On 6th July 2017 more than 200 delegates from 20 countries gathered in the city of Tampere, Finland, to participate in the 6th Biennial ‘Afroeuropeans’ Network Conference on Black Cultures and Identities in Europe – convened and hosted by the Academy of Finland Research Fellow Dr Anna Rastas (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere), working in partnership with a team of scholars, artists and administrators from Aalto University, Sibelius Academy, the University of Tampere and the University of Helsinki.
The conference took place over three days, specifically scheduled to also coincide with Tampere’s hosting of the FEST AFRIKA 2017 cultural programme of live music, poetry and spoken word performances by solo musicians, dancers, bands, dub poets and other literary and performing arts practitioners from continental Africa and the African and Caribbean diasporas in Europe.
Keynote Address by Professor Paul Gilroy
The conference’s opening keynote address was given by the internationally renowned social scientist, literature scholar and cultural theorist Professor Paul Gilroy (American and English Literature, King’s College, University of London), who gave a wide-ranging presentation about race and racism, inequalities, border politics, the dynamics and impacts of securitisation, and associated activism to stem the problematic rise of ‘securitocracy’ throughout Europe – titled, “On the necessity and the impossibility of being a black European [a 2017 re-mix] or the value of anti-racism in the ‘Alt-right’ era.“
Session title:Western Museumscapes and the Political Aesthetics of Decolonisation: African and Diasporan Arts Activists Agitating for Change
High-profile museums and galleries in the West – such as the British Museum in London, the Pompidou in Paris, and the MoMA in New York – are continuously revising and developing new strategic plans to ensure that their collections, cultural programmes and exhibiting practices are engaging increasingly diverse global audiences. At the heart of these developments are complex issues about the changing nature of acquisitioning, curation, display and interpretation of artworks and cultural objects described as permanent holdings. The policies and practices implemented by these institutions serve as catalysts for generating and sustaining a rich discourse that invites artists, researchers, curators, archivists, educators, scholar activists and other creative practitioners to question their own roles and responsibilities within such dynamic museumscapes.
Please see below a link to the first issue of the new peer-reviewed academic journal Stedelijk Studies, which publishes research related to the Stedelijk Museum collection in Amsterdam, its institutional history, wider museum and gallery studies, and other topical issues in the field of visual arts and design.
The inaugural issue – titled, “Collecting Geographies: Global Programming and Museums of Modern Art” – features the following articles and commentaries:
Collecting Geographies: Editorial – by Jelle Bouwhuis and Christel Vesters
Recalcitrant Geographies: National Claims, Transnationalism, and the Institutionalization of Contemporary Art – by Kitty Zijlmans
Peace, the Museum, and Globalization, 1800/2014 – by Todd Porterfield
Creating Ancestors and Affinities: A Rhetorical Analysis of African Art in the Story of Modern Art – by Nanna Leigh
Revisiting Magiciens de la terre – by Annie Cohen-Solal
Between the Global, National, and Peripheral: The Case of Art Museums in Poland – by Karolina Golinowska
Curatorial Expeditions: The Ramallah Safari – by Tina Sherwell
Museum Practices and Migrating Modernity: A Perspective from the South – by Celeste Ianniciello and Michaela Quadraro
Statues also die, even…Time and Agency of Museum Display – by María Íñigo Clavo
Advance notice and call for papers, re. the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in Chicago, USA (April 21-25, 2015)
Geographers are increasingly contributing to understanding the multiple functions museums serve, much like their colleagues in history, anthropology, and museum studies. In her 2010 article “Museum Geography: Exploring Museums, Collections and Museum Practice in the UK” Hilary Geoghegan writes,
“Museums and collections offer geographers exciting sites and subjects for research and teaching… [and] that it is now time to consider museum geography more closely” (p. 1472).
Professor Françoise Vergès and Dr Shihan de Silva will be speaking at a forthcoming ICS symposium on Wednesday 29th October 2014 (9.30am-6pm) at Senate House (Room 349, 3rd Floor), University of London.
This FREE event – titled, ‘Across the Indian Ocean’– is being organised by the Race in the Americas (RITA) Group, in partnership with Kavyta K. Raghunandan (University of Leeds, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies [CERS]) and will focus on an exploration of the “politics of the present” across the Indian Ocean region – re. Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion Island, Comoros and Madagascar.
In the event programme, the title of Françoise Vergès’ presentation is ‘Imagining a Museum of Intangible Culture in the Indian Ocean’, and Dr Shihan De Silva will address colonial history and its legacies throughout the region in a talk on ‘Difference and Inequalities’.