Forthcoming Online Programme and Exhibition Closing
For the final event organised in conjunction with Cameron Rowland’s exhibition 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73, the ICA presents a conversation between Saidiya Hartman, Anthony Bogues, and Rowland.
This online talk marks the end of 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73, with the ICA building remaining closed into 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and concern for the safety of staff and visitors. The event is free to attend, but booking through the ICA website is essential in order to receive a link to the live talk. Speech to text captioning of the conversation will be available. For those interested in more information on Cameron Rowland’s exhibition 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73, the screen reader compatible exhibition pamphlet is downloadable here.
Writer and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman is joined by fellow scholar Anthony Bogues and artist Cameron Rowland to discuss “Black Metamorphosis,” a highly influential but as yet unpublished text from the 1970s by Caribbean theorist Sylvia Wynter.
Currently accessible only as a 900-page manuscript housed at the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, “Black Metamorphosis” is nonetheless considered as a vital text for its articulation of ‘plantation societies’ in the Americas from the 17th century onwards as fundamental to the emergence of capitalism and the making of the modern world. Reaching through and beyond this historical process, Wynter’s expansive text seeks “to explore… the socio-economic sea-change, the cultural metamorphosis by which the multi-tribal African became the native of that area of experience we term the New World.” While articulating the violent production of black ‘non-norms’ and the negation of black humanity, Wynter simultaneously locates the generation of rebellious cultural action and participation that marks the affirmation of black life.
Plotting the importance of this work and its marking of the limits of Marxism, “Black Metamorphosis” posits the ways in which black cultural production reimages the possibilities of new forms of revolt and living. This conversation between Hartman, Bogues and Rowland will focus on intersections between their individual areas of research and practice, and Wynter’s text.