Where is black feminism? An interview with Desiree Lewis

Where is black feminism? An interview with Desiree Lewis Stuart Hall’s ironic use of “the west and the rest” is very real in the fixation among South Africans with “us” and “Africa”. It was encouraging that a sense of South Africa’s inextricable connectedness to the rest of the continent surfaced at moments in the FMF struggle. But the curiosity about and interest in African politics, literature, and academic knowledge still hasn’t really taken off, whether among students or established scholars.

Face to face

30.05.2022 | by Sean Jacobs

Havana to Beirut: Architectures of nostalgia, aesthetics of ruin

Havana to Beirut: Architectures of nostalgia, aesthetics of ruin This particular building evoked the Lebanese capital for various reasons, not only its colonial-style architecture and Ottoman-esque windows but also the fact that one of its sections was fully collapsed – a common architectural repercussion in the formerly relentlessly celebrated “Paris of the Middle East”. Following its so-called “golden age” in the mid-20th century, Beirut had gone on to host, inter alia, a 15-year civil war (1975-90), brutal Israeli military assaults backed by the United States, vast post-war demolitions in the interest of historical amnesia and ever-savage elite enrichment, and the Beirut port explosion of August 2020.

City

04.04.2022 | by Belen Fernandez

The Humboldt Forum: a space for claiming the African colonial heritage

The Humboldt Forum: a space for claiming the African colonial heritage In the wall text of the exhibition dedicated to African heritage “Appropriating objects and colonial fictions of Africa”, the curators state that “the current projects aim at the decolonization of collections through cooperation with partners from the societies of origin”. However, is this premise really being put into practice?

I'll visit

30.03.2022 | by Ana Temudo

Seeing Being Seen: Territories, Frontiers, Circulations 2022 Colectivo Los Ingrávidos

Seeing Being Seen: Territories, Frontiers, Circulations 2022 Colectivo Los Ingrávidos In the collective’s prolific and extensive filmography, the gesture of deconstructing the audiovisual and cinematic grammar is inseparable from the disarticulation of the hegemonic perceptive, cognitive, representative and scopic regimes. Los Ingrávidos’ work shifts indeed to a theoretical reflection, formalised in a correlative film praxis, focusing on the intersection between different domination categories related to the capitalist-colonial-patriarchal system. Their films aim, precisely, to disarticulate the perceptive-cognitive models and the audiovisual and cinematic forms resulting from domination categories.

Games Without Borders

21.03.2022 | by Raquel Schefer

“Institutions change, in a slow and tedious way, but it happens”. Interviewing Philipp Schramm and Katharina Fink from Iwalewahaus

“Institutions change, in a slow and tedious way, but it happens”. Interviewing Philipp Schramm and Katharina Fink from Iwalewahaus I think we always have the responsibility of looking into the ghosts of these colonial dreams and taking the ideas further. For example, we must rethink what are artwork features and what exactly defines them? Institutions change, in a slow and tedious way, but it happens. If we also think about the thesis and how it is configurated, how free can we be about the aesthetic part of it? Now we can offer “decolonize art studies” as a course. All the reconfigurations are a very long process to be achieved. A very important thing I would like to highlight is that where you are you must do your work and contribution. We should try to influence others with our work, inspiring them and trying to change what we know is wrong.

Face to face

18.03.2022 | by Arimilde Soares

Covering Ukraine: A mean streak of racist exceptionalism

Covering Ukraine: A mean streak of racist exceptionalism The conflict raging in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian Slavs, the latter with the support of a tribal coalition of nations across sub-Scandinavian Europe, has exposed much more than the fragility of peace on the disease-ravaged subcontinent. It has also revealed a mean streak of racist exceptionalism with which many Europeans, and people of European heritage, tend to regard themselves. It has been impossible to miss the shock among Caucasian journalists covering the war, sparked by Russia’s invasion under the pretext of supporting ethnic allies in the eastern tribal enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk, which it has recognised as independent states, at the idea that this could happen in Europe.

