The most recent staging of CARISCC’s touring display, “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition,” took place at Deptford Lounge, Giffin Street, London, on 5-7 September 2017.
Similarly to previous events held at the British Library’s Knowledge Centre and the Lighthouse in Glasgow (during June and August, respectively), the Deptford Lounge event was an opportunity for CARISCC’s regional contacts, representatives of partner organisations and members of the public to receive updates about the Network’s research outputs – presented via a display of documentary photographs taken by CARISCC members during research field trips undertaken in the region over the past few years – whilst also viewing a Power-Point presentation, video clips and an exhibition catalogue featuring images and artists’ biographies linked to the series of paintings, sculptures and installations submitted by participants involved in last year’s CARISCC Art Competition of 2016.
At the exhibition’s launch event, held on Tuesday 5th September, Dr Patricia Noxolo (Lead Researcher for CARISCC, University of Birmingham) spoke about in/security and creativity as the central themes through which researchers and artists were continuing to discuss the everyday lived experiences of individuals and communities in the Caribbean region, as well as the various “dialogic encounters” experienced transnationally and trans-continentally as a result of migration and re-settlement, the movement of goods and services, and the ongoing circulation of ideas around the world.
In addition to discussing in/securities and the arts in relation to specific rural and urban communities in selected islands and nations, and the external spatial dynamics of precarity, Pat also spoke about issues of corporeality, personal identity, resilience and ontology (inner being and sense of self, etc.) – particularly differing perspectives on how human bodies might be read and interpreted as “texts,” capable of communicating (or, performing) different levels of in/security according to particular socio-political, economic, environmental and cultural circumstances.
The conference “Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues” took place at the British Library (Knowledge Centre, Euston Road, London) on 25-26 June 2017. This international, interdisciplinary two-day event was jointly organised and co-facilitated by scholars from Goldsmiths Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS), University of London (led by Professor Joan Anim-Addo and Dr Marl’ene Edwin), the CARISCC Research Network (led by Dr Patricia Noxolo, University of Birmingham), and also with the support of staff based at the British Library Eccles Centre for American Studies.
The Conference Programme
The conference programme included a diverse range of research papers and panel discussions, featuring contributions from Caribbean area studies specialists and Caribbean Diaspora scholars, historians, geographers, visual artists, film-makers, poets and spoken word performers, as well as cultural and political commentators interested in diasporic issues and themes related to other regions of the global south.
Some of the headline presentations that helped to exemplify the conference theme of “Diasporic Dialogues” included:
An illustrated talk by the British-Guyanese visual artist Huw Locke (titled, ‘There and Back Again: Visual Art Touching Diaspora’) – during which he discussed and presented photographs of recently produced pieces showcased at the 2017 Venice Biennale as part of the Diaspora Pavilion, as well as earlier works from his portfolio – such as “Ark” (1994) and “Wine Dark Sea” (2016).
A keynote lecture given by the sociologist and critical race theorist Professor Hazel Carby (Yale University) – titled, ‘Imperial Intimacies: Negotiating the Archives to Narrate the Black Subject’– featuring extracts from her new monograph, ‘Imperial Intimacies’
“TRANSCARIBBANA is a place of the imagination, a place of return that does not need to change in the face of history. It is a place that both exists and remains a fantasy. Like most nations, it is a place of un-chosen alignment, a place to emerge from in the process of going somewhere else.”
A number of additional panel sessions facilitated over the course of the two days also featured research papers and discussions focused on: Caribbean literatures and the politics of literary memory; social policy research addressing issues of vulnerability, precariousness and resilience in the Caribbean region; historical geographies/cartographies of colonialism and post-colonialism; configurations of power and powerlessness in intercultural encounters; issues of corporeality and expressions of in/security presented through performance art; and histories and politics of Caribbean diaspora formation spanning several centuries.
Foregrounding the Visual Arts
The photograph, shown above, is of an art installation created by the contemporary fine artist Sonia Barrett, who completed this mixed-media sculptural work as part of a CARISCC-commissioned installation and art-historical research project, Negotiating Caribbean In/Security through Creativity.
The new artwork, as well as several other sculptures from Sonia Barrett’s wider portfolio, addresses recurring themes relating to the complexities of identity, histories of enslavement (including its legacies and connections to present-day forms of human trafficking/modern-day slavery/unfree labour, and the exploitation of migrant workers), issues of corporeality and representations of “spectacular forms of violence”. An important technique employed in the creation of this artwork involved what Sonia referred to in her conference presentation as “fantabulating” and “exploding” pieces of furniture to signify and represent the traumas and brutalities of enslavement violence meted out and inflicted on black and brown bodies during the era of transatlantic enslavement, and also beyond.
In the final set of photographs, shown below, visual and performance-based artist Lesley Asare (from the arts collective “I Shape Beauty”) is shown in the process of creating a poignant live artwork, themed around the emancipatory concept of “creating ourselves free”. Lesley’s practice is informed by the mantra of “social transformation beginning with self-transformation”. Her work is also deeply rooted in the expression of love as a political tool, closely aligned with the use of play/dance/movement as a form of self-discovery and healing.
Scholars and artists who have influenced Lesley’s artistic and conceptual practice include (among others) bell hooks, Heather Hanson and Daria Halprin. Lesley’s work was presented in partnership with the poet Indigo Williams as part of a very rich panel titled “(Re)-Creating Ourselves Free – Poetry and Performance as Acts of Emancipation, of Self and Body, for Women of Colour”. This panel – introduced and facilitated by the poet and playwright Malika Booker – also included poetry readings and a scholarly narrative titled “Reclaiming the Gaze Through the Performance of Flamenco’s Guarjira” by the poet and spoken word artist Toni Stuart.
