Becoming Black - The Colonial Grammar of Settlement and the Promise of Fugitive Flight
Bayo Akomolafe
28. October 2021
Thu 28.10.21 18:30 Uhr

Bayo Akomolafe c Rishika Nath 2 quadrat
Galerie Bilder ansehen
28. October 2021, 18:30 Uhr

The performing arts draw our attention to the body - inviting us to focus on "its" demands, its vivacity, and its vibrant place within a politics that tends to treat language and discourse as the be-all and end-all of how the world comes to matter. Part of the wisdom of the arts is, however, to disturb the body and its enacted boundaries, to stray from the edges allocated to it, to trouble its stability and security, and to allow for spills and new ethical formulations. In a time of racialized tensions when certain bodies, not-quite-human and nonhuman, are rendered incapable, disabled, beleaguered, insecure and inadequate by the intensities and libidinal forces of white modernity, what might the arts contribute to the desire for decolonial futures? In this talk exploring his concept of becoming black, Bayo Akomolafe suggests that the insecurity of minoritarian bodies - often rectified within a politics of inclusivity - are desirous overtures to other sites of power that exceed the algorithms of state-sponsored justice. If to be unsettled is to resist the intelligibility of the colonial and to be recalibrated to generative/hospitable depths, how might the arts teach us to become unsettled, to become black?


HTA online lecture series winter term 2021/21: (Un)settled. Performance, protection, and politics of insecurity

In the radical self-care, anti-discrimination and anti-racist body-based practices of conflict management and healing, settling the body is one of the primary aspects to begin the process of coming back to the body. Settling the body is a crucial moment in working with the body in performative and dance practices as well.
These practices of settling the body, as private and intimate as they might appear at first glance, bear a micropolitical meaning. They also disclose body-based connections between artistic, social and activist practices. The possibility of settling down is unequally distributed, so that some bodies are forcefully dispossessed of their basic capacities to maintain themselves: to breathe, to be attentive, to settle in the space and time, etc. From this perspective, the practice of settling the body as an embodied and visceral process shows to be connected to the political and social field. It appears to be the battlefield of several current conflicts around the protection and security of the bodies, where some bodies become systematically unsettled through continuous violence, agitation and aggression (social, economic, environmental); while to the others, the capacity to settle is offered in excess.
The lecture series inquires into different aspects and dimensions of settling in (in the world, in the community, in relations, in environments) as well as different modalities of unsettling the bodies (by lack of protection, because of racism and sexism). It examines the consequences of denying the possibility to move through coercive detention or internation, in order to outline the functioning of current politics of insecurity by its operating on an intimate and visceral level.
Departing from this socio-political background the lectures will also address questions about the role of artistic practices. Can art and performance challenge such body-based inequality and unequal distribution of the capacity to be/have a body? What does it take to maintain a body, to settle in the body, and, also in light of experiences of exposure and disintegration, to sustain it through relating to other? How can performance not only contest the normativity and hierarchy of embodiments, but also makes us more attuned and sensitive, and settled for the experience of bodies?

This edition of the HTA lecture series is connected to Bodies, un-protected, the International Program on Bodies, Art and Protection at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, running from October 2021 till June 2022.
Organisers: Prof. Dr. Bojana Kunst, Institute for Applied Theater Studies, JLU Giessen; Prof. Dr. Sandra Noeth, HZT-Inter-University Center for Dance, Berlin; Prof. Dr. Francesca Raimondi, Art Academy Düsseldorf, Anna Wagner, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt a.M.


Bayo Akomolafe is globally recognised for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action, activism and social change. He is an international speaker, poet and activist for a radical paradigm shift in consciousness and current ways of living. His readings of ‘knowledge’, ‘development’, ‘progress’ and ‘truth’ as Eurocentric metanarratives led him and his wife, Ej to develop the first International Workshop on Alternative Research Paradigms and Indigenous Knowledge Promotion (WARP, 2011). Bayo is a member of the advisory board of the Real Economy Lab (UK). In 2014, and was awarded for Global Excellence Award [Civil Society] by Future Shapers (California). He is the Chief Curator for The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project) [], and host of the online writing course, ‘We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence’.

More info (and reservation options)

For zoom link click here.
Meeting-ID: 821 9266 1889
Kenncode: 025612

Ticket price
free admission

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