Games Without Borders

04.03.2022 | by Patrick Gathara

Photography and Identity. Interviewing Theo Gould

Photography and Identity. Interviewing Theo Gould My work has always been focused round connection. I’ve always wanted to tell stories that even though you know the audience and the subject might be different I would want the audience to look at the photo, the subjects, and each detail and for them to be able to see something similar. Most people that look at my most recent project “MIXED” and probably don’t necessarily think of themselves as mixed, however if we really look back at history and ethnicity it’s clear that we are all mixed, we just haven’t identified it . We all came from Africa and our genetic disposition is remarkably similar. The only differences we notice are as a result of our ancestors colonising different parts of our planet. Effectively we’re all mixed as racial purity is a complete myth.

Face to face

28.02.2022 | by Alícia Gaspar

Class society: impact on students' lives

Class society: impact on students' lives Students’ activism and social demand for more laws for people in need are some ways of changing the issue but are they enough? Can we fight against social stratification? This situation is an old one and it is deep-seated in society. People in power that belong to the upper classes want to remain that way. Is it possible the existence of an equal world with equal people, access, and values?

To read

17.02.2022 | by Arimilde Soares

Understanding and fighting gentrification: A revolutionary orientation

Understanding and fighting gentrification: A revolutionary orientation Gentrification is not always defined in these terms. Some cite cultural explanations, from the kind and number of amenities (like coffee shops, bike lanes, etc.) developed in an urban neighborhood to changing social norms around “lifestyle choices” (like not having children), defining gentrification as a result of individual consumer preferences. Or they might define it as the result of collective consumption patterns, which happens in arguments about “gay gentrification.” Some define gentrification as a process of white people moving to Black neighborhoods and pushing long-term Black residents out of major urban centers

City

28.01.2022 | by Joe Tache

How Disaster and Tragedy Spawned a Radical Music Movement in Haiti

How Disaster and Tragedy Spawned a Radical Music Movement in Haiti Notorious for blending the political and profane, denounced for its roots in Vodou, rabòday music is the defiant — and wildly popular — sound of a new, disaffected generation of Haitians. As the country prepares for long-awaited elections starting in August, stars of the genre have become unusually influential by turning public anxieties into dance-friendly anthems.

Stages

28.01.2022 | by Susana Ferreira

THE END

THE END With this MEMOIRS project Newsletter, Nº 147, we conclude a journey started on May 5, 2018. To the group of researchers of the project, to the dozens of external collaborators, to all the artists who contributed with their images, to the producers and designers, the deep gratitude of the editors, who are certain of two things: to have contributed to the sharing of a common good, knowledge, and to have done so in the spirit of public service

To read

17.01.2022 | by António Pinto Ribeiro

Superintensiva

Superintensiva When our grandmother beheaded chicken, my brother begged: "don't kill the animals, let's go buy food at the supermarket". When did this happen? Ignoring the death of other beings in order to live. Wishing we didn't know about the destruction around our bubble. Was it when our parents moved from the countryside to the city? Was it when our thumb started to touch the screen more often? Animals? Only pets. Jungles? Only urban ones. In our houses, we clean up everything that reminds us of the dust from where we came from. Little pigs go to school, cats wear boots, play the piano and speak French, crickets are our consciousness, Elsa is the name of a depression, Katrina of a hurricane, Bárbara of a storm. Savagery instead of a country. Elements of land and sea as resources. People as users. Identities as consumption objects. Consuming, consuming to stabilise this fucked up disruption.

Mukanda

07.01.2022 | by Marta Lança

A War Kept: photography of Portuguese soldiers in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique (1961-74)

A War Kept: photography of Portuguese soldiers in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique (1961-74) During their years at war, thousands of the young recruits sent to Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique took photos of what surrounded them: their comrades, barracks, landscapes, daily life, the civilian population, and the military apparatus. These images managed to evade the censorship of the regime, and were stored away or sent by mail as proof of their distant lives. Some of these men built improvised darkrooms, others managed to access official ones. Many visited photography shops that flourished as a consequence of the demand generated by the war, and many bought and exchanged images. All this created the photographic archives of which we here present a part.

I'll visit

05.01.2022 | by Inês Ponte and Maria José Lobo Antunes

Against a willing amnesia

Against a willing amnesia The past five years have seen a flurry of activity around issues of restitution of African material heritage, resulting in new reports, new books and even, new returns. Along with this sudden surge in activity there has been an escalation in debate around these questions, where positions once thought to be entrenched, racist, conservative, and considered mainstream, seem to have shifted dramatically. In the frenzy, it can begin to feel as if things are changing and that society is progressing. But we’d do well to pause for deeper dives and more systematic remembering of what has come before.

