Publishing Expanded: Where Is Africa
Publishing Expanded: Where Is Africa is the first gathering in CARA’s annual, interdisciplinary winter program celebrating the release of the organization’s new and upcoming publications. This inaugural, multi-day program will take place at CARA from February 9-11, 2024 on the occasion of the launch of Where Is Africa, edited by Emanuel Admassu and Anita N. Bateman, designed by NMutiti Studio, with a foreword by Mabel O. Wilson.
In 2017, curator and art historian Anita N. Bateman and architect and professor Emanuel Admassu initiated research on the traditional (mis)positioning of the arts across the African continent. Where Is Africa has been an extended set of exchanges with contemporary artists, curators, designers and academics who are actively engaged in representing the continent—both within and outside its geographic boundaries. This publication is also a conceptual project that accompanies a conceptual place, driven by the desire to dislodge Africa from categorical fixity and the representational logics of nation-states. Learn more about Where Is Africa here.
Thursday, February 8, 2024
12:30-1:30 I The Library Is Open: Where Is Africa at Columbia GSAPP
Thu, Feb 8, 2024
Offsite program at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
Emanuel Admassu and Anita N. Bateman present Where Is Africa in conversation with contributor Adama Delphine Fawundu and with a response by Drew Thompson.
More information here
Friday, February 9, 2024
1:30-3 I How do failures in technology produce new ways of imagining Black life? With Johann Diedrick and Azza El Siddique, Moderated by Salome Asega
Friday, Feb 9
Diedrick and El Siddique engage with Asega’s ongoing inquiries raised in the book about the possibilities and limitations of technology for Black life in a discussion that probes how artistic practices have generated new modes of expression, embodiment, and self-determinacy.
More about the speakers
Salome Asega is an artist and Director of NEW INC at the New Museum. Her work invites the playful and absurd to critique the speed at which technology develops and poses new consentful tech futures leveraging the power of collective imagination. Salome is a 2022 United States Artists Fellow and an inaugural cohort member of the Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab developed by Theaster Gates, the Rebuild Foundation, and Prada. She is also a co-founder of POWRPLNT, a Brooklyn digital arts lab for teens, incubated at NEW INC in Year 3. Salome has participated in residencies and fellowships with Eyebeam, The Laundromat Project, and Recess. She has exhibited at the Munch Museum, 11th Shanghai Biennale, MoMA, Carnegie Library, August Wilson Center, Knockdown Center, and more. Salome is also on the boards of the School for Poetic Computation, Eyebeam, and on the Advisory Board for Social Science Research Council's Just Tech initiative.
Johann Diedrick is an artist and engineer who makes listening rooms, spaces for encountering new sonic possibilities off-the-grid. He works to surface resonant histories of past interactions inscribed in material and embedded in space, peeling back vibratory layers to reveal hidden memories and untold stories. He shares his tools and techniques through listening tours, workshops, and open-source hardware and software. He is the founder of A Quiet Life, a sonic engineering and research studio that designs and builds audio-related software and hardware products. He is a 2023–25 Just Tech fellow and 2023–24 Performance AIRspace Resident at Abrons Art Center, New York. His work has been featured in The Wire and Musicworks and presented at the Ars Electronica Festival, Linz; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Dia Art Foundation, New York.
Azza El Siddique (b. Khartoum, Sudan) is known for her room-sized sculptural environments made of welded steel that take up the related themes of entropy, impermanence, and mortality. El Siddique received an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2019 and a BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2014. She is a 2024 Creative Capital Award recipient and has participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, Amant Foundation, NY, John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency, Wisconsin and Harbourfront Center, Ontario.
3:30-5 I How do artists act as agents against cultural, political, and economic polarization? With Lizania Cruz, Eric Gottesman, Nyugen Smith, and Robel Temesgen
Friday, Feb 9
An open discussion bringing artists and cultural workers Cruz, Gottesman, Smith, and Temsegen together to draw from their respective practices to discuss making public art that responds to and engages with place and through education, social interventions, alternative publishing platforms, and performance. Considering shifts in public space, the conversation addresses modes of information circulation and dissemination through self-publishing, photojournalism, activism, and developing new models for collaboration and social practice.
More about the speakers
Lizania Cruz (she/her) is a Dominican participatory artist and designer interested in how migration affects ways of being and belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience engagement, she creates projects that expand and highlight pluralistic narratives on migration. Cruz received the 2023 New York City Artadia Award and her newest project was commissioned by The Shed for Open Call 2023. Recently, she was part of 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone at the Aldrich Museum and ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21, the first national survey of Latinx artists at el Museo del Barrio. Her work has been exhibited at Sharjah’s First Design Biennale, Untitled, Art Miami Beach, The Highline, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and more. She has presented solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery, CUE Art Foundation, International Studio & Curatorial Program, ISCP, Alma Lewis, and Proxyco gallery and has been featured in Hyperallergic, Fuse News, KQED arts, Dazed Magazine, Garage Magazine, and the New York Times.
