Upcoming Events

Public Lecture Course: Black British Artists and Political Activism

  • 4 November to 9 December 2021
  • 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Each session will take place live as a Zoom webinar.
    Registration via Eventbrite is required.
  • Online

The Centre’s next Public Lecture Course is called Black British Artists and Activism and it will mine the rich seam that exists where art-making practices and artworks meet politics and political activism.

As artists today respond to, engage with and make sense of the radical activities and debates of our present moment - from the ongoing fallout of the Windrush scandal and Brexit to the acceleration of activisms as a part of the Black Lives Matter Movement, for LGBTQI+ rights and in response to the climate crisis – we are reminded of artist and writer Jean Fisher's plea to not lose sight of that which is 'proper' to art. Drawing attention to a tendency to recast Black and Brown artists as social historians and reframe their artworks as emblems of cultural difference (and/or the history and politics of race, and/or multiculturalism and so on and on), Fisher reminded us to maintain a sharp focus on the unfixed aesthetic work of the art object. In a series of conversations between artists, scholars and curators this course will look to a selection of political and social flashpoints across the post-war period to consider the relationship between artists, art-making, art histories and political activism.

Central to this programme is the explicit acknowledgement of the limitations of a series that does not (because it cannot) claim or aim to comprehensively engage with the long and complex history of the relationship between Black and Brown British artists and political activism. Rather, this series will present one set of dialogues and provocations that invites a range of voices and perspectives to open up and work through a selection of artworks that explicitly, though not exclusively, attend to key political and cultural episodes of the late twentieth century.

This term's programme has been convened by Elizabeth Robles (University of Bristol) and will feature conversations with Ego Sowinski, Gavin Jantjes, Ingrid Pollard, Marlene Smith and Alice Correia.

The series will run every Thursday from 4 November to 9 December from 18.30 to 20.00. This series will be broadcast live as a Zoom webinar. Some sessions will be recorded and published at a later date. Please note: the session on 18 November will not be recorded. Registration through Eventbrite is required.

No prior art historical knowledge is necessary.

See below for details on each lecture and how to follow the series.