Saturday, April 27

The Classroom

537 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011

12–1 PM
Publishing Practices and Disparate Design: Transcending and Transforming the Book with African (Con)texts, with Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, Kennedy Jones, Gee Wesley, and Nontsikelelo Mutiti

Artist and curator Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose, curator and cultural organizers Kennedy Jones and Gee Wesley, and artist and designer Nontsikelelo Mutiti discuss publishing as an alternative space for curatorial, editorial, and artistic discourse within the context of Black and African cultural production. This conversation explores how narrative formations from across the continent and the diaspora beckon us to think differently about publishing as it relates to translation, production, dissemination, and genre, and about how libraries and archives can create spaces of resistance, refuge, and channels for histories that center erased narratives. The conversation highlights two recent publications: eBhish' (Archive Books) and Where Is Africa (CARA). eBhish' is a multilingual and multi-genre response to Nyawose's photographic meditations on Black social life, leisure, and public communion under siege. Where Is Africa, edited by Emanuel Admassu and Anita N. Bateman, and designed by NMutiti Studio, is a set of exchanges with contemporary artists, curators, designers, and academics actively engaged in representing the continent—both within and outside its geographic boundaries. Presented by Archive Books and Center for Art, Research and Alliances (CARA).

Watch here

1-2 PM
How to Make a Bomb, with Gabriella Hirst, Warren Harper, Tammy Nguyen, and Lovely Umayam

How to Make a Bomb is a durational gardening project that examines the structural connections between horticulture, state power, and nuclear colonialism through the lens of a rare species of garden rose, Rosa floribunda ‘Atom Bomb.’ Through lectures, gardening workshops, and printed manuals created by Passenger Pigeon Press, this project propagates Atom Bomb roses and teaches others how to do the same while encouraging reflection and conversation on nuclear threats we face today. This classroom presentation will feature a conversation among artist Gabriella Hirst, curator Warren Harper, artist Tammy Nguyen, and nuclear nonproliferation expert Lovely Umayam. They will discuss the origins of this project, the effort to bring the Atom Bomb rose to the United States in collaboration with Passenger Pigeon Press and the Bombshelltoe Policy x Arts Collective, and the ways plant life can become natural stewards of painful and hopeful nuclear histories. Presented by Passenger Pigeon Press.

Watch here

2-3 PM 
The Possibility of Freedom, with Ciarán Finlayson and Rachel Himes

In Perpetual Slavery, Ciarán Finlayson considers whether we have attained a post-emancipation world through extended readings of works by Ralph Lemon and Cameron Rowland. In dialogue with these contemporary African American artists’ inventive strains of post-conceptualism, Finlayson reflects on the legacy of slavery, investigating a central contradiction of capitalist modernity: though chattel slavery has officially ended, conscripted labor and carceral statism persist. This conversation between author and art historian Rachel Himes and Finlayson will look at the possibility of freedom in the current political context and probe the historical relationship of art to capitalism. Presented by Floating Opera Press.

Part one here

Part two here

3-4 PM
Under, Over, and Around: Censorship and Alternative Publishing, with Khabar Keslan and Falgoush

Publishing collectives Khabar Keslan and Falgoush will discuss the obstacles facing Arab and Iranian independent publishers and the strategies employed to evade censorship. Alternative publishing projects emerge from the margins to express the unpublishable, the unprofitable, and the prohibited while destabilizing hierarchies of dissemination. Ranging from banned books and arrests to violent military campaigns that target an entire generation of voices, censorship can take many forms and publishers utilize an array of shapeshifting tactics in response. The speakers will reflect on the historical and contemporary practices of independent publishers as they introduce three related projects. Beirut-based publisher Khabar Keslan will present To My Dearest Reader, a broadsheet publication showcasing Iranian postage stamps from the author’s family collection with a focus on the political function of postal aesthetics. Lebanese-Palestinian poet and translator Nourhane Kazak will share their latest project translating the poetry and chants of Palestinian prisoners. Falgoush—an experimental publishing and curatorial project that explores Iranian narratives of identity and belonging—will highlight their publication In Their Words, a selection of influential texts by the Fadai (literally, “self-sacrificers”), a Marxist-Leninist guerilla organization in Iran that emerged in the 1960s. Presented by Khabar Keslan Magazine.

Watch here

4-5 PM
Well Gedacht Publishing Communism Reader, with Ipek Burçak and Eren Ileri

Ipek Burçak and Eren Ileri will present and discuss the Well Gedacht Publishing Communism Reader, a new publication that looks at the history of communist initiatives in the Global South—movements and figures from the past and present through an anti-colonial lens. This risograph-printed reader includes contributions about anti-communist, counter-guerilla attempts of Western countries operating in the West and East Asia, as well as national liberation and communist movements in Palestine and Chile. The publishers will highlight the works by contributors in formats ranging from a photo-comic, interviews, to essays, mostly from diasporic standpoints. Presented by Well Gedacht Publishing.

Watch here

5-6 PM
Black Mask and King Mob, with Ben Morea and Donald Nicholson-Smith

Bookseller Arthur Fournier hosts a conversation with artist Ben Morea (Black Mask, Up Against the Wall Motherfucker) and translator Donald Nicholson-Smith (Situationist International, King Mob) concerning the exchange that took place between their respective circles during the late 1960s via private correspondence and printed publications. Morea and Nicholson-Smith will also address echoes of Black Mask/UAWMF and King Mob that continue to resonate today via direct action in public protest and the aesthetics of urgency in socially engaged graphic art. Presented by Arthur Fournier.

Watch here