Blacker Blackness – new temporary program
It brings me great, deep-rooted-joy to announce that the good people at Sandberg Instituut (Amsterdam) were excited about my pitch for a new temporary program and as of right now, I’m the director of the course Blacker Blackness. With this four-semester-course that will start in September 2021, we’ll focus on imagination as a method to decolonize, uncode and liberate representations of Blackness in art and design. Our research question for this four semester program is: “What are the questions you ask, your way of archiving, your use of existing archives and/or your selection of art when you center the interior lives, memories, connecting identities and lived experiences of Black people?” The main tutors are Ola Hassanain, Zawdie Sandvliet and yours truly. We’re excited to work with guest lecturers such as Books&Rhymes, Jennifer Tosch, dr. Charl Landvreugd, dr. Guno Jones, Richard Kofi and Mark Ponte.
– Monday February 22, from 20h-21h (Amsterdam time): Ola Hassanain and I are hosting a digital talk about the first two semesters of the program. If you’d like to attend, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you the ZOOM-link.
– Monday March 8 from 20h-21h (Amsterdam time): The last four guest lecturers will be announced during our digital presentation. During this session, we’ll also talk more about the third and fourth semester of the program.
– Thursday April 1: The deadline to register online. You can register by clicking here.
The four semesters
The Blacker Blackness course will analyze and develop research and artistic practices rooted in Black-centered imaginations. We’ll study and create artistic representations of Afro-European communities whose presence can be traced from the 15th century until today. While focusing on the interior lives, joys, refusals and everydayness of these Afrodiasporic communities, we’ll use imagination as a (re)centering tool.
The first semester of this two- year masters programme focuses on Afro-Europeans in the 16th, 17th and 18th century. What could artistic representations of their presence be if we centered, researched and imagined their interior lives and various forms of what Amal Alhaag and Barby Asante call “Black Togetherness”? In the following semester we’ll (re)read three novels: Segu by Maryse Conde, Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih and After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haity by Edwidge Danticat. From these works we’ll imagine and create uncoded representations of Afrodiasporic spiritualities as forms of hope and survival, the impacts of being uprooted and the social as well as the interior lives of enslaved people.
Next to writing the thesis, the second yearthird semester starts with researching how practices of decolonization, imagination, rejection and refusal -all of them amplified by technology in general and social media in particular- impacted not just the presence and art by but also positions of power of Black people. Our final semester focussesfocuses on final works and the social and political impact of sculptures, statues and other art pieces in public spaces.
Each semester is scheduled to close with a public event where the students present the storylines, collection of images and research questions they worked on.
The Blacker Blackness course requires a two year investment in decolonial, anti-racist, hype-free artistic representations of Blackness. The Temporary Programme welcomes students interested in literature and visual art by decolonial Afro-European, Afro-Caribbean and Africontinental writers, as well as those in dire need to picture and discuss Blackness in ways that aren’t solely linked to trauma, injustice or so-called street culture.
For updates, please follow @blackerblackness on Instagram and/or make sure to follow lazeefuik.com.