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Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora

Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora

Authors
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Year 01/03/2021
Pages 304
Version paperback
Readership level Professional and scholarly
ISBN 9781800349216
Categories Slavery & abolition of slavery
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Book description

The purpose of this book is to excavate and recover a wealth of under-examined artworks and research materials directly to interrogate, debate and analyse the tangled skeins undergirding visual representations of transatlantic slavery across the Black diaspora. Living and working on both sides of the Atlantic, as these scholars, curators and practitioners demonstrate, African diasporic artists adopt radical and revisionist practices by which to confront the difficult aesthetic and political realities surrounding the social and cultural legacies let alone national and mythical memories of Transatlantic Slavery and the international Slave Trade. Adopting a comparative perspective, this book investigates the diverse body of works produced by black artists as these contributors come to grips with the ways in which their neglected and repeatedly unexamined similarities and differences bear witness to the existence of an African diasporic visual arts tradition. As in-depth investigations into the diverse resistance strategies at work within these artists' vast bodies of work testify, theirs is an ongoing fight for the right to art for art's sake as they challenge mainstream tendencies towards examining their works solely for their sociological and political dimensions. This book adopts a cross- cultural perspective to draw together artists, curators, academics, and public researchers in order to provide an interdisciplinary examination into the eclectic and experimental oeuvre produced by black artists working within the United States, the United Kingdom and across the African diaspora. The overall aim of this book is to re-examine complex yet under-researched theoretical paradigms vis-a-vis the patterns of influence and cross-cultural exchange across both America and a black diasporic visual arts tradition, a vastly neglected field of study.

Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: 'Inside the Invisible': African Diasporic Artists Visualise Transatlantic Slavery - Celeste-Marie Bernier and Hannah Durkin
Part I Slavery and Memory in Contemporary African Diasporic Art
1. Lost and Found at the Swop-Meet: Betye Saar, the Everyday Object and the Work of Lubaina Himid - Lubaina Himid
2. Preserves - Debra Priestly
3. What Goes without Saying - Hank Willis Thomas
4. Spectres in the Postcolonies: Re-imagining Violence and Resistance - Roshini Kempadoo
5. Strategic Remembering and Tactical Forgetfulness in Depicting the Plantation: A Personal Account - Keith Piper
Part II Historical Iconography and Visualising Transatlantic Slavery
6. The Chattel Record: Visualising the Archive in Diasporan Art - Fionnghuala Sweeney
7. Henry Box Brown, African Atlantic Artists and Radical Interventions - Alan Rice
8. Uncle Tom and the Problem of 'Soft' Resistance to Slavery - David Bindman
9. The After-Image: Frederick Douglass in Visual Culture - Zoe Trodd
Part III African Diasporic Monuments and Memorialisation
10. Siting the Circum-Atlantic: Nelson in a Bottle in Trafalgar Square - Geoffrey Quilley
11. Art and Caribbean Slavery: Modern Visions of the 1763 Guyana Rebellion - Leon Wainwright
12. 'The Greatest Negro Monuments on Earth': Richmond Barthe's Memorials to Toussaint Louverture and
Jean-Jacques Dessalines - Hannah Durkin
Part IV Contemporary Legacies in African Diasporic Art
13. We Might Not Be Surprised: Visualising Slavery and the Slave Ship in the Works of Charles Campbell and Mary Evans - Eddie Chambers
14. 'X is for X Ray, X Slave, X Colony': A 'Lexicon of Liberation' versus 'My Slave History' in the Paintings, Installations and Sketchbooks of Donald Rodney - Celeste-Marie Bernier
15. Reconfiguring African Trade Beads: The Most Beautiful, Bountiful and Marginalised Sculptural Legacy to have Survived
the Middle Passage - Marcus Wood
Afterword: Against the Grain: Contingency and Found Objects - Nathan Grant
Notes on Contributors
Index

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