Women of Colour Index Reading Group with Rita Keegan

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Join us for the next Women of Colour Index Reading Group Special Collections & Archives, The Library with Rita Kegan, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Althea Greenan, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman

Full address: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections, Library, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross SE14 6NW

Event Date: Wednesday 1st November 2017
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm

WOCI Reading Group started in October 2016 by Michelle Williams Gamaker, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman. Once a month WOCI Reading Group workshops are organised at Women’s Art Library to read text and look at art work by women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group aims to improve visibility of women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group welcomes all, people from all backgrounds, genders, religions and races. During workshop critical discussions are encouraged.

Below workshop reading text. All reading text are materials from Women of Colour Index Archive collated by Rita Keegan.

Workshop reading text:

‘We all felt strongly about documentation. Ultimately the only thing that is left is documentation and that was a perfect way do it. We felt like that in terms of exhibitions and in terms of any kind of research we were doing that, it was so easy to get erased from history. You know, we’d seen it with the feminists; we’d seen it with so many other things. So the, understanding of how important documentation was key.

Having the place in the Slide Library, where I could sort of invent this Index and it was always available for other people to see, for me it was quiet important that it’s not someone’s private collection, that it is available.’ Rita Keegan – Reflecting with Rita Keegan on 04 September 2015, Interviewed and transcribed by Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski, Human Endeavour, X Marks The Spot

Image above from ‘Human Endeavour’ by X Marks the Spot.

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Twilight City by Black Audio Film Collective – WOCI Reading Group at South London Gallery

Wed 6 Sep, 6pm, Clore Studio, Free

6.30 pm – 8.00pm

 

1. Policing the Crisis p. 31 -32, Stuart Hall, 1978

“Blacks become the bearers, the signifier, of the crisis of British society in the 70s: racism is its ‘final solution’…This is not a crisis of race. But race punctuates and periodizes the crisis. Race is the lens through which people come to perceive that a crisis is developing. It is the framework through which the crisis is experienced. It is the means by which the crisis is to be revolved – ‘send it away’. (Hall, 1978: 31-2)

2. Representing Black Britain: Black and Asian images on Television by Sarita Malik

3. The Workshop Years: Black British Film and Video after 1981 at the Hammer Museum

“Independent black British filmmaking saw an increased urgency and viability in the aftermath of South London’s Brixton Rising in 1981. In many respects this event—part of a series of responses to police brutality, corruption, and racist policies aimed at undermining the rights of Britain’s black population—was the first of its kind to unfold within the context of the BBC’s nightly news.1 At an early moment in British television history, over the course of three days in April 1981, audiences were routinely exposed to images of dissenting blackness through the mediating lens of mainstream journalism; these images became inextricably linked to a series of representational codes that further underscored aspects of British society that had inherited and internalized systematic racial inequities. The depiction of black identity occasioned by the Brixton Rising was one of disorder, lawlessness, and rage—characterizations that continued in the months that followed with subsequent confrontations between protestors and police taking place in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and other cities.2”

Part 2

10 minute audio clip of an interview with Gail Lewis discussing activism in London during 70s and 80s and the faultlines that have threatened solidarities, as well as this excerpt from Gail’s Guardian article:

“Gail Lewis: Infighting is inclusion”
Guardian Article, March 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/07/international-womens-day-defence-feminist-dissent-argued-priorities

South London Gallery press release and booking:

http://southlondongallery.org/women-of-colour-index-reading-group-twilight-city/?utm_source=MASTER+-+South+London+Gallery+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=ee6b7550ce-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5d7886dd9e-ee6b7550ce-

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WOMEN OF COLOUR INDEX READING GROUP PRESENTS:

Please join us at The Showroom tomorrow night for –

COOL ATMOSPHERES: Performing Inner Songs featuring Priya Srinivasan, Uthra Vijay and Andrea Campaneau. Following on from the performance, WOCI will be in conversation with the performers and Melissa Blanco.

