Black Curators Collective (BCC) is facilitating a two-day gathering as part of the 2021 GI events programme with a celebratory DJ set by Plantainchipps on Saturday 19 June. BCC are considering the idea of ‘meandering networks’ as a starting point to think through how we connect and come together as cultural workers across the four nations.
The first day is closed-door for Black practitioners with a curatorial practice and the second day is open to the public. Day two features a keynote address by Melanie Keen, director of Wellcome Collection; an offline workshop by artist and researcher Ashanti Harris; and roundtable discussions led by Briana Pegado, Gaëtane Verna, Khadea Kuchenmeister and Lola Olufemi.
BCC’s programme is based on the principles of collectivity, resource building, and regionalism. They are inviting Black practitioners working with contemporary art based across Scotland and the UK to share a moment of peace, rest, and reinforcement between each other on an international platform. They are not striving for ‘newness’ but to shift attention and form connections between what already exists/is emerging, with the aim of moving Black practitioners from the peripheries by sharing and decentralising resources and knowledge. They view stories as oral archives, experiences as resources and aim to voice and share this as a national resource.
Meandering Networks, Mapping Nations embodies slowness as a state of mind through doing less better, taking comfort in the unknown, and focusing on a process-driven approach to public programming.
Meandering Networks, Mapping Nations is hosted by CCA Annex.
About the participants
Janine Francois is a Black British Feminist writer, cultural producer and academic.
Ashanti Harris is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher based in Glasgow. Working with dance, performance, facilitation, film, installation and writing, Harris’s work explores the movement of people, ideas and things and the wider social, cultural and historical implications of these movements.
Melanie Keen is director of Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London which aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. Prior to joining in October 2019, she was director and chief curator at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts).
Briana Pegado FRSA is the founder of the Edinburgh Student Arts Festival (ESAF), an award winning social enterprise that provided a platform for emerging artists and creatives facing barriers to the creative industries across Scotland.
Glasgow-based DJ Plantainchipps (she/her) is all about upbeat and fast-paced sounds: music that uplifts and excites all those that listen to it. Her selection covers such genres as afrobeats, R’n’B, house and dancehall, and she also enjoys exploring other genres and adding them to her mix.
Gaëtane Verna is an art historian. She is the director and artistic director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. Previously, she was executive director and chief curator of the Musée d’art de Joliette (2006–12) and was curator of the Foreman Art Gallery at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke (1999–2006), while also teaching in the art history department of both Bishop’s University and the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Martha Adonai Williams is a writer, facilitator, producer, community organiser, black feminist and friend. Her practice departs to and returns from black feminist world making, always, with regular layovers in front of trash tv or at the allotment. Her work considers the wilderness and margins as sites of resistance, refusal and homecoming.