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Nana Adusei-Poku

From Post-Black Art to Performances of No-thingness

How to make sense of the term "post-black" that has stirred so much controversy in the early 2000s in the U.S. context sixteen years past its invention? The term was used for a generation of black artists that seemed to distance themselves from previous generations who utilized the term "black" to define their practices as a definition of self and as a form of political resistance. Through recent activist work (i.e. Black Lives Matter) and media attention to persistent systemic racism as well as the rise of rightwing populism, “post-black” appears more than obsolete and is seldom used in the arts or in wider social discourse. The lecture will engage with a critical discussion of the term, its aesthetic and political implications and trace the different strategies of framing Black art, from the Black Arts movement to what I call Afropessimist Aesthetics which is embedded in Refusal.

 

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