Institute of Archaeology


30th anniversary of The Black Atlantic celebrated

21 November 2023

The Black Atlantic Innovation Network will host a weekend of activities celebrating the 30th anniversary of Paul Gilroy’s book 'The Black Atlantic'.

Grey/black white abstract image. Detail of work by Sylvie Sema Glissant. Credit: Radical Ecology.

The Black Atlantic Innovation Network - a collaboration between the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation (Paul Gilroy and Tariq Jazeel), Radical Ecology (Ashish Ghadiali) and the UCL Institute of Archaeology (Rodney Harrison) - will host a series of events over three days this weekend in Plymouth, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of Paul Gilroy’s book The Black Atlantic.

The first part of the event will take place in the Box in Plymouth, involving a closed meeting convening Black Atlantic Innovation Network members in discussions are decolonial, racial and social justice related initiatives across the arts, education and heritage with key thinkers including Francoise Verges and TJ Demos.

The rest of the weekend will involve public programming where participants are invited to consider how far racial equity and inclusion can serve as creative tactics for the imagination of just and sustainable planetary futures.

The weekend will be a celebration of such tactics in all their diversity and will combine free events as well as a ticketed programme at The Market Hall in Devonport.

Saturday 25 November

On 25 November at KARST, the day will begin with a workshop by educator Tanisha Hicks-Beresford on joy as a decolonial strategy. This will be followed by conversations with artists Sylvie Sema Glissant and Angela Camacho with Jelena Sofronijevic (EMPIRE LINES podcast) about their contributions to Against Apartheid.

The programme then moves to the Market Hall in Devonport, starting at 3pm with Musical Passage, a free open jam session led by jazz educators Tomorrow’s Warriors and involving young people from across Devon and Cornwall.

The ticketed programme commences at 5pm with a keynote presentation by Françoise Vergès marking the 30th anniversary of Paul Gilroy’s seminal book The Black Atlantic; songs performed by singer Angeline Morrison reflecting the Black British presence in English folk music over centuries; an in-conversation with renowned decolonial theorist Paul Gilroy and Jelena Sofronijevic (EMPIRE LINES podcast); and DJ Yoda’s 50 years of Hip-Hop set.

Planetary Imagination, an installation by Ashish Ghadiali originally commissioned by The Box, will play on a loop inside the Market Hall’s immersive dome throughout the evening.

Throughout the day, food from the team at Jabulani will be on sale and available at KARST from 12-2pm and then at The Market Hall from 5pm.

Sunday 26 November

On Sunday 26 November the morning will begin with a Deep Listening workshop by Ximena Alarcón-Díaz from The Center for Deep Listening at 10am at the Mayflower Steps.

Participants will then take part in A Silent Walk following a route designed by members of the Open City Night School and ending at the Peace Garden on Plymouth Hoe, where the weekend’s proceedings will be drawn to a close around midday.

Black Atlantic is part of Open City, a season of decolonial art and public programming organised by Radical Ecology through autumn 2023 with partners across South-West England and in the context of the exhibition Against Apartheid at KARST.

Image: Detail of work by Sylvie Sema Glissant. Credit: Radical Ecology

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