To read

28.12.2021 | by

The Mechanics of the Ephemeral

The Mechanics of the Ephemeral “The Mechanics of the Ephemeral” stems from the idea that art as a mechanism allows us to travel to different temporal spaces by adopting an approach that often resorts to fantasy, but in which the imagination becomes an important ally in historical and socio-political questioning. Although the discourses of the invited artists vary in their approaches and navigation of this temporal and identity- forming flow, the common denominator is their relationship with a continent inhabited by the dreams and follies of foreign ghosts. There is also an urgent need to address a future still based on meaningless promises of progress and freedom – a situation which is not exclusive to the African continent – to equally embrace the influences of the various artistic languages and references that comprise this joint work and overflow national borders and continental platforms.

I'll visit

21.12.2021 | by Gisela Casimiro

Pandemic and art: Facing (again) a “collective isolation” - a dialogue with Berlin-based artist Marta Stanisława Sala

Pandemic and art: Facing (again) a “collective isolation” - a dialogue with Berlin-based artist Marta Stanisława Sala The following dialogue was conducted after the very first action. “Common Ground” was a reading session in which organizers and participants from different cultural backgrounds and with different native languages faced the problem of translation and the complicated, thorny question of language hierarchy in academia (and thus, a hierarchy of ideas). In this dialogue, now reproduced in the written form of an interview, Sala had fulfilled her genuine wish to break the “collective isolation” that many people - including artists - have been facing until now.

To read

09.12.2021 | by Cheong Kin Man

Europa, je t'aime moi non plus

Europa, je t'aime moi non plus In the contemporary discussions regarding post-colonial Europe, the concepts of memory and post- memory have taken on growing importance, giving prominence to an insight with great political relevance: colonialism never ends with those who enforced or suffered it. Traces of a colonial mindset impregnate generations to come and it has been passed down through the image of the former coloniser and the former colonised. These characters restage a complex phantasmagoria closely related to the most intimate ghost of the European subconscious: its colonial ghost which manifests itself inter alia in the form of a colonial “transfer of memory” – as racism, segregation, exclusion, subalternity – or in the form of “eruptions of memory”, and thereby questions the very essence of European multicultural societies, shaped by colonial heritage and fed by waves of migration.

To read

31.10.2021 | by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro

Memory work as “radical intervention” and “reparation”: interview with Marita Sturken

Memory work as “radical intervention” and “reparation”: interview with Marita Sturken Today, I think that the field is challenged more than ever by the increased volatility of debates about what nations remember and consequentially forget. Monuments and memorials are being vandalized, torn down, officially removed. They can no longer be seen as simply part of an historical landscape. Much of this can be understood as battles over the historical narratives of monuments and their power, but it is also about tensions around who the nation mourns and who it sees or does not see as having a “grievable life” in Judith Butler’s term. So I see memory activism as a key site for the production of memory scholarship.

Face to face

25.10.2021 | by Inês Beleza Barreiros

The Exhibition Europa Oxalá

The Exhibition Europa Oxalá The exhibition Europa Oxalá is also the ideal time to deconstruct the colonial myth and the post-colonial melancholy designated as “African art”. Attributed to all artistic production that originates in the African continent, the expression has been used to differentiate it in a coarse way from all the art included in the compendiums and narratives of the universal history of art founded in the Western matrix. So-called African art was seen as an art without authorship, disconnected from the diversity of its production contexts, be they a country of North Africa, of the South or the east or west coast, be it the 14th or 20th century.

To read

18.10.2021 | by António Pinto Ribeiro

The forgotten origins of “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”

The forgotten origins of “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” The long history of advocacy around “women’s rights are human rights” features activists from the Global South and women of color in the US. For instance, in 1945, at the founding of the United Nations, Latin American feminists played a critical role in trying to advance “women’s rights” into the category of human rights. And after World War II, when the US Black freedom movement often deployed human rights arguments, Pauli Murray, the attorney, feminist, and civil rights advocate, argued specifically that “women’s rights are a part of human rights.” What changed at the end of the 20th century was that a far-reaching and expanding global feminist movement began to collectively use the idea that “women’s rights are human rights” to advocate for change at the United Nations and beyond.

Body

08.10.2021 | by Lisa Levenstein