A blog of the Center for Experimental Ethnography
The CEE and The Visual Identities in Arts and Design Research Group at the University of Johannesburg are forging exciting transatlantic connections.
Established in 2007, the VIAD research group is dedicated to deepening research around the overarching thematic of identity construction through forms of visual practice, visual culture and visual representation, and specifically in relation to African and Afrodiasporic histories and experiences. Focal areas of research at VIAD include Cultural Identities; Bodily/Embodied Identities; Designing/Designed Identities, and projects THAT interlink textual, conversational and creative outputs. From 2014-2020, VIAD is paying particular attention io research that falls under the rubric of personal addresses, creative agencies and political resistances in the post-colony.
VIAD projects include the Sojourner Project: A Black Studies Mobile Academy (here), where members of the Practicing Refusal Collective will join local artists, writers and thinkers in Johannesburg and Durban to present a week-long program of art interventions, performances, screenings, conversations and public master classes. Although physical engagements for the Sojourner project are postponed due to COVID-19, VIAD is developing a digital platform as a means of initiating a community and dialogue/exchange, and looking forward to an in-person convening in May 2021.
Another project, "The Lesser Violence Reading Group" (here), is co-created with Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA). This alternative ‘reading group’, is led by artists, researchers, and scholars, and asks participants to respond to listenings, experiences, performances, artworks and readings. In the 2018-2019 year these materials addressed the confronting of GBV and rape culture (TLV 2018 / TLV 2019). This year, The Lesser Violence Reading Group will be looking to ways in which community and "the social" factor in how artists navigate, disrupt and seek to reimagine this space.
It is our hope that this partnership will open avenues of creative exchange and dialogue between the faculty and students at our respective centers.
Stay tuned for an upcoming zoom conversation between Deb Thomas, CEE Director, and James MacDonald, VIAD Curatorial and Research Manager.
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