Nana Adusei-Poku
Nana Adusei-Poku
Jasmine Murell, Immortal Uterus, 2015
Witte de With is proud to announce Nana Adusei-Poku as its new Curatorial Fellow.

Each year, a Curatorial Fellow is invited into the institution for a sustained period of research.  Fellows are invited by the Director based on their qualitative and critical intellectual practice in relation to the program of Witte de With. Each Fellow will bring their specific expertise to the institute, bridging contemporary art and academic research fields, through a partnership with a university or other academic institution. A Curatorial Fellowship always leads to a public presentation: an exhibition, a book, a contribution to a symposium or an educational project. Previous Fellows were Ian Yang (2014),  Vivian Ziherl  and Natasha Ginwala(2013).

As Witte de With’s Curatorial Fellow in 2015, Nana Adusei-Poku will curate an exhibition of new work by artist collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN, building on her current research and activity as  Research Professor in Cultural Diversity at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Europe Premiere!!

Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: an Opera

24 January 2015, 3:45pm


Cinérama, screening room 5, Westblaak 18, Rotterdam

Witte de With and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) are pleased to present a screening of Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: an Opera


“The role of abstraction in the contemporary black avant-garde seems necessary as we are bodies that are mis-recognized, overly-recognized, put into tiny boxes as being X or Z… It’s about stepping out of social and cultural constraints of “blackness” and into the imagined future, a refusal to adhere to the idea that we can be known”  Dawn Lundy Martin


In conversation with John Akomfrah

Thank you for a great review! 

The Stuart Hall Project, 2013, written and directed by John Akomfrah, image courtesy of Smoking Dog Films


Film Screening and Conversation


John Akomfrah:
The Stuart Hall Project
Saturday 13 December 2014,
3 – 5.30 pm 

Auditorium,Witte de With

 Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art hosts the screening of The Stuart Hall Project and a conversation with the director John Akomfrah by Nana Adusei-Poku, Research Professor in Cultural Diversity at Hogeschool Rotterdam and Witte de With’s Curatorial Fellow 2015, in collaboration with The Piet Zwart Institute and the Research Professorship for Cultural Diversity.

Stuart Hall (1932-2014) was a leading intellectual and cultural theorist in the UK for more than 50 years. He regularly appeared on television and radio, and fronted provocative, thoughtful documentaries. Not only was his work influential in terms of establishing the field of Cultural Studies, he also became one of the key theorists for a younger generation of intellectuals and artists throughout the Black Diaspora. Stuart Hall’s work embraces marginalized and situated knowledge, and examines what identity categories mean within a wider socio-political and academic discourse.

Director John Akomfrah, who belongs to this younger generation, comes to Rotterdam with his masterful film essay made entirely from Hall’s film, television, radio and photographic archives, and it is accompanied by a soundtrack from Hall’s musical hero, Miles Davis. Often using his own experience as a Jamaican-raised part Scottish, part African, part Portuguese Jew to make his point, Hall’s central argument is that a person’s identity is continually shaped by surrounding forces. Not only does this remarkable film work as both a portrait of Hall himself and his adopted country, it is also an intriguing insight into how the UK has for many decades used the documentary form to explore questions of identity.

This event is conceived by the Piet Zwart Institute’s Interdepartmental Think Tank. The group is composed of representatives from the Creating 010 Research Centre, staff members, students from each programme and the Director of the Piet Zwart Institute. Looking at how interests can be shared across courses, they plan interdisciplinary projects and public programming.

This afternoon is presented as part of Studium Witte de With, a collaborative education platform for art and theory which is intended to serve as a catalyst bridging various fields of knowledge across higher education. Studium Witte de With offers a broad program mapping and analysing the cultural and political ecology.

Inaugural Lecture


Tuesday 18 November 2014, 3.30 – 6 pm
Auditorium, Witte de With



Where does the work on Cultural Diversity start: with ourselves, or with the other? Can we find meaningful answers through researching databases? Or rather through social inquiries, and by making visible those who have been excluded from this discussion? Drawing on developments in contemporary arts, this lecture will focus through a historical perspective on knowledge from various disciplines that has been neglected in a European context, in order to use these as a starting point for a discussion on what Cultural Diversity might mean today. Embedded in a historical understanding of our current condition, the talk will unfold the potential that lies within seeing diversity as a state of constant change.