Eric Gottesman is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, a National Arts Award recipient, a Creative Capital Artist, a parent, a co-founder of the artist-led organization For Freedoms, and he co-created the book Sudden Flowers. His work in the visual, literary, political, and teaching arts addresses nationalism, migration, structural violence, and intimacy, and has been shown at health conferences, on the televised opening of the NFL season, inside government buildings, on indigenous reserves, inside post-war rubble and in art museums around the world. Gottesman’s work is always collaborative. He has never made an artwork alone. He teaches, organizes, writes, and makes art that aspires to be collaborative, questions accepted notions of power, and proposes models for repair. Teaching is integral to Gottesman’s art practice and he is a mentor in the Arab Documentary Photography Program in Beirut, Lebanon.
Nyugen E. Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in Jersey City, New Jersey, primarily working in the areas of mixed-media drawing, assemblage, and performance. In his practice, he is interested in world-building, informed by ritual, memory, language, history, and art-making processes that prioritize the use of previously used materials, the body, and play through the lens of Blackness. Nyugen holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been presented at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; Peréz Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Cultural History, Oslo; Frist Art Museum, Nashville; Blanton Museum, Austin; Newark Museum; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, among others. Nyugen is the recipient of the Creative Capital Award, Leonore Annenberg Performing and Visual Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace Fund, Dr. Doris Derby Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.
Robel Temesgen (b. 1987) is a PhD fellow in Artistic Practice at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He received an MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway, in 2015 and a BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University in 2010. Robel’s work focuses on symbiotic relations and the languages around places, people, and spirits through painting, publication, and installation. His lengthy projects include Adbar, Addis Newspaper, and Practicing Water. Robel’s work has been widely exhibited on international platforms in solo and group shows, including Kunsthall Oslo (2023); Lingen Konsthalle(2022); ARoS Museum, Aarhus (2021); Para Site, Hong Kong (2021); Kunsthall Oslo (2019); Circle Art Agency, Nairobi (2019); Addis Foto Fest, Addis Ababa (2018); Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa (2018); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017); Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2016); and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2014). He received several awards and fellowships: Lingen Art Prize (2022); Junge Akademie, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2018); and IASPIS, Stockholm (2017). Robel is a Lecturer at Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University, and lives between Addis Ababa and Oslo.
6-8 I Eyes That Listen curated by Keyna Eleison
Friday, Feb 9
A showcase of films by artists from Brazil, Cuba, Barbados, and Jamaica assembled together not as an answer to the question raised by the book, "Where is Africa?," but with the understanding that the title and content of the book open up even more paths and questions. These paths might lead us to the poetic dimension that resides in the existence of Black bodies and lives. To the dynamics of the presence of life, intelligence, and multiple forms of collective maintenance. To affective networks, to link and unlinkings.
Aline Motta (2019, Brazil, 15:52 min)
(Outros) Fundamentos talks about the consequences of the journey that the artist, Aline Motta, undertook in search of her roots, and questions the sense of belonging to a place that might not acknowledge its seemingly evident kinship. It brings together Lagos in Nigeria, Cachoeira in Bahia, and the artist’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, through the waters and bridges that connect the three cities and their common ancestral background. The film is the last installment of a trilogy that began in 2017 with Bridges over the Abyss and continued with If the Sea Had Balconies.
O fim das cidades (The End of Cities)
Rafael RG (2020, Brazil, 5:29 min)
O fim das cidades (The End of Cities) is a project that delves into the investigations surrounding the construction of Belo Horizonte, the new capital of Minas Gerais following Ouro Preto. It focuses, in particular, on the expropriations carried out by the State for the construction of the Governor's palace and its surroundings.This vocal performance by Felipe Jawa conjures a near future where structures of power crumble into ruins. Against the backdrop of the historical context, it envisions a time when the very foundations of authority face a transformative decay. Recorded in September 2020 at the Palácio da Liberdade, the former seat of the Government of Minas Gerais, the project unfolded during the COVID-19 pandemic, strictly adhering to all health safety protocols. Video produced with support from the IMS Convida program - Instituto Moreira Salles.
A Black footprint is a beautiful thing
Alberta Whittle (2021, Barbados / UK, 11:30 min)
Alberta Whittle critically engages with the legacy of colonialism through a nuanced exploration of the shipworm. Whittle casts this seemingly insignificant marine organism as a subversive figure in history, conceptualizing it as a decolonial agent that inadvertently thwarted the progress of European imperialism by consuming the wooden structures of ships deployed in the colonization of the Caribbean. This thoughtful exploration, deeply rooted in the artist’s personal, familial connection to the Caribbean, seeks to understand the potential sensuality and pleasure derived by the shipworm in its destructive actions. The project extols these small creatures, emphasizing their unanticipated role as agents of anti-colonial resistance, ultimately emerging as potent symbols of grassroots power and resistance in the historical narrative.