Venue: The Showroom Gallery, 63 Penfold Street, NW8 http://www.theshowroom.org/visit
Tuesday, 30 May, 6-7pm
Please RSVP to Melissa.Blanco@rhul.ac.uk

This interdisciplinary performance uses poetry, dance, music and visual imagery to look at the inner landscapes of disparate women’s journeys through their imaginative connections across time and place to understand migration from the atmospheres of emotion. Pairing Andal the 9th century female poet from South India with recovered and Fragmented images and stories of exile past and present from Australia, Sudan and Romania, the piece invites audiences to rethink feminist voices from non-western contexts through the impact of their intersections. The performance invokes intimacy, playing with light, sound, and movement. Dancer/scholar Priya Srinivasan (Australia) joins singer Uthra Vijay (India/Australia) and visual artist Andrea Campaneau (Romania) for a unique collaboration of classical carnatic music, contemporary Indian dance theatre and the convergence of histories, lyricism, affect, and resonance. The performance will be followed by a discussion with audiences and local communities.

Supported by Royal Holloway University (HARC/HARI Fund led by Dr. Melissa Blanco Borelli and part of the Aesthetics of Cool Series), Royal Central School of Drama (Kate Elswit) and the Women of Colour Reading Index (WOCI) group with Samia Malik, Michelle Williams Gamaker and Rehana Zaman (Goldsmith’s College)

Bios
Uthra Vijay is the Artistic Director of Keerthana School of Music in Melbourne that she founded in 2003. She is a versatile artist, composer and educator, who is equally comfortable working in the classical realm or experimenting with non-classical forms of music including popular music and contemporary forms. She has an extensive background in Indian classical music, winning several awards and performing in a range of venues in India and Australia. Uthra is an accomplished Classical Indian Music Vocalist having learned from several distinguished gurus and was exposed to different musical styles culminating in her training under the auspices of S.P. Ramh in the late legendary violinist Lalgudi Jayaram’s School of Music. She has brought her extensive solo performance experience in South India from The Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Karaikudi Kamban Vizha, Ramakrishna Mutt, and elsewhere to Melbourne and has presented concert length performances. She has also collaborated and performed in contemporary performances at the Treasury Building for Mapping Melbourne Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne (Fed Square), Immigration Museum for the Triennial International Asian Festival AsiaTOPA which included intercultural experimentation with Iranian singer Tabassom Ostad. Her compositional work includes setting classical and contemporary music for vocalists and dancers alike, including soundscapes for experimental artists.

Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer, choreographer and scholar whose research and performance is framed by postmodern sensibilities while grounded in feminist Indian classical performance practices. Her work brings together live bodily performance with visual art, interactive multimedia and digital technology to think about archives of the body, migration, and female labor from the perspective of art. Her work has been presented in diverse settings in many theatre houses, galleries, universities, museums, and in public spaces such as the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (China), The Korzo Theatre in The Hague (Netherlands), Folkwang Performing Arts Center in Essen (Germany), The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), typografia galleria in Bucharest (Romania), Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai (India), Unknown Theatre in California, in international festivals such as AsiaTOPA and Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and site specific works at the Irvine Civic Center and Bill Barber Park, in Los Angeles (USA), Treasury Building and The Immigration Museum in Melbourne Australia. She will be performing in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Hamburg collaborating with European musicians, visual artists, and choreographers on gendered migration projects in May-June 2017. She has presented her performance and academic work at Harvard University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Oxford University (UK) and several other spaces in Switzerland, Sweden, UK, and Austria. She has a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has created the form of “talking dances” based on her award winning book “Sweating Saris Indian Dance as Transnational Labor.” Priya has created a range of site specific pieces that focus on migration and loss, and make visible minority women’s histories offering an alternate feminist aesthetic.

Andrea Campeanu is a Romanian freelance photojournalist based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She hold a MA in Media and Visual Anthropology from Free University in Berlin. She frequently contributed to Reuters, AFP, the United Nations and international NGOs. Her work has appeared among others in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, Le Monde, Paris Match, The Guardian, Newsweek and National Geographic Romania. Her work often focuses on documenting issues related to displacement and the effects of conflict. She has covered the ramifications of war in South Sudan and Central African Republic. She also frequently cover arts,
fashion and sports culture in marginalized countries or communities. She lived and worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Madagascar and Lebanon. She also worked in Spain, Morocco, Central African Republic, Greece, Turkey.

