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.
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 Fudgethefacts.com for a great review!
Film Screening and Conversation
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.
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.
Timing is Everything: A Multi-Disciplinary Symposium on Non-Linear Temporalities
Chicago 24.-25.October 2014
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
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
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.
New York City
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!?
FOR PRESS INQUIRIES OR INTERVIEW REQUESTS, PLEASE CONTACT:
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:
"Multiplicity as Method: Post-Black Arts and Afropolitanism"
Film-Introduction and Screening
3012 XA Rotterdam
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.
August Bebel Insitut Berlin
Do 20. Februar, 18–20 Uhr
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?
Kunsthal Auditorium, Rotterdam
Friday 07.02.2014, 10.00 — 11.30
This is not Africa – this is us
With Nana Adusei-Poku, Kudzanai Chiurai, Simon Gush, Renzo Martens,Simon Njami, Senam 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.
Past Talk January 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
Berlin 18th of October
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
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
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
SYMPOSIUM I ACTS OF INSCRIPTION
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
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.
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
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?