point of the individual affected, may appear equally if not more pernicious.

The full program me is now confirmed:

Programme of events 

1pm: Refreshments available

1.10 – 1.15: Welcome by Conference Co-Convener, Carolyn Pedwell, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University

1:15 – 2:15: Professor Marcus Wood, School of English, University of Sussex: Film Performance and the Memory of Slavery in Very Liberal Times

Chair: Daniel McNeil, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University

——————–

2:15 – 3:15: Professor Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire: Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money

Chair: Daniel McNeil

 ——————–

3:15 – 3.45: Coffee break

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3.45 – 4.45: Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham: Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times

Chair: Anne Graefer, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University

———————–

4.45 – 5.45: Roundtable

Dr. Kate Manzo (Geography, Newcastle University); Dr. Diana Paton (History, Newcastle University); Dr. Rachel Wells (Fine Art, Newcastle University)

Chair: Carolyn Pedwell

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6pm: Wine Reception, Northern Stage

PLEASE NOTE PROGRAMME IS UPDATED IN AN ABOVE POST


The French Atlantic: A Tricoloured Ocean Workshop

We are happy to announce an upcoming collaborative workshop that will focus on the French Atlantic:

“Final details – including the rationale behind the workshop, information about speakers and a full programme – for ‘The French Atlantic: A Tricoloured Ocean’ are now available on the website of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, based at the University of Liverpool:

http://www.liv.ac.uk/csis/

This is a collaborative workshop taking place at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, on Monday 21 May 2012 from 12.30 to 4.30 pm. As spaces are limited, we would be grateful if you would inform Devi Hardeen (d.hardeen@liv.ac.uk) by Monday 7 May 2012 if you would like to attend.

We hope that you will be able to join us.”

Video of the Week: After Hot-En-Tot: Two conversations with Artist Renée Cox

Following on from the popularity of an earlier post – If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and then you get kicked to the curb – focusing on the work of Renée Cox this week’s video feature includes two clips, each containing an interview with artist Renée Cox recorded at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art on 22 October 2009. The first is a conversation with an audience led by former Spelman Cosby chair Lisa E. Farrington, Ph.D., John Jay College, CUNY. The second is a one-on-one conversation that appears to have been filmed on the same day inside the Museum’s gallery space.

Each clip presents Cox ruminating on themes and driving forces behind her work including Race, Gender, Womanhood, Representation and Femininity. There are some overlaps in the conversation of each clip but also some interesting divergences.

The first conversation is pinned around specific works of Cox’s. It takes as its starting point the motivation for Cox’s work Hot-en-tot (1994) based on research she conducted which led her to find out about the “extraordinarily shocking histories” of human exhibition. Cox’s photographic work Hot-en-tot is inspired by the life and experiences of a Khosian woman, Saartje Baartman, who was objectified as a physiognomic curiosity and exhibited in Europe in the 19th century, as the ‘Hottentot Venus’. In Cox’s nude self-portrait her breasts and buttocks are covered with oversized prosthetic versions found for sale in a fancy dress shop. Cox discusses the power of the objectifying gaze and the importance for her in this, and other works, of revising history and creating a space to defy and return that gaze. Through revisiting Baartman’s body and the exploitative narrative that surrounded it – which became a potent symbol projected outwards onto the black female body as an abstract idea – Cox recreates, revises, and represents: A process that she employs through(out) her body (of work).

The second clip offers a more intimate and provocative discussion with Cox. She talks about the resonance of her work Queen Nanny of the Maroons (2004) which appeared in the exhibition Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic at Tate Liverpool in 2010.  Generally though, this conversation explores more broadly the social issues that “inspire and impact” her work as a whole. Here Cox discusses specific issues surrounding: education and intergration in the contemporary context of the United States and; the comparative importance of race and skin tone as identity in Jamaica and the United States. Cox encapsulates her bold and assured approach to creating as she winds up the interview stating: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and then you get kicked to the curb.”

To read more about Cox’s work click here.

To view Renée Cox’s website click here

Click here to view some images of Cox’s work online via tumblr.