In times of political strife and social angst, the importance of individual voices standing up for what they believe in and being open in expressing these issues is paramount to us moving forward as a society. Thankfully, the ICA havemade all the talk a little easier to digest through their Culture Now talk series. Recently they hosted a Culture Now event with Fatima Al Qadiri on #BlackLivesMatter. For the next instalment, they’ve enlisted the voices of artist Evan Ifekoya, who works with gender and identity orientated poetry captured on film, and London-based sound artist DJ Ain Bailey (whose compositions are inspired by ideas and reflections on silence and absence, architectural urban spaces and feminist activism). They will be chatting all things feminism, art and social issues on 9th December in the Studio at the ICA.
Here we also spoke to ICA Curator of Talks and Events – Rosalie Doubal – who organised the recent Culture Now: Fatima Al Qadiri on #BlackLivesMatter and also the forthcoming talk, with Evan Ifekoya as part of the Culture Now series.
Why did you decide to host the #BlackLivesMatter event at the ICA?
The ICA Talks programme aims to respond to the most pertinent cultural issues of the day. Attempts to understand and counter the policing crisis in the US and the growth of the resultant Black Lives Matter movement are critical to our understanding of the world we inhabit, and three years since Patrisse Cullors coined the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, these problems persist. Recent actions by#BlackLivesMatterUK activists prove that state-sanctioned violence and police brutality are global issues.
By hosting this discussion at the ICA we wish to provide a platform for the discussion of state-sanctioned violence and police brutality, the militarization of public spaces, protest and also lay focus on the work of local racial justice organisations. Jordan T Camp and Christina Heatherton’s critical collection Policing the Planet(Verso, 2016) compels us to see the Black Lives Matter Movement in the larger context of 21st century racial capitalism, whilst Kuwait-born, Berlin-based musician Fatima Al Qadiri’s album Brute is aimed at what she terms the ‘savagery; of the state security apparatus. Placing a renewed confidence in the potential for social movements to respond to this planetary crisis, foregrounding these academic and creative practices is of utmost importance to the ICA.
What else do you have planned coming up in your Culture Now series at ICA?
The next Culture Now talk will see artist Evan Ifekoya in conversation with sound artist and DJ Ain Bailey. Evan Ifekoya’s work will be featured in the group exhibition Wandering/WILDING: Blackness on the Internet (IMT Gallery, 4 Nov – 11 Dec 2016). Ifekoya’s work explores the politicisation of culture, society and aesthetics. Often ‘queerying’ popular imagery, it often features performative writing and sound, and the artist is currently focused on co-authored, intimate forms of knowledge production and the radical potential of spectacle. Ain Bailey is a sound artist and DJ whose compositions are inspired by ideas and reflections on silence and absence, architectural urban spaces and feminist activism.