The Radical Solidarity Summit is a week-long online gathering to address urgent issues of our time, explore alternative futures, and discuss the possibilities that can be forged in the cultural field through acts of radical solidarity.
It is an opportunity to connect with other organisations and individuals, artists, curators, activists, writers and educators who are passionate about learning, supporting and collaborating in a spirit of generosity and who are committed to the continued fostering of the arts from Africa and its diaspora.
Alongside the programme of talks, the event will feature film screenings, performance, readings and an Instagram take-over.
Diana Campbell Betancourt, chief curator Dhaka Art Summit and artistic director Samdani Art Foundation
blaxTARLINES KUMASI, collective and contemporary art project space
Chimurenga, a pan-African platform of writing, art and politics
Nadia Davids, writer, theatre-maker and scholar
Frieda Ekotto, novelist and literary critic
Haroon Gunn-Salie, commissioned artist
Awa Konaté, critic, curator & founder of @CultureArtSociety
Mpho Matsipa, lecturer at Wits School of Architecture and Planning and research fellow at WiSER
Achille Mbembe, historian and political theorist
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, screenwriter, film director and visual artist
Nontsikelelo Mutiti, graphic designer, artist and educator
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, contemporary art curator, writer and founder and artistic director at Savvy Contemporary
Tuan Andrew Nguyen, artist
Rémy Ngamije, novelist and publisher, co-founder of independent literary magazine Doek!
Emeka Okereke, visual artist and writer
Bukola Oyebode, art writer, editor and publisher, founder and editor-in-chief of art magazine The Sole Adventurer
Marie Helene Pereira, curator and director of programmes, RAW Material Company
Edgar Pieterse, urban scholar, writer and creative agent, founding director African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Zahia Rahmani, writer, art historian, curator
ruangrupa, contemporary art collective and artistic director of Documenta 15
Albie Sachs, struggle veteran, former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Zeitz MOCAA board member
Rasha Salti, researcher, writer, and curator of art and film
Tau Tavengwa, founder and co-editor of Cityscapes magazine and Curator-at-Large at African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
FranÃ§oise Vergès, historian and political scientist
Tickets are R85 for African guests, and R150 for international guests. Limited sponsored tickets for students will also be made available on request.
Get your tickets here on Webtickets.
Time: 4:00 – 8:30 pm SAST (GMT+2)
Daily Instagram take-over by blaxTARLINES KUMASI
14 September 2020
Solidarity: Historic Contexts of Pan-Africanism and the Transnational Struggle
A historical mapping of Pan-Africanism as a political formation and radical solidarity in times of crisis. This will include insight into its inception in the Black Nationalist Movement in the United States of America, stretching into the anti-colonial movements in Africa and its diaspora, and to its present-day manifestations. Pan-Africanism as a school of thought comprises various intellectual traditions, such as the doctrine of Negritude that emerged in the 1920s and other black radical movements of the 20th and 21st century. The teachings of Pan-Africanism are foundational to much of the political self-organisation and mobilisation that occurred in the struggle for independence in Africa during the 20th century. Due to Pan-Africanism’s influence, different mechanisms emerged which united African countries against colonialism and assisted in the establishment of inter-regional social, political, economic and cultural ties. These connections created possibilities for underground networks, coalitions and strategies to materialise. This will involve a critical analysis of Pan-Africanism’s intellectual legacy, its shortcomings and its intersections with race, class, and gender.
4:00 – 4:10 pm: Introduction by Koyo Kouoh, Chief Curator and Executive Director, Zeitz MOCAA
4:10 – 6:00 pm: Conversation between Achille Mbembe and Albie Sachs, moderated by Koyo Kouoh
6:00 – 6:30 pm: Intermission
6:30 – 8:00 pm: Commissioned performance, Radical Solidarity (2020) by Haroon Gunn-Salie
8:10 – 8:30 pm: Reading by Sakhisizwe Gcina, The Battle of Rewritten Histories from Infinite Riches by Ben Okri
15 September 2020
Printed Matter, Text, Language, Transmission of Knowledge
Knowledge systems from Africa have been preserved and passed on through generations. They exist and manifest today through cultural forms and critical artistic practices. Language and literature, both spoken and in print, has played a pivotal role in the transmission of information for solidarity against suppressive cultural domination. This will be an examination of the different kinds of knowledge production and dissemination systems rooted in Africa. Furthermore, today, the accessibility of the internet is providing a space for the amplification of marginalised cultures and peoples to connect with one another. The internet has contributed immensely to democratising the channels through which knowledge from the continent and narratives of blackness are celebrated.