Sair da grande noite
Tiago Sant’Ana (2023, Brazil, 3:16 min)
Through an exercise that interchanges choreography, the presence of a mirror, and fabric, this work metaphorizes the waves of the sea through the movements of the body to think about the clarity/fading of memories of Atlantic crossings.
Carlos Martiel (2022, Cuba, 11:57 min)
I walk barefoot for several days across different locations in Dakar, and then climb atop a pedestal and remain standing for a few minutes. I leave my footprints on its surface as a trace of my presence.
Gê Viana and lagor Peres (2023, Brazil, 17:48 min)
In the middle of the night, crossing the landscape. Sewn into the clothes of the Cazumbas. In the celestial bodies, the tides, and the festivals. The rocket. The jewel. The fires and the gunpowder. In photography, this same body tensions its presence in the image by creating a hole generated by the excess of the same factor that would also make it stand out, brightness. Using analog and digital images the short film, Itaperaí, aims to take a look at this luminous entity. Through a narrative that mixes documentary and fiction, it tells the story of the glow as an instrument of enchantment that sews together the natural events of landscapes and the brilliance caused by stones and bodies.
(With support from Veeshal's nomadic programme 2022/2023)
The Memory Held within Water
Simon Benjamin (2022, Jamaica, 7:00 min)
The Memory Held within Water is a fictional, nonlinear film by Simon Benjamin in collaboration with Jean Claude Santilus, a member of Atis Rezistans in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The film is inspired by Claude's life story, in which he describes himself as a "man of the community" and shares his deep connection to the ancient water well in the yard of his familial home in Grand Rue, Port-Au-Prince. Claude dreams of rejuvenating the well and bringing water to his community, where it is currently scarce. The water well is a part of Claude's heritage and grounds him. For Benjamin, a Jamaican migrant living in the US without familial ties to place, the Caribbean Sea connects him to notions of home, community, and memory of place. The visuals paired with the transcripts of Claude's story are not based on particular geography but instead located in the fragments of memory and imagination, with the absence or abundance of water serving as a through-line. The film was initially staged in 2022 as a multisensory installation at the St. Kunigundis Church in Kassel, Germany, in the context of documenta fifteen.
Irawo Bori / Cosmic Head Offering
Ayrson Heráclito and Lula Buarque de Hollanda (2022, Brazil, 15:48 min)
Irawo Bori / Cosmic Head Offering is a poetic film on Bori directed by Lula Buarque de Hollanda and an art performance by Aryson Heráclito, presented at Pinacoteca de São Paulo in 2022. “The action consists in offering food to the heads of twelve performers, who represent the twelve main Orixás of African-Brazilian religion, Candomblé. To feed the head is to nourish the soul. To feed the head with food for the gods to evoke protection,” explains Ayrson.
More about the curator
Keyna Eleison is a curator, writer, researcher, Griot heiress and shaman, narrator, singer, ancestral chronicler, and cultural manager. She holds a master's degree in Art History and a specialist degree in History and Architecture from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She was a member of the African Heritage Commission for the laureation of the Cais do Valongo region as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). She was the manager of all the cultural centers in the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro from November 2015 to January 2017. Pedagogical coordinator of the Escola Livre de Artes Visuais - Parque Lage between 2018 and 2019. Curator of the 10th SIART International Biennial in Bolivia and artistic director of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) between 2020 and 2023. She is currently a columnist for Contemporary & and curator of the Amazon Biennial 2023. She works on the development of exhibitions and the meanings of works of art and artists, guiding artistic processes, curating exhibitions, and teaching art with the precedent of coordinating art education and narrative being to reinforce the relationship of passing on and capturing oral knowledge.
Saturday, February 10, 2024
11-1 I Reclaiming Agency: African Artists' Manifestos! Workshop with Amandine Nana
Saturday, Feb 10
11 am-1 pm
Limited to 15 participants. Join the waitlist here.
Drawing from Amandine Nana’s research on African and Black art criticism, this workshop introduces participants to African artists' manifestos as an uncanny art historical material source to locate and map a long tradition of African artists critically addressing their position within their local community and the international art world, while reclaiming aesthetic agency. Through attention to a selection of manifestos written in both French and English from the 1950s to the present, this workshop takes a bilingual form, experimenting with translation as a mode of close reading and resource sharing. The workshop takes place in the reading room, in conjunction with a special presentation of books from the Transplantation library collection.
