Afterall is pleased to present issue 43, spring/summer 2017, which is organised around the themes of kinship, communitas and comunalidad. Through the work of Lubaina Himid, Cecilia Vicuña, Chimurenga and the Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico, Afterall 43 follows the lead of Lee Maracle’s poem "Dedicated to the Anishnawbekwe," which opens the issue, exploring art’s capacity for resistance, visibility and imagined political futures.
Lubaina Himid’s pioneering cultural activism as part of the British black arts movement during the 1980s frames Griselda Pollock’s exploration of Himid’s singular trajectory as an artist; while Hannah Black explores the transnational histories that are weaved in Himid’s work, and the multiplicity of their political dimension. Black makes the stark observation that if Himid was to remount her 1985 group exhibition The Thin Black Line, the show would be just as fresh today. To the extent this signifies Himid’s genius, it also confronts how little has changed in 30 years—"the lie of the post-racial."
Lee-Ann Martin also problematises the art world’s present conditions in an insider’s account of the protests, exhibitions and symposia that radically reshaped Canadian museums and practices of exhibiting Indigenous art. Lucy R. Lippard wrestles with the tangled threads of artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña’s self-identification with indigeneity and long-term engagement with environmental issues and colonisation. And tracing the kisiskâciwani riverback to her birthplace, Zoe Todd frames an intergenerational family narrative, transforming a story about her grandfather’s resistance to colonial pressures into a manifesto for a future decolonised art based on care and kinship.
With the established incantation that coloniality is the dark side of modernity, Walter D. Mignolo’s text on decoloniality describes the necessary work of delinking from Western narratives in order to relink and affirm modes of existence and local practices. Two texts—one co-written by Pablo Lafuente and Michelle Sommer, another by Irmgard Emmelhainz, historicise a small community museum, the Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico, seeing the Museo as a model for life at the margins of capitalist markets and neoliberal states, its paradigm of care, reciprocity and community solidarity.
This edition of Afterall includes in its pages an artistic intervention by the Cape Town-based collective Chimurenga—a foldout insert accompanied by a text by Ntone Edjabe addressing practices of mapping as resistance. Chimurenga’s multifarious practices of publication, curation and creation are unpacked in Kodwo Eshun, Emily Pethick and Avery F. Gordon’s discussion of The Chimurenga Library, which appears alongside Cédric Vincent’s contextualization of the exhibition, Tendances et confrontations, as part of the First World Festival of Black Arts, in Dakar in 1966—multiple articulations of a pan-Africanist political aesthetics.
Stavros Stavrides considers documenta 14’s Learning from Athens in relation to the city’s local cultures of solidarity, contrasting the freedoms forged in the locality with those enjoyed by an already mobile, liberal, capitalistic elite. Finally, Anders Kreuger reflects on the counter-intuitive possibility of a European indigeneity by exploring the work of a sliver of artists that initiated the techno-utopic art movement Ethno-Futurism in the Finno-Ugrian region.
This issue of Afterall furthers a longstanding commitment to artistic practices in different parts of the world, including artists, writers and organisations from South, Central and North America; the UK, Europe, Russia and Africa; and with this issue, the journal has added the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Ute Meta Bauer to the editorial team.
This summer Afterall Books launches the eighth publication in its “Exhibition Histories” series, Anti-Shows: APTART 1982–84. Also coming soon is Sigmar Polke: Girlfriends, the latest in our “One Works” series.
Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins, London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp; the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, and in association with the University of Chicago Press.