Session 3: Glocal: somewhere between the local and the global

Speaker: Sonia Boyce, artist



Many contemporary artists reject the idea of their work as ‘political’, as if such a label prohibits it from also being poetic. Sonia Boyce rejects this distinction and discusses how circumstances have conspired to ensure her politicisation. She reflects on why she increasingly falls back on the old feminist adage ‘the personal is political’ to consider the question of the local in relation to the global, and how these two states intertwine. The paper includes discussion of the concepts of diaspora (often understood as communities traumatically dispersed, in transit, or worse still, subsumed and invisible), and nationhood (apparently opposite to the transitory, requiring stability and locational allegiance), and what happens when local and global get mixed up.

Further Reading

Gilane Tawadros, Sonia Boyce: Speaking in Tongues, Kala Press, 1997

Mark Crinson ed., Sonia Boyce: Performance, inIVA, 1998

John Roberts, ‘Interview with Sonia Boyce’. Third Text 1 (1997), pp. 55-64

Jean Fisher ed., Global Visions: Towards a New Internationalism in the Visual Arts, Kala Press/inIVA, 1994

Irit Rogoff, Terra Infirma: Geography’s Visual Culture, Routledge, 2000

Sarat Maharaj, ‘Dislocutions’ in Reverberations: Tactics of Resistance, Forms of Agency in Trans/cultural Practices, Jan van Eyck Akademie, 2000

Also look at The African and Asian Visual Artists’ Archive, based at the University of East London, founded in Bristol by Eddie Chambers and now run jointly by David A. Bailey and Sonia Boyce