Amandine Nana (b. 1998) is a writer and curator at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Trained as an art historian and urbanist with a multidisciplinary background in the humanities, she specializes in African and African diasporic studies. She built her curatorial practice at the crossroads of art, research, publishing, literature, and architecture within an international context between Paris, Dakar, and New York. In 2020 in Paris, she founded Transplantation, an award-winning cultural organization, nomadic project space, and the first art library dedicated to diasporic imaginaries in France. Between 2020 and 2021 she collaborated with Chimurenga (South Africa) on the Chimurenga Library, an expansive project and research initiative focusing on the Black radical imagination in the Francophone world presented at the Centre Pompidou in 2021. She was a recipient of the Martine Aublet/Musée du Quai Branly grant to pursue research at Musée Théodor Monod/ IFAN institute in Dakar in 2021. She is the co-founder of Perspectives Africana, the first Africana Studies student seminar at ENS ULM in Paris, where she taught a course titled “Art History, Gender, and Black Feminism” from 2022 to 2023. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Air Afrique collector magazine. She joined the Palais de Tokyo in 2023.
Founded in 2020 by Amandine Nana, Transplantation is a sociocultural organization and art library based in Paris that builds programs and project spaces at the intersection of visual arts and cultural education, enhancing African diasporic and immigrant imaginaries and archives with a focus on the French-speaking world.
1-1:30 I Afrophon’ Reading Room Walkthrough with Gee Wesley
Saturday, Feb 10
Afrophon' Reading Room features recent artists' books and independent publications from Africa. Included are experimental literary and editorial projects that defy categorization; art books and cultural periodicals on contemporary art and politics, and artist-produced zines that embrace the democratic potential of artistic multiples. Largely created through self-organized modes of production and distribution, these publications trace the urgencies and conditions of the varied regions, histories, and diasporas from which their creators emerge. Together these publishers offer a set of bold propositions for the future of publishing not only on the African continent but across the globe.
Afrophon’ is a project dedicated to African independent art publishing. Through public programs, distribution, and an itinerant reading room, Afrophon' presents African artists' books, cultural periodicals, and art books on contemporary art, design, literature, architecture, theory, cultural politics, and adjacent fields.
Gee Wesley is an arts organizer born in Monrovia, Liberia, and based in New York, where he works as a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Media and Performance at the Museum of Modern Art. Before joining MoMA, Wesley held roles as Program Director at Recess (Brooklyn, NY), Curatorial Fellow at SculptureCenter (Queens, NY), and Curatorial Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia, PA). Wesley has been adjunct faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD) and Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY). He is a co-founder and board member of Ulises, a nonprofit art bookshop based in Philadelphia, and the founder of Afrophon' a project dedicated to contemporary African artists' books, art books, and independent art publishing. His work explores the relationship between publics and publications and how independent arts initiatives incubate new modes of curatorial and artistic practice. Wesley received his M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
2:30-4 I How do you channel [her]stories to center erased narratives? With Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Helina Metaferia, and Auttrianna Ward, Moderated by Rebecca Corey
Saturday, Feb 10
Artists Kazeem-Kamiński and Metaferia, curator/publisher Ward, and Where Is Africa contributor Corey address the urgency of researching and amplifying women’s stories and histories as part of a reparative and critical social practice. Though projects that return to the traces, hauntings, and material and structural absences of diasporic life in the archive to recover underrecognized acts of the past as potent gestures for the present and future.
More about the speakers
Rebecca Mzengi Corey is an arts practitioner whose interdisciplinary work includes visual art, curation, filmmaking, and cultural institution building and management. She has held top leadership roles at several major arts institutions in East Africa, where she lived and worked for over a decade (2009–2023). While serving as Artistic and Executive Director of Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, she founded the Nafasi Academy for Contemporary Art and Expression, Tanzania’s first contemporary art training program for artists, curators and cultural workers, and oversaw the development of the FEEL FREE Fund, which provides funding, incubation, and mentorship to artist-led initiatives across the country. She also spearheaded efforts to create a more thriving and networked arts ecosystem across the region. Her work in cultural heritage preservation and promotion has been covered in international media such as NPR, CNN Inside Africa, OkayAfrica, and Forbes, among others. She has curated a number of solo and group exhibitions, including Living Art, Living History for the East Africa Art Biennale in 2021 and ReMix at the Congo Biennale in 2022. She sees the arts as a space for radical imagination, critical thought, and reciprocity and care. In 2023, she relocated to Brooklyn, New York, and is excited to have joined Open Source Gallery as Managing Director.
Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński is a writer, artist, and scholar. Rooted in Black feminist theory, she has developed a research-based and process-oriented investigative practice that often deals with archives, specifically with the voids in public archives and collections. Interlacing the documentary with the fictional, her works manifest themselves through a variety of media and dissect the present of an everlasting colonial past: a past without closure. Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński is represented by Wonnerth Dejaco.
Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. Her work integrates archives, somatic studies, and dialogical practices, creating overlooked narratives that amplify BIPOC/femme bodies. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include RISD Art Museum (2022-2023); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2021-2022); New York University's The Gallatin Galleries, New York, NY (2021); and more. Metaferia's work was included in the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates (2023) and the Tennessee Triennial through the Frist Art Museum and Fisk University Art Gallery (2023). Her work is in the permanent collection of institutions including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates; Kadist, San Francisco, CA and Paris, France; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY. Metaferia is an Assistant Professor at Brown University in the Visual Art Department, and lives and works in New York City.
Auttrianna Ward is an independent curator, publisher, and cultural producer devoted to centering African Diasporic stories. Originating from San Francisco, her exploration spans global hubs including New York, Chicago, Salvador, Brazil, and her current locales in Los Angeles and London. With a BA in History from Manhattanville College and an MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Auttrianna is the visionary founder of Auttrianna Projects. At the helm of Auttrianna Projects, a Creative Firm and Publishing House, she leads initiatives fostering cultural exchange and empowering creators worldwide. This firm champions artistic expression across the Americas, Africa, and Asia, supporting diverse voices through publications, grants, residencies, and special projects. Noteworthy among her achievements is the establishment of Mare Residency, uniting emerging African-descendant artists through nomadic art residencies in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Loiza, Puerto Rico. Her impactful collaborations span acclaimed artists such as Derrick Adams, Daniel Lind-Ramos, and Qualeasha Wood, alongside partnerships with esteemed programs like Hank Willis Thomas's For Freedoms. Auttrianna's contributions have earned recognition through grants and fellowships, including the Critical Minded Grant for Critics of Color and the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Fellowship. Her work has been featured in publications including The Observer, Los Angeles Times, Cultured Magazine, New Art Examiner, and BmoreArt.
4-5:45 I Where does your African literary and critical aesthetics emanate from? With Mikael Awake, Serubiri Moses, Funto Omojola, and Yayra Sumah, Moderated by Matthew Shenoda
Saturday, Feb 10
A reading and discussion between poets, writers, critics, and publishers considering literary and critical lineages and contemporary practices informing their work and contributions to Where Is Africa.
More about the speakers
Mikael Awake has written pieces for The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Oxford American, GQ, and other spots. With Daniel R. Day, he co-authored Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. He also teaches writing, recently at City College of New York’s MFA program and at Lafayette College. He was a 2022–2023 Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Fellow, where he did research for a forthcoming book about playground basketball.
Serubiri Moses is a Ugandan author and curator based in New York City. He is the author of several book chapters translated into five languages, and is the editor of Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing World (Valiz, 2021). He currently serves as faculty in Art History at Hunter College, CUNY. He previously held teaching positions at New York University; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; the New Centre for Research and Practice; Dark Study; and the Digital Earth Fellowship. As a curator, he has organized exhibitions at museums including MoMA PS1, Long Island City; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Hessel Museum, Bard College. He serves on the editorial team of e-flux journal.
Funto Omojola is a Nigerian American poet, performer, and visual artist. They are the founding editor of ẹwà, an online literary journal that publishes work exclusively by immigrant writers. Their first book is forthcoming from Nightboat Books this year.
Matthew Shenoda is a writer, professor, and author and editor of several books. His poems and essays have appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, radio programs, and anthologies. His debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press), was named one of 2005's debut books of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine and was winner of a 2006 American Book Award. He is also the author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions Ltd.); editor of Duppy Conqueror: New & Selected Poems by Kwame Dawes; author of Tahrir Suite: Poems (Northwestern University Press), winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award; and with Kwame Dawes, editor of Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (Northwestern University Press, 2017). His latest book is The Way of the Earth (Northwestern University Press, 2022). Shenoda began his teaching career in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University where he taught for nearly a decade, and has since held several faculty and administrative positions at various institutions. Currently he is Professor and Chair of the Department of Literary Arts and affiliated faculty in Africana Studies and the Brown Arts Institute at Brown University. Additionally, Shenoda is a founding editor of the African Poetry Book Fund and both the African Poetry book series and On African Poetry book series.
