Black Portraiture[s] IV
BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] IV: The Color of Silence is the eighth conference in a series of international conversations to assess and break new ground in the fields of African, African American and African diasporic art and art history. This forum also provides various approaches to interpreting the representations, ambiguous meanings, and erasures of the black body in visual, social, material and expressive cultures. Over a span of fifteen years, artists, activists, patrons, musicians, writers, collectives, journalists, educators and scholars have come from across the globe to reflect on why and how conceptions of “blackness” shape historical imaginaries and subvert political ideologies. This is an opportunity to situate not only various macro-histories but also the micro-histories that inform a genealogy of innovative interrogations into the social structures that articulate—or silence—black subjectivity.
The conference aims to explore the aesthetic representation of the frameworks and social relations in which black bodies are seen and unseen, in which black lives are lived freely and under constraint, and most crucially, the representation of black subjects themselves. Examples abound throughout the African diaspora of how the humanity of black subjects is rendered invisible or hyper-visible—or both simultaneously (Cuba’s “antiracism,” Brazil’s “racial democracy,” South Africa’s “rainbow nation,” Jamaica’s “out of many, one people” motto, and the “postracial” U.S. are just a few examples). We invite papers that interrogate the complex intersections of race, history, culture and art.
Havana, Cuba. March 15-17, 2018.
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Background image: René Peña, Man Made Materials (digital print, 2000). Courtesy of the artist.