The fifth edition of BE.BOP tackles central questions on Black European citizenship within global affairs. Incorporating a variety of disciplines and approaches — art, science, film, performance, activism — BE.BOP confronts colonial legacies and continuities with artistic strategies that enable the retelling of violent histories.
*A two day event at Autograph, London. Book tickets to one or both days, lunch is included in the ticket price.*
Grounded in the contributions of Decolonial Aesthetics, this year’s event explores the concept of ‘White Innocence’, coined by influential Caribbean Diaspora thinker Gloria Wekker in order to make visible the continuing inequalities caused by colonial modernity. Coloniali...ty means that these unequal power relations continue to have effects on current epistemologies and white hegemonic notions on humanity and citizenship.
During the performances and panel discussions, different initiatives from Europe, the African continent and its diasporas, and the Pacific region will present options to delink from coloniality.
BE.BOP founder Alanna Lockward states in her introduction to this year’s catalogue: “If there is one word that takes a while to refer to in a negative way, it is ‘modern’. BE.BOP’s 2018 program reflects that terms like 'modernity', 'modernization', or 'civilization' and 'development' can be acknowledged as an epistemic trap of White Innocence. For centuries, these concepts have accumulated undeserved legitimacy at the expense of the colonial and imperial wounds they have inflicted.
BE.BOP aims at contributing to possible alliances and coalitions between so-called ‘minorities’ while simultaneously promoting the critical self-reflection of educators, public institutions and cultural agents.
MON 11 JUNE
10:30 — 11:00 Registration
11:00 — 11:30 Introduction
11:30 — 13:00 Stitches of Power Stitches of Sorrow
Patricia Kaersenhout, Performance
Associating the Dahomey Women warriors active along the shores of West Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries, with Angela Davis and the Black Panther Movment of the 1970s, Kaersenhout highlights the relationality of movements and the continuity of time.
In this performance Kaershout engages in acts of embroidery, subverting a popular past time of white colonial women by creating images of violence.
13:00 — 15:00 Lunch
15:00 — 16:30 Panel I: The Commons of Struggle / The Common Struggle?
Robbie Shilliam, Gurminder Bhambra, Sasha Huber, Sophie Maríñez. Moderated by Alanna Lockward
This panel will present various takes on colonial legacies and how they inform the present.
From Britain’s fantasy of the old colonial empire, reflected in recent Brexit debates, to Decolonial literature and poetry that celebrates a legacy of solidarity between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, against dominant readings of historiographies.
Panellists will discuss various methods and strategies to excavate and make visible long and forgotten histories of Decolonial aesthesis.
17:00 — 18:30 Panel II: Decolonial Aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary
Rolando Vázquez, Patricia Kaesenhout, Ovidiu Tichindeleanu. Moderated by Walter Mignolo
This panel will show the significant influence of non-European political and artistic praxis on dominant Western canons both within art history and political struggles.
Speakers will consider the influence of Black thought and intellectual labor on European politics and cultural life, and to what extent this influence has been neglected.
TUE 12 JUNE
10:30 — 11:00 Registration
11:00-13:00 Perception Gap
Patrice Naiambana, solo digital performance
This performance explores the psychological pressures that the African immigrant/outsider experiences, and the fear of being a ‘here and there’ person lost somewhere between perceptions of insider and outsider.
13:00 — 15:00 Lunch
15:00-16:30 Panel III: On Misplaced Women? Inner Diasporas and Respectable Maroons
Tanja Ostojic, Nazila Kivi, Alanna Lockward, Chandra Frank. Moderated by Rolando Vázquez
In these presentations, artists and scholars will think through various histories of transnational Diasporic solidarity work, spanning from Black and Brown Queer kinship to theologies of liberation intrinsic to Decolonial political struggles. The discussion intends to take a complex look into Diasporic communities and analyse unequal power structures within groups of marginalised peoples.
16:30 — 17:00 Break
17:00 — 18:30 Panel IV: Decolonial Praxis of Living through Aesthesis and Education
Walter Mignolo, Mark Sealy, Julia Roth, Joiri Minaya. Moderated by Alanna Lockward
How do educators and cultural agents move and teach in places entrenched in long histories of colonial enterprise? What strategies can they apply to challenge students and visitors in their thinking and behavior?
This panel will discuss the pragmatic application of Decolonial aesthesis and education within cultural institutions and places of higher learning.
18:30-20:00 Open Mic
Moderated by Robbie Shilliam
BE.BOP 2018 is curated by Alanna Lockward
White Innocence is a project of Art Labour Archives in cooperation with Studio Я / Maxim Gorki Theater and Autograph ABP curated by Alanna Lockward. Supported by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb and ifa-Galerie Berlin (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) with friendly support by Danish Arts Foundation, Savvy Contemporary, American Studies Program — Humboldt University Berlin, London College of Communication: University of the Arts London, King's College London and Tate Britain.
Autograph is fully accessible