Dr. Awo Yayra Sumah is an intellectual, folkloric translator, editor, philosopher, and poet. She is the founder of School of Dark Divine Arts, an art movement leading the way in revitalizing the humanities. She offers an original curriculum in Feminine Aboriginal Studies—a transgressive field focusing on the melanoid aboriginal woman, her authentic customs, herstories, and land. She is the first to create such an artform shedding light on authentic feminine aboriginal customs. Her artistic contributions include poetry written for the 4th edition of the New Alphabet School #CARING and graphic design for the Vienna African Writers’ Club’s publication, Daworo. She has written cultural criticism on Contemporary African and Black Art at SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics, and Borderlines (Journal of the Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East). Her essays on art, culture, and theory have also appeared in What I Am Reading Now… (Part 2), HKW’s New Alphabet School Blog, Africanlens.co, and Paletten Art Journal. She holds a doctorate in African Studies from Columbia University’s Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies program, and is completing the definitive monograph Kintwadi kia Bangunza: Simon Kimbangu in Belgian Congo, on Congolese ancestral retrieval, reconciliation, ascension and revenge.
6-9 I Listening Session with Lamin Fofana and Alexander Weheliye and Performance by Akeema-Zane
Saturday, Feb 10
6:30-9 pm, Doors 6 pm
Musician and artist Lamin Fofana and scholar Alexander G. Weheliye present a call and response, playing selected tracks and reading texts to consider geographies of recorded sound and music as a site of diasporic belonging. Their exchange will be followed by a performance and sonic ritual, live mixing video projection, recorded sounds and recitation by artist, dj, and researcher Akeema-Zane.
More about the artists
Lamin Fofana is an artist and musician currently located in New York and Berlin. His music contrasts the reality of our world with what’s beyond, and explores questions of movement, migration, alienation, and belonging. Fofana’s overlapping interests in history and the present, and his practice of transmuting text into the active medium of sound, manifests in multisensory live performances and installations featuring original music compositions, eld recordings, and archival material.
Alexander Ghedi Weheliye is a writer and professor focusing on Black Studies, critical theory, gender and sexuality studies, social technologies, and popular culture. Currently, he is Malcolm S. Forbes Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. Weheliye previously held faculty positions in the African American Studies Department at Northwestern University and in the English Department at SUNY Stony Brook. He is the author of three books: Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (Duke University Press, 2005), which was awarded The Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture; Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014); and Feenin: R&B Music and the Materiality of BlackFem Voices and Technology (Duke University Press, 2023). He has also published numerous articles, some of which can be found here.
Akeema-Zane (she/her) is an artist and researcher who works across literature, sound design and music composition, film and moving image media. Through archival research, electronic media, experimentation, improvisation, bricolage, and collaboration, Akeema-Zane thinks through themes of labor, urbanization, globalization, internationalism, virtuality, and self possession. Her experiences of being a student, performer, employee and/or artist-resident of Westover School, Middlebury; Eugene Lang, New School University; The One World Exchange; The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Groundation Grenada; Cave Canem; Maysles Documentary Center; Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism; UnionDocs; and The School of Making Thinking has greatly informed Akeema-Zane’s practices. She is currently a film educator at Maysles Documentary Center, serves on the board of The Cucalorus Film Foundation, and is Board Chair of The School of Making Thinking.
Sunday, February 11, 2024
11-12:30 I What are the sites and practices that unsettle dominant cartographies of African and Afro-diasporic cities? With Mario Gooden, Olalekan Jeyifous, and Mabel O. Wilson, Moderated by Emanuel Admassu
Sunday, Feb 11
11 am-12:30 pm
Where Is Africa co-editor and architect, designer, and educator Emanuel Admassu, whose work engages the intersection of design theory, spatial justice, and contemporary African art, delves into questions related to the spatial valuation of African and Afro-diasporic cities with contributors Gooden, Jeyifous, and Wilson. Together, they consider imaging and performance practices that travel beyond disciplinary rubrics of measurement.
More about the speakers
Emanuel Admassu (he/him) is an architect and educator whose work addresses spatial justice, design theory, and contemporary African urbanism. He is an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP); and a co-founding board member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Admassu has held teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. His art and architecture practice, AD—WO, in partnership with Jen Wood, investigates how race and space are co-constituted through various assemblages of imaging and measuring. Their work has been exhibited internationally at venues including La Biennale di Venezia (2023), Chicago Architecture Biennial (2023), Art Omi (2023), Harvard Graduate School of Design (2023), Museum of Modern Art (2021), Architekturmuseum der TU München (2018), and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2017). AD—WO’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta). His forthcoming publication, Where Is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances (CARA), 2024), co-edited with Anita N. Bateman, is a transdisciplinary anthology of interviews, essays, and artworks.
Mario Gooden is a cultural practice architect and director of Mario Gooden Studio: Architecture + Design. His practice engages the cultural landscape and the intersectionality of architecture, race, gender, sexuality, and technology. His work crosses the thresholds between the design of architecture and the built environment, writing, research, and performance. Gooden is also a Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) of Columbia University, where he is the Director of the Master of Architecture program and co-director of the Global Africa Lab (GAL). He is a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, and a 2019 National Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture recipient. Gooden is the author of Dark Space: Architecture Representation Black Identity (Columbia University Press, 2016) as well as numerous essays and articles on architecture, art, and cultural production. Gooden is Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD) at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and a founding board member of the Black Reconstruction Collective (BRC). In June of 2022, Gooden became the 63rd President of the Architectural League of New York.