Since Cultural Diversity is also about dialogue, the lecture will feature three respondents from various fields and areas of expertise: Charl Landvreugd, Patricia Kaersenhout and Vincent van Velsen. The afternoon will be moderated by Renée Turner, Director Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

The public lecture A Stake in the Unknown by Nana Adusei-Poku is her inaugural lesson for the lectoraat Cultural Diversity of Research Centre Creating 010, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

This lecture is presented as part of Studium Witte de With, a collaborative education platform for art and theory which is intended to serve as a catalyst bridging various fields of knowledge across higher education. Studium Witte de With offers a broad program mapping and analysing the cultural and political ecology.

Past Events

Timing is Everything: A Multi-Disciplinary Symposium on Non-Linear Temporalities

Chicago 24.-25.October 2014

Filmstill,Flying Lotus Promo 2013 directed by Khalil Joseph©The Artist

The role of time in academia is almost paradoxical: while it structures and informs almost all research, experiments, and interpretation—even determining, to an extent, the kinds of knowledge we can produce—it is rarely explicitly defined and/or theorized within the research itself. When time is conceptualized explicitly in humanities projects, it is almost always structured as a linear progress narrative. This  symposium seeks to take us beyond this dominant concept of the linear progress narrative by exploring non-linear concepts of time through online and in-person discussions, which will consider the implications of this work for a range of disciplines.


Organized by Emily Wing-Rohrbach and Michelle Wright

Northwestern University


Conference Homepage



Paper Title:

Alternative Ontologies - Challenging the limits of Representation 

The paper will  lay special emphasis on the notion of time as a political tool within artistic practices on the example of the photographer Leslie Hewitt as well as the HowDoYouSayYamInAfrica Collective. Whilst focusing on the concurrence of multiplicity and temporalities in aesthetic productions, these aesthetic claims not only challenge the limits of Representation they also set into motion the ontology of queer of color subjectivities. These ontologies are not formed within a linear or dialectical frameset, but have to be understood as an epistemic disobedient approach operating through and with the opaque. 





Paper at International Symposium

Migrating the Black Body

Hannover 10th-13th of September



Filmstill from "Goodstock on the Dimension Floor v.2" ©HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?

In Against Race, Paul Gilroy asks, “What forms of belonging have been nurtured by visual cultures?” (155).  Gilroy’s work in particular has been enormously influential as a model which understands diaspora as a set of transnational connections “rooted” in conceptualizations of common racialized experiences and “routed” through a set of “cultural and political resources black people” draw upon in their struggles against various and divergent forms of oppression.  Diaspora then is an “imagined community” that must be forged, constantly made and remade; diaspora is not perceived as a priori essence but as a process that involves labor and practice. “Through such practices,” Jacqueline Nassy Brown observes, “differently located blacks transcend national boundaries, creating a mutually accessible, translatable, and inspirational political culture that invite[s] universal participation” (“Diaspora and Desire” 75). The symposium takes up these concerns about the “making” of the African Diaspora and asks how visual forms have enacted such a mutually accessible, translatable and inspirational political culture?  In what ways have visual forms functioned as a “diasporic resource”—as raw material, as ore—among, between and within transnational black communities? (Brown, “Black Liverpool”).

The symposium brings together an international group of scholars and artists to explore the production of blackness and the black body through visual culture in the African Diaspora.  They will ask how visual media--from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels-- shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and the collective self? The discussions will be interested in the multiple constellations formed by the

symposium’s key terms: migration and movement; the black body; and visual culture.  The presentations range in interest in how black bodies and black images travel; how blackness itself is forged and remade through diasporic visual encounters and reimagined through revisitations with the past; and how visual technologies themselves structure ways of seeing African diasporic subjects and subjectivity.   


