Panel Discussion: Blackness - Ghosts of Past, Present and Future

10 January 2015

Saturday 10 January
2.00 – 3.30pm

An afternoon discussion looking at how we can move away from constructs of ‘colour’ when we are in an age that is haunted by a history of racial oppression. With a keynote presentation from Avery F. Gordon, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara followed by a panel discussion with artist, writer and filmmaker, John Akomfrah, Dr des. Eddie Bruce-Jones, Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck College, Avery F. Gordon and Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive of DACS, a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation.

Full price: £7
Friends and Concessions: £5
Includes a complimentary drink in the Café

John Akomfrah is an artist, lecturer, writer and filmmaker.  He is well known for his work with the London-based media workshop Black Audio Film Collective which he co-founded in 1982.  Since 1998 he has worked primarily within the independent film and television production companies Smoking Dog Films, London and Creation Rebel Films, Accra.  His work has been widely shown in museums, galleries and film festivals both nationally and internationally, including Documenta 11, Kassel, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  In 2008 he was appointed an OBE and in 2012 was awarded the European Cultural Foundations Princess Margriet Award.

Eddie Bruce-Jones is a Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London, where he teaches European Union law and courses on human rights. He is also an Academic Fellow at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. He studied law in New York and London and holds a doctorate in social anthropology from Berlin. Bruce-Jones serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Race Relations and the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. His most recent research project on slavery and indenture examines narratives of situation and dislocation in family stories and archival records from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Avery F. Gordon is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Centre for Research Architecture, London. In 2012, she was the Anna Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin where she worked on a collaborative project with Ines Schaber exhibited at DOCUMENTA (13). She is the author of Notes for the Breitenau Room of The Workhouse - A Project by Ines Schaber and Avery Gordon; Keeping Good Time: Reflections on Knowledge, Power and People and Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, among other books and articles. Gordon’s work focuses on radical thought and practice and over the last several years, has been writing about imprisonment, war and other forms of dispossession and how to eliminate them. Gordon is the Keeper of the Hawthorne Archives, which records the living history of a group of runaways, secessionists and in-differents who form autonomous zones and settlements.

Gilane Tawadros is the Chief Executive of DACS, a not-for-profit visual artists’ rights management organisation. She was formerly a founding Director of the Institute of International Arts, a contemporary visual arts agency in London and joint Chief Executive of Rivington Place. She has curated numerous exhibitions in the UK and abroad and has written extensively on contemporary art including Changing States: Contemporary Art and Ideas in an Era of Globalization and Life is More Important Than Art.