WOCI Reading Group at Images of Tomorrow

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Join us at Images of Tomorrow for Women of Colour Index Reading Group Special Collections & Archives, with Michelle Williams Gamaker and Samia Malik

Full address: Room: PSH 305, Goldsmiths, Professor Stuart Hall Building, University of London, New Cross SE14 6NW

Event Date: Sunday 4th June 2017
Time: 11.45am – 1.15pm

WOCI Reading Group started in October 2016 by Michelle Williams Gamaker, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman. Once a month WOCI Reading Group workshops are organised at Women’s Art Library to read text and look at art work by women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group aims to improve visibility of women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group welcomes all, people from all backgrounds, genders, religions and races. During workshop critical discussions are encouraged.

Below workshop reading text. All reading text are materials from Women of Colour Index Archive collated by Rita Keegan. To clarify, artists mentioned in workshop reading text, due to busy work schedule will usually not be able to attend reading group.

Workshop reading text:

Nina Edge

For a serious critical study of our practise we have of course been dependent for many years on ourselves. In the eighties’ flurry of Black group exhibitions, black visual artists were required to write about their practice on a scale unprecedented in the mainstream (or should I say white) sector. This new space new power; the space in which Black artists’ writing could be read, has played an important role in demonstrating to the populace of that we exist, enabling the networking and interaction of isolated practitioners to establish contact. But it has been a double edged gift, the hunger of such documentation being greater than our ability to produce it. In particular to produce in a manner which does not trap us into our designated space, to write with the skills and tenacity necessary to be read with anything more than a patronising smirk. The mainstay of writing on Black arts practice has been written by artists. This, although giving publishing opportunities doe not necessarily empower us, for the simple fact remains; just like all white artists, all Black artists do not make good communicators in the language of written English. It is time to involve Black practitioners (as others) who have developed critical and linguistic skills in the review and documentation of our work. Observe the mainstream use of artists’ texts: a sociological placement of the artist is rarely of the menu – they even form works – they blither on in an intellectually mystified series of codes but rarely do they look quite as stupid and narrow in vision as the Black sector on occasions has managed to appear.

IMAGES OF TOMORROW: https://imagesoftomorrow.wixsite.com/2017

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Women of Colour Index Reading Group Event 9

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Women of Colour Index Reading Group Event 9

Join us for the 9th Women of Colour Index Reading Group Special Collections & Archives, The Library with Michelle Williams Gamaker, Althea Greenan, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman

Full address: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections, Library, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross SE14 6NW

Event Date: Monday 22nd May 2017
Time: 10.30am – 1.00pm

WOCI Reading Group started in October 2016 by Michelle Williams Gamaker, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman. Once a month WOCI Reading Group workshops are organised at Women’s Art Library to read text and look at art work by women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group aims to improve visibility of women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group welcomes all, people from all backgrounds, genders, religions and races. During workshop critical discussions are encouraged.

Below workshop reading text. All reading text are materials from Women of Colour Index Archive collated by Rita Keegan. To clarify, artists mentioned in workshop reading text, due to busy work schedule will usually not be able to attend reading group.

Workshop reading text:

I’m at Brighton Poly studying for a BA (Hons) in Visual and Performance Art. My art work at present is dealing with Black issues. My background is stage school for two years, of which, nine months I toured with a theatre company (black) called Stanch Poets and Players. We toured Holland, and England. I went on to do a Foundation in art at Loughton, Essex.

I was brought up in an all white area and had an identity crisis until I was eleven years old. This is now coming out in my work. My subject matter is asking the onlooker to ask themselves questions. WHERE DOES THE BRITISH BLACK BELONG?

I’ve called my work this because having travelled to the States and Jamaica and know a lot of Africans, I noticed the attitude is so different. For instance, in America the blacks and are black American, not foolishness about 3rd Generation. Once you’re born in USA you are an American black. There’s no such thing as English black. We’re British.

Then I took Jamaica because that’s where my mother and father are from, and if you’re white and born in Jamaica you’re classed as white Jamaican. I’m sure you’re getting my drift.

And then I chose Ethiopia as that’s the land of repatriation.
The British Blacks are made to feel inferior in England.
I feel my work deals with this fairly and __________________
(undecipherable word)

My work is large silkscreen prints… I use the image of me when I was a child as I feel it fits what I’m trying to say. You look at the picture and the child looks so alone, as if she doesn’t belong anywhere, and wonders just what her future will hold.

