Charis welcomes Tina Campt in conversation with Ra Malika Imhotep for a celebration of A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See. In A Black Gaze, Tina Campt examines Black contemporary artists who are shifting the very nature of our interactions with the visual through their creation and curation of a distinctively Black gaze. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.
From Deana Lawson's disarmingly intimate portraits to Arthur Jafa's videos of the everyday beauty and grit of the Black experience, from Khalil Joseph's films and Dawoud Bey's photographs to the embodied and multimedia artistic practice by Okwui Okpakwasili, Simone Leigh, and Luke Willis Thompson--their work requires viewers to do more than simply look; it solicits visceral responses to the visualization of Black precarity.
Campt shows that this new way of seeing shifts viewers from the passive optics of looking at to the active struggle of looking with, through, and alongside the suffering--and joy--of Black life in the present. The artists whose work Campt explores challenge the fundamental disparity that defines the dominant viewing practice: the notion that Blackness is the elsewhere (or nowhere) of whiteness. These artists create images that flow, that resuscitate and revalue the historical and contemporary archive of Black life in radical ways. Writing with rigor and passion, Campt describes the creativity, ingenuity, cunning, and courage that is the modus operandi of a Black gaze.
Tina M. Campt, a Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, is Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and a Research Associate at the VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre) at the University of Johannesburg. She is the author of Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe, Listening to Images, and other books.
Ra Malika Imhotep is a Black feminist writer and cultural worker from Atlanta, Ga currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Imhotep's creative and intellectual work tends to the relationships between Black femininity, Vernacular aesthetics, and the performance of labor. She is the co-author of The Black Feminist Study Theory Atlas.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.
By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to email@example.com immediately.
Examining the work of contemporary Black artists who are dismantling the white gaze and demanding that we see--and see Blackness in particular--anew.
In Listening to Images Tina M. Campt explores a way of listening closely to photography, engaging with lost archives of historically dismissed photographs of black subjects taken throughout the black diaspora. Engaging with photographs through sound, Campt looks beyond what one usually sees and attunes her senses to the other affective frequencies through which these photographs register.
In Image Matters, Tina M. Campt traces the emergence of a black European subject by examining how specific black European communities used family photography to create forms of identification and community.