4:00 – 5:30 pm: Panel discussion with Bukola Oyebode, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Rémy Ngamije, Awa Konaté, moderated by Sakhisizwe Gcina
5:30 – 6:30 pm: Film Screening, Seismography of Struggles: Towards A Global History of Critical and Cultural Journals by Zahia Rahmani, recorded introduction by the filmmaker
6:30 – 8:00 pm: Panel discussion with Nadia Davids, Frieda Ekotto, FranÃ§oise Vergès, moderated by Tandazani Dhlakama
8:10 – 8:30 pm: Reading by Tandazani Dhlakama, Who Invented Truth and How to Be an African by Binyavanga Wainaina
16 September 2020
On Collectivity and Collaboration as Radical Practice
An examination of emancipatory collectivism and collaboration in artistic and cultural production. There will be engagement with cross-cultural and transnational collaboration which defy the North-South dichotomy and disrupt global centres of power. The recognition of ongoing activism in Africa, Asia and South America from a Non-Western paradigm and model will be discussed. The existence of contemporary student protest movements such as anti-KKN (Indonesia), #YoSoy132 (Mexico) and #RhodesMustFall (South Africa) challenged institutional exclusionary practices. Other independent youth-led movements such as the Arab Spring (Libya, Egypt, Tunisia) and Y’en a Marre (Senegal) overthrew repressive socio-political systems. Much of this organisation, mobilisation and solidarity occurs in digital online spaces as resistance to hierarchical structures. These types of movements have had an impact on the artistic community with the formation of artist collectives and independent contemporary art spaces which strive for democratic, inclusive and egalitarian access and representation. This includes collaboration between community art centres, academies and museums. Collaborative practices have the potential to transform and decentralise our understanding of power central to community building.
4:00 – 5:30 pm: Roundtable with ruangrupa, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Marie Helene Pereira, Diana Campbell Betancourt, moderated by Tammy Langtry
5:30 – 6:00 pm: Intermission
6:00 – 7:30 pm: Film Screening, Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You (2019) by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, introduced by Phokeng Tshepo Setai
7:30 – 8:00 pm: Conversation between Phokeng Tshepo Setai and Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
8:00 – 8:20 pm: Reading by Tammy Langtry, Stream of Consciousness: A Concatenation of Dividuals by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
17 September 2020
Urban Imaginaries, Mobilities and Why So Many Borders
Our contemporary world is heavily marked by borders, walls and other barriers that limit freedom of movement. These physical and symbolic constructs can also restrain human imagination. Their implementation interrupts cross-border cultural processes and networks through which knowledge is transmitted. This will be an exploration of different interventions that seek to open spaces of resistance and critical imagination. It is an examination of the places where immutable and essentialist representation of borders and limitations on our spatial imaginaries are challenged. The digital realm as a space which transcends physical borders for transnational solidarity will also be considered. We will look at the discourse around the redefinition of urban architecture, urban spatial design and cross-border migration. Opportunities and challenges of mobility in shaping our worldviews and as sites of resistance will be examined. Also included will be ideas related to the informal economy and the future of smart cities.
4:00 – 5:30 pm: Panel discussion with Edgar Pieterse, Mpho Matsipa, Tau Tavengwa, Emeka Okereke, moderated by Storm Janse van Rensburg
5:30 – 5:40 pm: FESTAC ’77 introduced by Phokeng Tshepo Setai
5:40 – 6:00 pm: Intermission
6:00 – 7:30 pm: Listening session with a mixtape by Chimurenga, FESTAC ’77
7:30 – 8:00 pm: Intermission
8:00 – 8:20 pm: Reading by Storm Janse van Rensburg, The Exploded View by Ivan VladislaviÄ‡
18 September 2020
Radical Practices/Radical Solidarity
Both the historical legacies of resistance movements and ongoing struggle for black liberation have taken on different forms throughout the centuries and to date. Regardless of the form, such movements can point to the Black Radical Tradition. This often involves a collection of intellectual activists whose contributions have aided disrupting social, political, economic and cultural norms originating in anti-colonial and anti-slavery efforts. However, this has also been supported by allies from non-aligned regions of the world. As we see activists taking to the streets with renewed vigour to fight racism, inequality and capitalism, today’s protest movements point to a much broader revolutionary genealogy. There will be an interrogation of hegemonic cultural traditions, beliefs and values. This will include ideas around self-determination and the formation of their radical ideologies.
4:00 – 5:30 pm: Conversation with Tuáº¥n Andrew Nguyá»…n and Rasha Salti, moderated by Koyo Kouoh
5:30 – 5:55 pm : Closing remarks by Koyo Kouoh and Tandazani Dhlakama
5:55 – 6:00 pm : The Specter of Ancestors Becoming”¦ (2019) by Tuáº¥n Andrew Nguyá»…n, introduced by Tandazani Dhlakama
6:00 – 7:30 pm: Film screening, The Specter of Ancestors Becoming”¦ (2019) by Tuáº¥n Andrew Nguyá»…n
7:30 – 8:00 pm: Intermission
8:00 – 8:20 pm: Reading by Phokeng Tshepo Setai, Return to my Native Land by Amie Césaire