ON THE EDGE OF VISIBILITY – AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions), in partnership with Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) and Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), is organizing the «On the Edge of Visibility», an international symposium highlighting Black and Indigenous women* and non-binary artists, with special focus on photographic practices** within three broad geographical zones: Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.
On the Edge of Visibility – An International Symposium will take place at the Pérez Art Museum Miami from October 19th to 20th, 2023.
Free and open to the public with registration here.
With a transcontinental perspective encompassing postcolonial, feminist, and queer viewpoints, this symposium examines the challenges and intricacies faced by Black and Indigenous women artists in various cultural contexts. It also serves as a reflection on the historical and contemporary methods of knowledge creation.
By delving into the concepts of visibility and invisibility as they relate to visual practices and dominant power structures, this symposium aims to examine proposed strategies of resistance as a means of reclaiming visual agency. It will therefore seek to challenge existing academic boundaries – notably within the history of art and photography – through a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, questioning contemporary discourses and their genealogies, and considering the future of the disciplines.
This international gathering will unite artists, researchers, curators, and intellectuals around three central thematic sections:
- Fractals of Invisibility: The first section scrutinizes the historical and structural factors contributing to the exclusion of Black and Indigenous women and non-binary artists from art historical narratives. It examines invisibility as an intersectional phenomenon deeply rooted in colonial and contemporary history.
- Politics of Visibility: The second section examines the effectiveness of strategies for gaining institutional recognition and accomplishing socio-political objectives. Simultaneously, it questions the generation and perpetuation of stereotypical representations of these artists within mainstream discourse.
- Poetics of Opacity: The third section focuses on the concept of opacity, as conceived by philosopher and poet Edouard Glissant. It is seen as an impenetrable alterity that cannot be possessed—an epistemological notion granting everyone the right to retain their psycho-cultural identities. Contributions to the symposium draw from critiques of visibility and transparency, incorporating significant insights from recent feminist and queer theories. This exploration considers the potential of opacity as an alternative framework to Western paradigms for comprehending, representing, and acknowledging Black and Indigenous women and non-binary artists.
*In this context, «woman» refers to an individual who identifies as a woman, regardless of their assigned gender at birth.
**Photographic practices encompass a wide range of activities, including image creation with or without cameras, automated and computational processes, augmented photography, and the collection, archiving, or circulation of images.
Day One | October 19, 2023
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Welcoming Remarks
PAMM, Senior Director of Education
WOPHA, Founder & Director
AWARE, Head of International Development
2:30 pm – 2:40 pm Introduction
byIberia Pérez, Andrew W. Mellon Caribbean Cultural Institute Curatorial Associate at PAMM
2:40 pm – 2:55 pm Artist Lecture
Speaker: Farihah Aliyah Shah
2023 CCI + WOPHA Fellow
The 2023 CCI + WOPHA Fellowship program welcomes emerging to mid-career women and non-binary photographers of African and/or Indigenous heritage based in Miami, the Caribbean, or its diasporas. During the fellowship period, Farihah Aliyah Shah continues two ongoing bodies of work by researching collective resistance, archival preservation, and the role of the matriarch in the Guyanas.
This lecture is presented thanks to generous support from The Caribbean Cultural Institute (CCI) at Pérez Art Museum Miami.
2:55 pm – 3:15 pm Keynote
Speaker: Donette Francis, Assoc. Professor, Director for the Center for Global Black Studies, University of Miami
3:15pm – 3:25 pm Break
Fractals of Invisibility questions the historical and structural reasons for the exclusion of Black and Indigenous women and non-binary artists from art historical narratives. It examines invisibility as an intersectional phenomenon rooted in colonial and contemporary history.
Moderator: Louise Thurin, AWARE Project Coordinator
3:25 pm – 3:40 pm Ariadna Solis. Lhall xallona llun lliu’tuse, llunen lliu walh / Clothing is also a territory in dispute: Collective curatorships and transdisciplinary investigations.
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Amalia Caputo. Convoluted Narratives. The Notion of “Café con leche”: Racial Democracy and Women Photographers in Venezuela.
4:05 pm – 4:20 pm Alejandra Lopez-Oliveros. The Mestiza looking back: Decolonial and feminist photographic practices in Contemporary Mexico.
4:25 pm – 4:40pm Claudia Holgado Chacon. Julia Chambi: The first Andean and Peruvian photographer.