Organized by:

Leigh Raiford (UC Berkeley) and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (University of Würzburg)


More Info


Recent Event

New York City



Filmstill from "Goodstock on the Dimension Floor v.2" ©HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?



I was very honored to chair a roundtable discussion at the film screening of "Goodstock on the Dimension Floor v.2" by the HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? Collective at a special salon night. If you haven't heard of the collective, yet. I am certain you will soon. I consider the Film the next level of Black Representational Politics.

HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? is an international collective laboratory that utilizes music, film, sculptural installation, and contemporary dance and theatre to experiment with linear narratives in order to find multiplicity and alternate possibilities via abstraction. United, we march over institutional lines to change supremacist architectures through site-specific interventions and subversive appropriations, abstracting through multiples, and encouraging new vision horizons.

The revolution will be digitized!?

Richie Adomako

Sam Durant, Scaffold, 2012 Wood, metal; 33.73' x 47.47' x 51.77'; Photo credit: Rosa Maria Ruehling; Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13)




University of Bremen


"The Future of Black Studies- Historicity, Objectives and Methodologies, Ethics"


24th-26th of April

For more details click here for full programme and the talk:


Nana Adusei-Poku

"Multiplicity as Method: Post-Black Arts and Afropolitanism"



Recent Events

Film-Introduction and Screening

Wednesday 5.3.14

WORM Rotterdam

Boomgaardsstraat 71

3012 XA Rotterdam


Open: 19:30u

Start: 20:00u
Einde: 01:00u

1974 Afrofuturist cult science fiction film by and with Sun Ra, pioneer avant-garde jazz musician, poet and philosopher and top candidate for the Voice of WORM choice of most favorite artists of all times!


Sun Ra lands with his space ship in Oakland where he eventually frees the black inner city youth by taking it to outer space while the planet Earth is exploding. Featuring, among others, a decisive card game against an evil overlord and immemorable musical performances by Sun Ra's Arkestra, this film gave birth to modern Afrofuturism.


The film will be introduced by Nana Adusei-Poku, researcher in visual culture, Black diaspora art history, postcolonial and critical race theory, and research professor for cultural diversity at Hogeschool Rotterdam / Creating 010 - Willem de Kooning Academy - Piet Zwart Institute.


Article out

Multitudes 53 

Histoires afropolitaines de l’art


« Enraciné dans, mais pas limité par » Les black artistes contemporains et l’évolution des conditions de la représentation


More Info



Recent Lecture

August Bebel Insitut Berlin

Do 20. Februar, 18–20 Uhr

More Info


Fotografie und Widerstand

Fotografie blickt auf eine lange politische Geschichte zurück. Welche Möglichkeiten bietet sie im politischen Kampf und um Identitäten auszudrücken? Der Vortrag zeigt zunächst, wie Fotografie mitwirkte, Unterschiede herzustellen und zu zementieren – in Bezug auf Ethnizität, Geschlecht oder Sexualität. In Kontrast dazu werden fotografische Arbeiten wie die des afroamerikanischen Philosophen W.E.B. Dubois, der Schwarzen Südafrikanerin Zanele Muholi und des Afrodeutschen Philip Metz vorgestellt. Sie wollen Fremdzuschreibungen brechen, Blicke irritieren und eine eigene Bildsprache entwickeln. Geht das?

Kudzanai Chiurai Moyo II , 2013 ©Goodman Gallery

Recent Debate

Kunsthal Auditorium, Rotterdam
Friday 07.02.2014, 10.00 — 11.30


This is not Africa – this is us
Morning Debate 

With Nana Adusei-PokuKudzanai ChiuraiSimon GushRenzo Martens,Simon NjamiSenam Okudzeto & Kemang Wa Lehulere. Moderated by Jelle Bouwhuis (Head of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam).
More information on the speakers below.

Free Entry (please use the reservation form below)

Limited space, please make a reservation.