The CARISCC Research Network will be hosting a series of events to showcase the many creative outputs arising from the work of the Network’s members, institutional partners and other stakeholders.
Following on from the successful staging of the Network’s Research and Art Exhibition (titled, Negotiating Caribbean Insecurities through Creativity) at the British Library (London, 25-26 June 2017) and The Lighthouse (Glasgow, 14-18 August 2017), this selection of print-based and digital photographs, paintings, videos and installations will tour to the following UK venues:
Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RH (5-7 September 2017)
Union 105/East Street Arts, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY (23-27 October 2017)
MAC Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Queen’s Ride, Birmingham B12 9QH (5 May – 10 June 2018).
At each of these venues the focus of the exhibition will be to present a selection of politically aesthetic artworks that stimulate and encourage discussions about how Caribbean people deploy their creative energy to live with the everyday effects of poverty and inequality, while also generating globally influential creativity in political, literary, dance, aural, visual and audio-visual cultures.
Among the featured artworks at each venue will be a recently commissioned sculptural installation by the internationally renowned contemporary visual artist Sonia E Barrett (whose work is shown in the photograph, above).
If you would like further information about the above-mentioned exhibition dates and venues, as well as additional details about the CARISCC Research Network, please write to Dr Carol Ann Dixon (CARISCC Network Facilitator) c/o the University of Birmingham (Email: C.A.Dixon@bham.ac.uk).
‘Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition’ is being launched at the British Library Knowledge Centre today and tomorrow (25th-26th June, 2017).
The launch of this online CARISCC exhibition is taking place alongside Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues, a two-day conference which speaks to the theme of Caribbean and diasporic dialogues, and the role of creativity in negotiating the in/securities surrounding such dialogues.
The event is a result of a collaboration between the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS) at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Caribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC), an international research network funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which seeks to explore the interactions between the precariousness of insecure livelihoods and neighbourhoods, and the negotiation of risk through creativity, in a Caribbean context.
Planned event activities include the exhibition launch, keynote speakers, artist-led discussions, research panels and paper presentations distributed across the two days.
CARISCC are very pleased to be showing a new sculptural work by award-winning artist Sonia Barrett at the exhibition launch and photography by Sireita Mullings. On the evening of 26th June CARISCC will also host a special screening of Shashamane, a film created by Giulia Amati. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including Giulia Amati (filmmaker and winner of more than twenty awards, including the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival Jury’s Award), Errol Brown (brother of Ras Mweya Masimba, animation artist featured in the film), Pat Noxolo (University of Birmingham and lead investigator of CARISCC); and Ronald Cummings (Brock University, Canada, and member of the CARISCC network).
During this day showcasing work by artists of African and Afro-Caribbean descent, learn how these artists, now in major collections both nationally and internationally, have made a major contribution to the cultural landscape of Britain.
The Digital Blackness Conference June 30th 2017 is open for registration. Themes on the day include black content creation, black feminist and queer discourses online, emerging digital literary practices, resistant and activist strategies, and broader questions of digital epistemologies and decolonising.
We welcome attendees from inside and outside the academic environment. Lunch, tea & coffee will be provided for all attendees on the day. There are limited spaces available so please be considerate – if you are unsure you will be able to attend do not researve a ticket.
Call for interventions/workshop participants
Travel funding available
Colonial/ Postcolonial/ Decolonial Working Group Annual Workshop 2017: Researching the Colonial International Across, Between, and Against Disciplines
With Goldie Osuri, Virinder Kalra, Rashmi Varma and Kojo Koram
University of Warwick, 22nd September 2017
International Relations has often borrowed theories and methods from elsewhere to think beyond its own disciplinary limits. Similarly, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary scholarship has long been central to thinking about the colonial question. Indeed, a key insight of postcolonial scholarship is that disciplines are themselves products of colonial practices. At the same time, in the field of International Relations and beyond, the demands of publishing, researching, teaching and hiring continue to reproduce strict disciplinary boundaries. More positively, disciplines often offer a scholarly home, a shared language and common problems that help orient our work.
This workshop will examine how such tensions affect and direct how we think about the colonial/ postcolonial/ decolonial. Conversely it will also ask how the colonial question reconfigures how we think about our own disciplines. At its core, the event will encourage a range of scholars to engage with the colonial question from outside of – and perhaps against – their own disciplinary (disciplining) homes.
Places and travel funding are limited. Please indicate your interest in attending no later than June 24th to Kerem Nisancioglu – email@example.com
CPD-BISA workshops are not organized around “paper-giving”, but rather each session is introduced by a couple of five minute opening interventions. Therefore, if you are interested in attending please do also indicate whether you would like to provide one of these five-minute interventions, and if so, on what issue area.
We will calculate participation and funding with a sensitivity to career level (phd, postdoc, faculty etc) and job type (contract, permanent etc). Please do indicate your career and job attributes when you email.
Over the past four years, the CPD-BISA Working Group has become an established community of scholars drawn from within and beyond IR – this interdisciplinarity has enriched the work and activities of the community as a whole. Our annual workshop is our most important event and provides a vital space for early career scholars to connect with more established academics working through the colonial question in their research. As in previous years, this will be an innovative and participatory event with a range of heterodox sessions.
The event is organised by Nivi Manchanda, Lisa Tilley (Warwick Politics and International Studies) and Kerem Nişancıoğlu (SOAS Politics and International Studies).