Author(s): Karina Roman
Editor(s): Ra’anaa Brown, Nicholas Raffoul, Koby Rogers Hall
Time seems to be flying by, and the fourth week of the Afrofuturism-BLM research group has already brought many new items and events to attend. I must admit that charts and minutes’ documents are still quite intimidating to me, even overwhelming at times; after all, there is so much to take into account when working as a team while thinking of the ethical implications our future interviews will hold. Still, I am grateful for the guidance of Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim and my fellow researchers, who help me to not be overtaken by it and to remain focused on the key tasks to carry forward this research project.
The way I see the ABLM research unfolding, is in a non-linear path. For example, we continue to exchange messages with the founding members of the Afrofuturisms Research Collective (ARC) to make this project a continuation of their legacy. Such regard in the past is core to our own process, because we are not only thinking of the historical legacy this project is building on, but to the most recent inputs and efforts done by our immediate community. A great way to connect respectfully with Afrofuturists and BLM agents. The look at the present is embodied through our collaborative pieces and most technical document making in constant editing, commenting and ideas exchange. The future is the planning and the expectations of upcoming events and the fruits of this research in the long term. All of this happens simultaneously, assembling the project itself.
Two of our members already had the chance to participate in two different events. Ra’anaa attended The Goose Village Project: Photography, Research-Creation, and Oral History on September 28, this was part of her Spatial Places, Spatial Practices course. There she was able to get more insights on oral histories and learn about Goosse Village, a neighbourhood demolished to make way for aspects of Expo 67; currently the site is a parking lot. This fact leads to reflect on oral history’s role to tell and make the stories of the people involved known. Koby attended the Dismantling Eugenics convening, specifically panels on deconstructing politics of beauty (with panelists Patty Berne, Mx. Alok Vaid-Menon, and Sean Saifa Wall) and constellations of future practices (with Adrienne Marie Brown and Cara Page). Both conversations seek to engage and embody the dismantling of ongoing legacies of eugenic policies manifest in contemporary aesthetics, ableism in the arts, academic and activist worlds.
During the upcoming weeks, the ABLM team will not be holding meetings since all of us will be attending conferences likely to provide great information and knowledge for our research and own practices. The selection of these conferences was decided through a critical lens that did not only took into account the themes of each session, but the way these events have been articulated. After a general consensus we signed up for: Amsterdam Assembly: Letting Go of Having to Speak All the Time , UAAC/AAUC Conference 2021 and BLACK PORTRAITURE[S]: Toronto, Absent/ed Presence, 2021. We are looking forward to listening to the speakers and sharing our insights about these events.
One pending item is strategically structuring our data curation plan, for we want to make our research and the process it entails, useful for those following us as well. Research curation is a very important aspect of the ABLM endeavor, so it is necessary to create a cohesive and coherent dissemination methodology and plan, by choosing the proper tools and social media platforms out there. If you, dear reader, are thinking about these issues, please leave your thoughts and comments below. We would love to read them!
Stay tuned for Koby’s very first blog entry.
Karina Roman, MA Candidate in Art History