Olalekan Jeyifous is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He received a BArch from Cornell University and has exhibited at esteemed venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Vitra Design Museum, New York; the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where his artwork is featured in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture and Design. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, Olalekan has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was co-commissioned to design a monument for congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York's "She Built NYC" initiative. Olalekan has garnered numerous awards, including the notable Silver Lion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Additionally, he is a recipient of the 2021 Fellowship by the United States Artists, has been a Wilder Green Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, completed artist residencies at the Bellagio Center, and been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Drawing Center's Open Sessions program.
Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. With her practice Studio&, she was a member of the design team that recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at Venice Architecture Biennale, SFMoMA, Art Institute of Chicago, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Wilson has authored of Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016), Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012), and co-edited the volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020). For the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, she was co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (2021).
2-3:30 I New Directions, With Anthony Bogues, Antawan I. Byrd, and Mpho Matsipa, Moderated by Anita N. Bateman
Sunday, Feb 11
Where Is Africa co-editor Anita Bateman leads a conversation on new directions in curatorial, critical, and institutional approaches to the study and presentation of African and Afro-Diasporic art in conversation with contributors Bogues and Matsipa, and curator Byrd. A discussion that centers recent large-scale international projects considering global trajectories of Black political thought, histories and legacies of Pan-Africanism, and the role of visual and sonic cultures in the ongoing work of decolonization.
More about the speakers
Dr. Anita N. Bateman (she/her) specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora with additional expertise in the history of photography, Black Feminism/Womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. Bateman earned a doctorate in art history and visual culture and graduate certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University, a master’s in art history from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in art history, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her academic research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Bateman was the Fall 2022 ARCAthens Curatorial Fellow and a 2022 Graham Foundation grantee for the forthcoming publication, Where Is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances), co-edited with Emanuel Admassu. She is currently the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Anthony Bogues is a writer, scholar and curator. He is author/editor of ten books in the fields of political thought, African and African diaspora critical theory, Caribbean intellectual history, and African Diaspora art. He is currently working on a book titled Black Critique. He is co-editing some of the unpublished writings of Sylvia Wynter, writing her intellectual biography, as well as the biography of the Haitian artist, Andre Pierre. His latest book is Blowing the Abeng: History, Politics and Art in Caribbean Thought (2024). He is the Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Africana Studies and Affiliated Professor in the departments of History of Art and Architecture and Political Science at Brown University. He is the Inaugural Director of the Ruth J Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University; the Director of the Public Humanities Program at Brown; a Visiting Professor and Curator at the University of Johannesburg; and Visiting Professor of African and African Diaspora Thought at the Free University of Amsterdam. Bogues has curated/co-curated art shows in the Caribbean, South Africa, Paris, and the USA. He has held humanities fellowships at Stanford University and Dartmouth College, and was the Distinguished Mellon Visiting Professor in Africana Thought at the University of Cape Town, 2006-2008. Currently he is the co-convener and co-curator of two major historical art and cultural projects, “In Slavery’s Wake with the National African American Museum of History and Culture” at the Smithsonian and “Imagined New: Black Life After Historical Catastrophe” in South Africa. He is a regular columnist for the South African newspaper Mail and Guardian. His articles have appeared in the Financial Times as well as in Caribbean newspapers.
Antawan I. Byrd, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Northwestern University and an Associate Curator of Photography and Media at the Art Institute of Chicago. At the Art Institute, he recently curated Closer to the Earth, Closer to My Own Body (2021), a solo exhibition of work by the Kenyan artist Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, and co-edited the catalogue The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster, based on an exhibition that he co-curated in 2019. He co-curated the 2nd Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Art (2019), Kader Attia: Reflecting Memory at Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art (2017), and was an Associate Curator for the 10th Bamako Encounters, Biennale of African Photography (2015). From 2009 to 2011, he was a Fulbright Fellow and Curatorial Assistant at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. In 2017, he received the Award for Curatorial Excellence by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. Byrd is currently co-curating a survey exhibition on Pan-African art and culture, opening at the Art Institute in December 2024 before traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona and the Pompidou, KANAL in Brussels.
Mpho Matsipa is an educator, researcher, and curator. She received her PhD in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University; the Cooper Union; and the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. She has curated several exhibitions and discursive platforms, including the South Africa Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2008), African Mobilities at the Architecture Museum in Munich; and Studio-X Johannesburg. She founded the African Mobilities podcast series with support from the Goethe Institut, KSB, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Mpho was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (2022), and a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is currently an associate curator for the Lubumbashi Biennale in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2024).
