‘Black Europe Body Politics (BE.BOP): Coalitions Facing White Innocence’ by Autograph ABP

Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th June 2018, from 10:00 AM @ Autograph, Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA


This 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 – the event confronts colonial legacies and continuities with artistic strategies that enable the retelling of violent histories.

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. Coloniality means that these unequal power relations continue to have effects on current epistemologies and white hegemonic notions on humanity and citizenship.

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(NB: click here to purchase Gloria’s book White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race )

During the performances and panel discussions, different initiatives from Europe, the African continent and its diasporas, and the Pacific region will present options to de-link from coloniality.

BE.BOP 2018 is a two-day event. Tickets from eventbrite priced from £15 for each day. Lunch is included in the ticket price.

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* Gurminder K. Bhambra * Chandra Frank, Miguel Gomez * Sasha Huber * Patricia Kaersenhout * Nazila Kivi * Sophie Maríñez * Walter D. Mignolo * Joiri Minaya: Patrice Naiambana * Tanja Ostojić, Julia Roth * Robbie Shilliam * Ovidiu Tichindeleanu * Rolando Vázquez.

The event is curated by Alanna Lockward.

Programme: Monday 11th 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 Movement 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? Panel discussion with 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.

  • 16:30-17:00 Break
  •  17:00 – 18:30 Panel II: Decolonial Aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary – panel discussion with 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.

Programme: Tuesday 12th 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. Panel discussion with 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 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. Panel discussion with 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

For more information go to BE.BOP