Led by MJ#17 editorial team, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (Chief Editor, Manifesta Journal) and artist Kapwani Kiwanga, this seminar will take as a starting point some of the reflections developed by Fatima el-Tayeb, John Akomfrah, Raimi Gbadamosi and Kapwani Kiwanga in their contributions to the last issue of Manifesta Journal 17 Future(s) of Cohabitation.
In her critical essay on the European 'other', art historian Fatima El-Tayeb refers to Edouard Glissant and his renowned theory of creolization to articulate spaces of minoritarian resistance. In the poet’s writings, the Caribbean became a center of relational identities and situational communities exactly because of their inability to claim the 'sacred roots' of these territories.
In their contribution, the writers and film-makers Raimi Gbadamosi and John Akomfrah underline the hierarchizing effect of the concept of hybridity on a world in which a certain kind of encounter becomes idealized and reductive. 'There is nowhere in which anyone exists in a pure state or an uncontaminated whole', concludes Akomfrah. His position resonates dramatically with the recent hardening of global policies towards migration that flourish in the foul breeding grounds of populist and right-wing forms of nationalism and withdraw into obsolete notions of the preservation of 'organic identities'.
Artist Kapwani Kiwanga poses as a scholar in Ancestral Earth Studies from the School of Galactic Anthropology at the Afrogalactica Institute. She projects herself and the readers into a dystopian future, where the influence of Great Zimbabwe on other stellar civilizations proposes an allegory of geopolitical relations and the circulation of cultural influences.
The text to be discussed can be found here.
Kapwani studied Anthropology and Comparative Religions at McGill University. She has been an artist-in-residence in Paris, Eindhoven and Dakar and has exhibited in many locations internationally including Paris, Glasgow, Almería and London. Her film and video works have been nominated for two BAFTAs and have received awards at international film festivals.
Nataša is an independent curator, living and working in Paris. She graduated in Comparative Literature and History of Art at the University of Ljubljana, and obtained her master’s degree in Theory of Art at the EHESS in Paris. In Paris Petrešin-Bachelez curated exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Jeu de Paume, Le Plateau/FRAC Ile-de-France, Paris Photo, and, between 2010 and 2012, was Codirector of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers. Since 2011, she has been appointed as the Chief Editor of Manifesta Journal.