4-7 I Closing Reception
Sunday, Feb 11
Join us for closing remarks and reflections with Where Is Africa editors, followed by a celebratory toast to conclude our weekend of programming!
Copies of the book will be available for sale in the CARA bookstore.
Where Is Africa is supported, in part, by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
February 9-11, 2024
To inaugurate CARA’s annual Publishing Expanded winter program, CARA will host a 3-day convening featuring Where Is Africa editors, designer, contributors, and invited guests. Conceived as an opportunity for gathering and dialogue, Publishing Expanded offers a more expansive approach to the “book launch” by fostering conversation and deep engagement with the title through ongoing opportunities for commoning. The program will unfold through discussions, workshops, talks, readings, screenings, performances, and a special bookstore and reading room selection.
More about the editors and designer
Dr. Anita N. Bateman (she/her) specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora with additional expertise in the history of photography, Black Feminism/Womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. Bateman earned a doctorate in art history and visual culture and graduate certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University, a master’s in art history from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in art history, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her academic research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Bateman was the Fall 2022 ARCAthens Curatorial Fellow and a 2022 Graham Foundation grantee for the publication, Where is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances, 2024), co-edited with Emanuel Admassu. She is currently the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Emanuel Admassu (he/him) is an architect and educator whose work addresses spatial justice, design theory, and contemporary African urbanism. He is an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP); and a co-founding board member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Admassu has held teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. His art and architecture practice, AD—WO, in partnership with Jen Wood, investigates how race and space are co-constituted through various assemblages of imaging and measuring. Their work has been exhibited internationally at venues including La Biennale di Venezia (2023), Chicago Architecture Biennial (2023), Art Omi (2023), Harvard Graduate School of Design (2023), Museum of Modern Art (2021), Architekturmuseum der TU München (2018), and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2017). AD—WO’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta). His publication, Where Is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances, 2024), co-edited with Anita N. Bateman, is a transdisciplinary anthology of interviews, essays, and artworks.
Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwean-born visual artist and educator. She is invested in elevating the work and practices of Black peoples past, present, and future whilst also acknowledging interconnected histories and serving those whose narratives have been or underrecognized. Mutiti’s work appears through a conceptual approach to design, publishing, archiving practices, and institution building. Mutiti holds a diploma in Multimedia from the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) and an MFA from the Yale School of Art, with a concentration in Graphic Design. Mutiti is the Director of Graduate Studies for Graphic Design at Yale School of Art. She has held academic positions at Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA), SUNY Purchase College, and VCUarts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Residencies and awards include: DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (2022); Berlin Artist Program, BKP (2021); Soros Arts Fellowship, Open Society Foundation (2019); among others. Recent group exhibitions include, O Quilombismo, HKW, Berlin (2023), TEXTURES: The History of Black Hair, Kent State University Museum, Ohio (2021); Sampled Ground, DAADGalerie, Berlin(2021); BOXWALLPOTS, Stable, Washington D.C. (2021); Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA Salon), (2020); Living in America, ICPNY, New York (2020); Surfacing, Mono Practice, Baltimore (2020); Talking Pictures, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2017), On Visibility and Camouflage, We Buy Gold, Brooklyn, New York (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); and Salon Style, Studio Museum, Harlem, New York (2015).
Participants include: Editors Emanuel Admassu and Anita N. Bateman, designer Nontsikelelo Mutiti, contributors Salome Asega, Mikael Awake, Anthony Bogues, Antawan I. Byrd, Rebecca Corey, Mario Gooden, Eric Gottesman, Olalekan Jeyifous, Mabel O. Wilson, Mpho Matsipa, Robel Temesgen, and guest speakers/performers Lizania Cruz, Johann Diedrick, Lamin Fofana, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Helina Metaferia, Serubiri Moses, Amandine Nana, Funto Omojola, Matthew Shenoda, Nyugen Smith, Yayra Sumah, Auttrianna Ward, Alexander Ghedi Weheliye, Gee Wesley, and Akeema-Zane!
Publishing Expanded: Where Is Africa will host the Afrophon’ Reading Room organized by Gee Wesley and a selection of titles from the Transplantation collection by Amandine Nana.
Indoor masking is encouraged during our programs at this time. We ask that visitors stay home if feeling sick, or have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days. Testing is strongly recommended before joining us at CARA if feeling symptomatic. Masks will be available for free for anyone who needs one.
The closest wheelchair accessible subway is 14th St/8th Avenue station. The entry to CARA is ADA-compliant and our bookstore and galleries are barrier free throughout with all gender, wheelchair accessible bathrooms. CARA shall accommodate guest wheelchair needs if requested in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org. Service animals are welcome.