03 Jun 2024 - 07 Jun 2024

eikones - Zentrum für die Theorie und Geschichte des Bildes, Universität Basel

Lorena Rizzo, Kadiatou Diallo, Sindi-Leigh McBride

Colloquium, Other events

Black Figuration



Esiri Erheriene-Essi, The Birthday Party, 2021 Oil, ink and Xerox transfer on linen, 150 x 200 cm Courtesy of Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Miami

Only for participants who signed up according to instructions in Vorlesungsverzeichnis

It is likewise open to members of universities and other institutions of higher learning, art institutions, and museums in Basel, across Switzerland and neighbouring countries, as well as independent artists and curators. Please register at: eikones@clutterunibas.ch by 31 March 2024. Provide your personal details, your institutional affiliation (if any) and briefly explain your interest in participating in the summer school. Number of external participants is limited to 10 people. For inquiries please contact PD Dr Lorena Rizzo at lorena.rizzo@clutterunibas.ch

The eikones/African Studies Summer School 2024 takes its cue from When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, an exhibition curated by Koyo Kouoh and Tandazani Dhlakama. First shown at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town in November 2022 and opening at the Kunstmuseum Basel in May 2024, the exhibition explores Black self-representation and celebrates global Black subjectivities and Black consciousness from pan-African and pan-diasporic perspectives.
How does an exhibition like this arrive in Basel, and what does its presence herald? How can a critical engagement with “Blackness” as signalled by the exhibition be situated in the landscape of activist projects in Switzerland, and aesthetic projects internationally? How might a critical reflection on fields, practices and literatures enrich our approach to understanding not only this exhibition, but the ‘PastPresentFuture’ (Kgositsile) spaces in which these and other questions are engaged?
In many ways, the exhibition unsettles the framework of both area studies and art history, revealing important ruptures, intersections and ‘visual currencies’ (Makhubu). In doing so, When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting calls attention to how we traverse our respective fields: institutionally at the two host institutions in Basel, namely, the Centre for African Studies and eikones Centre for the Theory and History of the Image; as well as how we navigate and negotiate related epistemologies, geographies, and histories as thinkers and artists.

The summer school will include invited scholars and practitioners working on topics such as:
• Global issues from anticolonial black feminist  perspectives
• Social engagement in African visual art
• Critical race studies and black radical traditions
• The politics of space (and time)

Participants will be expected to visit the exhibition beforehand as well as to familiarise themselves with a selection of readings and visual material in preparation for the programme which takes place in Basel between Monday 3 June and Friday 7 June 2024.

Participation according to the instructions here: https://vorlesungsverzeichnis.unibas.ch/de/home?id=282073

Joshua Amissah (Author, photo editor, editor and curator)
Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi (Associate Professor in English and Director of the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class at the University of Johannesburg)
Jovita Dos Santos Pinto (Historian and researcher, Interdisciplinary Center for gender Studies/IZFG, University of Bern)
Onome Ekeh (Artist, writer, designer and lecturer at University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW))
Paul Goodwin (Professor of Contemporary Art & Urbanism and Director of TrAIN Research Centre (Transnational Art, Identity & Nation) at University of the Arts London)
Daniel Kurjakovic (Programmes Director, Kunstmuseum Basel)
Jamal Nxedlana (Artist, cultural organizer)
Rory Kahiya Tsapayi (Researcher, writer, and curator)
Ralph Ubl (Professor of Modern Art History and Director of eikones, University of Basel)

Monday 3 June: Guided tour of the When We See Us exhibition, introduction and framing
Tuesday 4 June: Unpacking Black Figuration
Wednesday 5 June: Black intellectual and cultural histories and networks
Thursday 6 June: (Black) migration and transnationalism in (Black) culture/ Worlding public cultures/ subcultures
Friday 7 June: Projects and Practice

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