4:45 pm – 5:35 pm Q&A
5:35 pm – 6:30 pm Special Program
Performance by Myriam Mihindou, pluridisciplinary artist, AWARE Prize winner
AWARE prizes were created in 2016 to reward the work of women artists linked to the French scene, to respond to the lack of visibility in France and abroad, and to highlight their works and the longevity of their careers, beyond all stereotypes. The prizes reflect AWARE’s mission to shine a light on women artists of the 19th and 20th century. Each year, two prizes are awarded: the Nouveau Regard prize to an artist in the middle of her career, and the Outstanding Merit prize, to an artist with a career spanning over 40 years or more.
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Happy Hour at the museum’s Verde Restaurant
Day Two | October 20, 2023
11:25 am – 11:35 am Introduction
Crystal Whaley, Writer & Director of The Sound She Saw
11:35 am – 12:35 pm Film Screening: The Sound She Saw
The Sound She Saw is a documentary feature film featuring Black women photographers inspired by the critically acclaimed photo book Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers.
12:35 pm – 1:30 pm Break
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm The Politics of Visibility
The Politics of Visibility examines what strategies are effective in gaining institutional recognition and achieving socio-political goals. This section questions the creation and replication of stereotyped representations of Black and Indigenous woman and non-binary artists within the dominant discourse.
Candice Jansen, Memorist & researcher
Marielle Plaisir, Multimedia artist
Michelle Lisa Polissaint, Visual artist
Crystal Whaley, Writer & Director of The Sound She Saw
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm The Poetics of Opacity
The Poetics of Opacity focuses on the notion of opacity, as theorized by philosopher and poet Edouard Glissant, understood as an impenetrable alterity that cannot be possessed, an epistemological notion that grants everyone the right to keep their psycho-cultural selves. It will examine the potential of this concept as an alternative to Western ways of understanding, representing, and recognizing Black and Indigenous women and non-binary artists.
Moderator: Aldeide Delgado, WOPHA Founder & Director
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Grace Aneiza Ali. Centering Guyanese Women.
3:20 pm – 3:35 pm Heather Diack. Sharing in Real Time: Visibility, Race and Resistance in the work of Leslie Hewitt.
3:40 pm – 3:55 pm Raquel Villar Pérez. Lxs Sexiliadxs. Formulating a Counter-family album.
4:00 pm – 4:40 pm Q&A
4:40 pm – 5:00 pm Closing Remarks
Speaker: Leslie King-Hammond, artist, curator, educator, art historical scholar and cultural arts activist
Grace Aneiza Ali: A Curator and Assistant Professor at Florida State University, she’s known for her work on migration narratives of women of Guyanese heritage.
Amalia Caputo: A visual artist, researcher, and educator exploring womanhood, nature, and feminism, with a focus on Venezuela and Latin America.
Aldeide Delgado: Founder of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) and a curator, known for her feminist and decolonial perspectives on photography.
Heather Diack: An Associate Professor of History of Art, Photography, and Visual Culture at Toronto Metropolitan University, with expertise in conceptual art and global photography.
Donette Francis: Director for the Center for Global Black Studies, her research focuses on aesthetics, cultural politics, and place in the African Diaspora.
Claudia Holgado Chacón: A photographer, communicator, and educator, known for her work in documentary photography and research in Peru.
Candice Jansen: A memoirist and curator with a focus on archival and Black-conscious photography, particularly in South Africa.
Leslie King Hammond: An artist, curator, and educator with a strong focus on the creative practices of women and artists of the Black Atlantic Diaspora.
Alejandra López-Oliveros: A PhD Art History student studying contemporary photography in connection with feminist, decolonial, and queer studies.
Myriam Mihindou: An artist exploring the boundaries of memory, identity, and territory, with a Franco-Gabonese background.
Iberia Pérez González: A curator at PAMM with expertise in Caribbean cultural art, previously involved with MoMA’s C-MAP.
Marielle Plaisir: A Miami-based multimedia artist and activist, explores social domination, including colonialism, race, and class.
Michelle Lisa Polissaint: A visual artist and arts organizer based in Miami, with a focus on Haitian-American identity.
Farihah Aliyah Shah: A lens-based artist exploring identity formation through the colonial gaze, race, and collective memory.
Ariadna Solis: A Yalalteca woman and political scientist, she is dedicated to research, writing, teaching, and textile work.
Louise Thurin: A cultural activist and author specializing in contemporary African and Afrodiasporic art, also working with AWARE.
Marie Vickles: The Director of Education at the Perez Art Museum Miami, known for her work in curating exhibitions of Black contemporary artists.
Raquel Villar-Pérez: An academic and curator focusing on de- and anti-colonial discourses within contemporary art, with a particular interest in migration and social justice.
Nina Volz: Head of International Development at AWARE, with a background in international relations, culture, and education.
Crystal Whaley: A director and EMMY award-winning producer specializing in production and creative direction, known for her work on documentaries and TV series.
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