I would like to point out that I know where I belong, and that’s wherever I live, I make that my home, I belong there. But then not every black person is as strong or confident about themselves as I am. And I would like to pass this through my work.

Sharon Curtis (taken from a letter to Patrick Day, keeper of the Fine Art, Coventry Herbert Art Gallery)

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Women of Colour Index Reading Group Event 8

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Join us for the 8th Women of Colour Index Reading Group Special Collections & Archives, The Library with Michelle Williams Gamaker, Althea Greenan, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman

Full address: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections, Library, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross SE14 6NW

Event Date: Monday 24th April 2017
Time: 10.30am – 1.00pm

WOCI Reading Group started in October 2016 by Michelle Williams Gamaker, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman. Once a month WOCI Reading Group workshops are organised at Women’s Art Library to read text and look at art work by women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group aims to improve visibility of women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group welcomes all, people from all backgrounds, genders, religions and races. During workshop critical discussions are encouraged.

Below workshop reading text. All reading text are materials from Women of Colour Index Archive collated by Rita Keegan. To clarify, artists mentioned in workshop reading text, due to busy work schedule will usually not be able to attend reading group.

Workshop reading text:

Jagjit Chuhan, born in India, 1955. Studied at Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, 1973 – 7

Jagjit Chuhan was one of the artist included in the In Focus series of exhibitions held at the Horizon Gallery, London in response to a perceived omission in the Hayward Gallery exhibition The Other Story of certain aspects of Asian artist work in Britain. Whilst The Other Story went some way towards addressing the issue of the absence of non-European artists from the history of modern art, its term of reference, and hence its choice of artists, were determined by curatorial assumptions about the primacy of modernism within twentieth century art.

Chuhan’s work however is centred on a re-interpretation of the complexities and philosophical concerns of the artist’s own cultural traditions. It belongs therefore within an art practice which is a positive alternative to either a more direct engagement with modernism or the adoptions of an oppositional rhetoric. At the same time as being rooted in Indian aesthetics, Chuhan’s work has evolved from a continuing appreciation of Western art. It as a synthesis characteristics of the cultural reciprocity that is becoming central to the reshaping of British culture.

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Women of Colour Index Reading Group Event 7

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Join us for the 7th Women of Colour Index Reading Group Special Collections & Archives, The Library with Althea Greenan, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman

Full address: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections, Library, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross SE14 6NW

Event Date: Monday 13th March 2017
Time: 10.30am – 1.00pm

WOCI Reading Group started in October 2016 by Michelle Williams Gamaker, Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman. Once a month WOCI Reading Group workshops are organised at Women’s Art Library to read text and look at art work by women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group aims to create and improve visibility of women of colour artists. WOCI Reading Group welcomes all, people from all backgrounds, genders, religions and races. During workshop critical discussions are encouraged.

Below workshop reading text, all reading texts are materials from Women of Colour Archive collated by Rita Keegan. To clarify, artists mentioned in workshop reading text, due to busy work schedule will usually not be able to attend reading group.

Workshop reading text:

the image employed,
the use of narrative in Black art

Cornerhouse
70 Oxford Street Manchester
13 June – 18 July 1987
Artists: Allan de Souza, Amanda Holiday, Chila Kumari Burman, Claudette Johnson, Donald G Rodney, Eddie Chambers, Jennifer Comrie, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, Mathison/ George, Mowbray Odonkor, Simone Alexander, Sonia Boyce, Sutapa Biswas, Tam Joseph, Zarina Bhimji

Selected by Keith Piper and Marlene Smith

It is at long last widely recognised that Black artists have been living and working in this country since the 1930’s. Over the ensuing decades we have witnessed a hard fought for but sustained increase in the visibility of individual and collective Black presences within the hallowed chambers of arts mainstream. From the inception of the Caribbean Artist Movement in 1966, to the activities of the BLK Art Group in the early 1980’s, this visibility was to a large extent due to initiatives undertaken by organised and assertive collectives of Black artists. In more recent years however, the majority of ‘high profile’ exhibitions of work by Black artists have materialised through a reversing of this type of initiative. Corner house’s invitation to Marlene Smith and myself to select an exhibition of work by Black artists must be seen as yet another manifestation of this trend.

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