South-South: Interruptions & Encounters
April 2–May 19, 2009
Curated by Tejpal S. Ajji and Jon Soske
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
South-South: Interruptions & Encounters stages an unprecedented intervention by bringing together eight artists whose work is situated at an intersection of African and South Asian history, politics, or culture. These encounters occur in a variety of forms and locations: Trinidad’s Carnival, a South African ghetto, the music of Black Britain, a family’s history of migration from East Africa, the colonial monuments of a historic slave port, and the actual speaking voice of an artist. Concerned with a common set of questions about identity and history, each artist also addresses these Southern intersections formally, either by transfiguring the parameters of a particular medium (photography, sculpture, video, installation, or performance) or through interrupting normative representations of “India” and “Africa.”
The exhibition challenges us to imagine new geographies of cultural production that de-centre the continuing dominance of “Northern” artistic institutions and canons. The works also make visible a little-known history of interconnections between the peoples and cultures of Africa and South Asia, spanning pre-colonial and colonial trading networks throughout the Indian Ocean to 20th century struggles against imperialism, racism, and Apartheid. As a result, we are invited to confront the powerful and contemporaneous nature of a colonial “past,” which never remains simply in the past.
This exhibition is part of South-South Encounters: Conversations Across Africa, Caribbean and South Asia, organised by New College (University of Toronto) and supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts. A year-long series of events including five public panels, two film screenings, a community outreach workshop, and a course, South-South Encounters brings scholars from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia and their diasporas together in a unique public conversation.
Performing Foe: Workshop with Brendan Fernandes
Saturday March 28, 2009 & Sunday, March 29, 2009, 1-5pm
Hart House, Debates Room
Before and After Bandung: Conversations Between African and Indian Nationalisms
Thursday April 2, 2009, 4-6 pm
Featuring Vijay Prashad. Michelle Stephens, and Paul Zeleza
University College, Croft Chapter House
South-South: Interruptions and Encounters
Monday April 6, 2009, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Featuring Omar Badsha, Christian Campbell, Elizabeth Harney, Tejpal S. Ajji
Moderated by Haema Sivanesan
Hart House, Music Room
We gratefully acknowledge the project support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, New College of the University of Toronto and the Hart House Art Committee.
Title Image: Brendan Fernandes, Foe, 2008. Video installation with monitor and take away poster. Courtesy of the artist and Diaz Contemporary.