The Practice of Restitution: Diasporic Archive and Artform Series

March 1, 2022 – Opportunities

The Practice of Restitution: Diasporic Archive and Artform

This series is curated by Thabisile Griffin, ACLS Faculty Fellow at ICLS. This series is part of the Ambedkar Initiative and the Understanding Systemic Racism: Art and Politics series at ICLS and is cosponsored by IRAAS, AAADS and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.

Overarching questions: How far can artform redress gaps in historical narratives, and can contemporary creative production work as a primary document? (If ancestors are with you as you paint, then it is a primary document.) How do film, paintings, art curation, and/or cuisine tease, stretch, or embolden memory? Does this “restore” a lineage or stories?  What role does verbal description/ text/ written word play in pairing with these archival expressions—if any? Is non-verbal/silent or non-textual artform open-ended, in terms of objective or story? If so, does the indeterminateness of a non-verbal creative production/archive speak towards African diasporic tradition? Maybe it’s not meant to be precise, or binary, or settled. And perhaps the emphasis is not to remedy past violence, but instead to present “impossible” stories/histories, to insist on impossible future dreaming (ernesto, sun ra, etc.). What is your imagined impossible and irrational world, either broadly or as it relates to artform? 

All events are virtual and open to the public. Registration links are below.

Tuesday, March 1
“Artform Stretching the Archive: Black Diasporic Transcripts of the Indomitable”

Elizabeth Colomba in conversation with Thabisile Griffin

Join us for a conversation on artform that “bends the association of ideas,” placing Black women at the forefront of leisure and comfort, as well as a discussion on the recent publication of Queenie, a graphic novel about Stéphanie St. Clair, master of underground economy and political activist from Martinique and a crucial figure of 1930’s Harlem.

Wednesday, March 23
“Archives Held Close: Matriarchal Legacies and Refuge”

Screening of “Bereka” (awards at Sundance and Black Star Film Festival)

Filmmaker and educator Nesanet Abegaze in conversation with Thabisile Griffin
Time: 6:30-8PM EST Registration can be found here.

“Bereka” is a family history archive as told by matriarch Azalu Mekonnen and her granddaughter Samira Hooks. Shot on Super 8 film in Los Angeles and Gondar, Ethiopia, it captures the Ethiopian coffee ceremony and explores migration, memory, and rebirth. Join us in conversation about film-making and historical redress across time and space.

Wednesday, March 30
“On African Art and Meaning: A Reclamation”

Lauren Tate-Baeza in conversation with Thabisile Griffin

Time, 6:30-8PM EST Registration can be found here.

Join us for a conversation with Lauren Tate Baeza on the limits and possibilities of museum culture, restitution in artform, and interrogating exhibition in the realm of African arts.

 The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Room B-101
74 Morningside Drive
New York, NY, 10027
  (212) 854-4541
  (212) 854-3099