The Parliament of Bodies: Post-Post-Black!
with Nana Adusei-Poku

8–10 pm
Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel

How to make sense of a term that has stirred so much controversy in the early 2000s in the U.S. context sixteen years past its invention, a term that was used for a generation of black artists that seemed to distance themselves from previous generations, who utilized the term black in order to define their practices as a form of political resistance. Through recent activist work (i.e. Black Lives Matter) and media attention to persistent systemic racism as well as the rise of rightwing populism, “post-black” appears more than obsolete and is seldom used in the arts or in wider social discourse. However, the generation of artists that drew more attention due to the first two exhibitions Freestyle and Frequency left a significant mark on contemporary visual culture and the arts. This talk will trace the term post-black from its emergence, introduce accompanying debates around the term, and connect its difficult meaning with contemporary debates in the Afro-pessimist discourse as well as popular culture.

Nana Adusei-Poku (PhD) is a scholar, author, and educator. She is Professor of Cultural Diversity at the Piet Zwart Institute of the Willem De Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, as well as a guest lecturer in Media Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich. She studied African Studies and Gender Studies at Humboldt University, as well as Media and Communications at Goldsmiths College, London. At HU she also received a scholarship for the graduate program “Gender as a Category of Knowledge” in wihich she completed her doctorate in American literature and culture. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana, Legon; the London School of Economics; and Columbia University, New York. Her publications include the article “Post-Post-Black?” In Nka-Journal for Contemporary African Art and “Catch Me If You Can!,” a critical reflection on the state of diversity and decolonization in the arts and art education. In her most recent article, “On Being Present Where You Wish to Disappear,” Adusei-Poku questions the notion of nothingness, universality, and whiteness common in the contemporary art world.

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