New Article "Of Borders and Limits of Visual Technologies" published in Lewis Johnson Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, Routledge 2013


Past Talk January 2014


Hamburg 15.01.2014


Lecture Series by AGQueer Studies

Jenseits der Geschlechtergrenzen im Sommersemester 2013

Mittwochs 19 - 21 Uhr, Room 0079, Von-Melle-Park 5, Hamburg 


 'rooted in but not limited by' Contemporary Black Artists and the Changeing Conditions of Representation


Lecture in english and discussion in German/English.



Other past events below


Harvard University, Boston Massachusetts 24th of October 2013





Exhibition Opening panel:

Vanguards of Culture: W. E. B. Du Bois, Photography and the Right to Recognition


Hiphop Archive, Du Bois Institute, 104 Mount Auburn Street, 3R, Cambridge, MA
October 24, 2013 - 4:00-6:00pm followed by Gallery Reception, 6.30 – 8.30pm


For full programme click


Image credit: Courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C


Berlin 18th of October 

Internationale Konferenz

17.-19.10.13, ICI Berlin


Jenseits der Eindeutikeit

Abschlusskonferenz des Graduiertenkollegs "Geschlecht als Wissenskategorie"



 ’rooted in but not limited by’. 
 Contemporary Black Artists and the Changing Conditions of Representation


For full programm click.


After Identity, What?, 2012

aluminum letters on wood and inkjet print

Dimensions variable

Courtesy of Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


 Vienna 17th of October

Not Now! Now!

the very exiting temporal politics of arts-based research


Keynote Speakers include: Sharon Hayes (New York), Mathias Danbolt (Kopenhagen), Nana Adusei-Poku (Berlin), Jamika Ajalon (London, Suzana Milevska (Skopje / Wien).

Vienna, Thursday, October 17, 3pm  -  Friday, October 18, 21pm


For full programme click

The conference NOT NOW! NOW! focuses on chronopolitics. While the field of temporality studies is relatively wide, the conference will lay special emphasis on the question of the temporal politics in the field of art. The conference departs from the premise that artistic practices are considered a productive means to challenge orderly and rigid temporal concepts and their effects on bodies and the organising of the social: How exactly and by which formats and methods can artistic practices intervene into normative, “straight,” linear and normalizing concepts of time? A specific selection of exemplary art works as well as recent debates in postcolonial and queer studies will be the starting points for our common discussions.


Past Talk September 

Los Angeles 20.9.13 1:30pm

Speakers: Nana Adusei-Poku, John Akomfrah, Lyle Ashton Harris, Mwangi Hutter, Zanele Muholi, and Carrie Mae Weems. Moderated by Renée Mussai and Ruti Talmor
Friday, September 20, 2013 10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
George C.S. Benson Auditorium


For Full Programme click

John Akomfrah. Still from Peripeteia, 2012. Courtesy of Carroll / Fletcher gallery, London.


Past Talk


Conference “Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West“ organized by NYU and Harvard W.E.B. Dubois Centre, Musee Quai Branly, Paris


1:30 – 3:00pm Panel :Contemporary Voices: Naming and Branding the Black Body

Nana Adusei-Poku: Visual Disobedience and Diasporic Interconnectivity


Full program here.


Past Talks

15 Dec 2012, 4pm, South London Gallery, TOXIC PLAY IN TWO ACTS:TALK
A talk by Berlin-based scholar Nana Adusei-Poku, specifically commissioned in response to Toxic,
2012, accompanied by a Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz artist talk.
4PM, £5/£3 CONC

Also see ELECTRA
and South London Gallery 

Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Toxic, 2012, super 16mm film / HD, still. Courtesy of the artists, Ellen de Bruijne Projects and Galerie Marcelle Alix

18 Oct 2012, Panel Discussion, Iniva London, 6.30 - 8:30pm

Join Nana Adusei-Poku in discussion with artist Kimathi Donkor to explore the visual representation of Black Femininity in relation to the Queens of the Undead exhibition.

4 Oct 2012, 12:30pm Art-History Graduate Student Lecture Series, Northwestern University, Evanston,US

"iwishiwas Post-Black Aesthetics – Post-Black or Postcolonial?

Also see:

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