This interdisciplinary conference will engage with ongoing attempts to revision, represent, and rewrite the entangled histories of enslavement, empire, and diaspora. It will coincide and engage with work by internationally acclaimed artist Lubaina Himid to be exhibited at the Hatton Gallery in Spring 2004.
Lubaina Himid has been at the forefront of advancing black women's art since she curated the ground breaking Thin Black Line exhibition at the ICA in 1985. Her work explores global histories on an intimate and personal level, its power resting, as Maud Sulter wrote, "in its ability to take on board massive issues of history and translate them into a language which gives voice to the disenfranchised". (Venetian Maps, exhibition catalogue, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, 1997.)
Naming the Money is a new exhibition featuring an installation of one hundred life-size cut out collaged and painted figures. These represent memorials to black slaves sold to European royal courts in past centuries, invoking ten of the distinct roles or trades they took up there. The installation emphasises the interplay between the pain of enslavement and displacement, and the maintenance and reconstruction of self-hood.
We invite papers from scholars working in art history, museum or gallery studies, history, cultural studies, and literature, exploring themes similar to those of Naming the Money. Examples include:
Rewriting histories of enslavement: literature and history
Visual economies of slavery and/or empire, past and present
Contemporary experiences of displacement and relocation
Histories of black presence in Europe
Voicing the disenfranchised: problems and possibilities
Re-visiting museums and their collections in a postcolonial context
Art galleries, postcolonialism and the politics of display
Subjectivity, hybridity and representation
Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to Sarah Barber at the email below or at the address below by 1 December, 2003.
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