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Online Talk: Reflections On Dreaming And Black And Indigenous Futures

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On Zoom

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Afro-Indigenous Futures – Reflections on (post-)colonial pasts, presents and futures, presented by Goethe Institut Montréal, Monument Lab, Never Apart and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education).

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Monument Lab fellow Alisha Wormsley and multi-disciplinary artist Suzanne Kite will introduce the public to their practice of collective community dreaming as a means to shape the past by daring to sculpt the future. — This event is part of the ongoing project Shaping the Past, a transnational exchange program bringing artists and activists together in dialogue to highlight ongoing critical memory interventions in sites and spaces in North America and Germany. The artist talk will be moderated by Aline Baiana.

In this time of uprisings, political strife and global reckoning of white supremacy we see monuments fall and ideas form. How can we make change needed to move forward without time to collectively dream? Multi-disciplinary artists Suzanne Kite and Alisha Wormsley will introduce the public to their practice of collective community dreaming as a means to shape the past by daring to sculpt the future. The discussion and mini-workshop will focus on healing and dreaming work as an artistic and activist practice to strengthen communities and as a revolutionary act to bring about societal change.

SPEAKERS

Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work focuses on collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color.
Wormsley’s work has received a number of awards and grants to support programs including: The People Are The Light (part of the Hillman Photography Initiative), afronaut(a) film and performance series, Homewood Artist Residency, the Children of NAN film series and archive, and There Are Black People in the Future. These projects and works have exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum, Octavia Butler conference at Spelman University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Artup in Johannesburg SA, Studio XX in Montreal, Project Row House, the Houston Art League, Rush Art Gallery in NYC, the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. Over the last few years, Wormsley has designed several public artworks including Streaming Space, a 24 foot pyramid with video and sound installed in Pittsburgh’s downtown Market Square, and AWxAW, a multimedia interactive installation and film commission at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Kite’s scholarship and practice highlights contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance.

Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fibre sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. For the inaugural 2019 Toronto Art Biennial, Kite, with Althea Thauberger, produced an installation, Call to Arms, which features audio and video recordings of their rehearsals with Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) York, which also consisted of a live performance with the conch shell sextet, who played the four musical scores composed by Kite.

Kite has also published extensively in several journals and magazines, including in The Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), where the award winning article, “Making Kin with Machines,” co-authored with Jason Lewis, Noelani Arista, and Archer Pechawis, was featured. Currently, she is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar. More info here.

SHAPING THE PAST

Tiohtià:ke, commonly known as Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. However, the city’s monuments and street names, reflect mainly the French and British colonization of the city – Black and Indigenous representation is missing in the cityscape.This project focuses on overlooked Black and Indigenous Montréal biographies and imagines, through healing, dream work and by means of imaginative world building, possible urban Black Indigenous Futures for the city.

Shaping the Past is a partnership of the Goethe-Institut North America, Monument Lab, and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education). The project connects to the activist and artistic work of local, national, and transnational movements as a reflection of memory culture and discusses new perspectives on forms of memory. More information here.

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