Black Planetary Futures Institute

Black Planetary Futures Institute

Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research

October 27, 2021
Black Planetary Futures Institute
Online public programme: November 5–December 12
In-person launch: November 5, 5–8pm
Bag Factory
10 Mahlathini Street
Fordsburg Johannesburg
South Africa
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Register here.

The Black Planetary Futures Institute warmly welcomes people from all disciplines and locations to participate in our inaugural public program, November 5–December 12, currently open for registration. During the online series, a globally diverse group of thinkers, writers, artists, and activists will meet weekly for discussions on worlds beyond anti-Blackness, with an emphasis on transdisciplinary methodologies that propose ways of creating present and future worlds of knowing and doing. The program launches in-person and online on November 5, with a keynote by poet, activist, and anthropologist Dr. Stella Nyanzi.

The Black Planetary Futures Institute is structured by a heuristic approach to comparative Blackness, emphasizing dialogue across difference. It explores existing and possible interconnections, with the critical movement between the two understood as essential to displacing racialized hierarchies and gendered binaries of modernity/coloniality and racial capitalism. How to refigure the “human” to include those of us who have been deemed less than “human” by anti-Blackness? How to imagine a planetarity beyond anti-Blackness? These and other urgent questions frame the Institute through conversations that strive towards common understanding, while also recognizing the creative potential of radical interruptions and pauses—moments of critical reflection on personal and social transformation—towards new practices of solidarity.

Dr. Stella Nyanzi, our keynote speaker, is an award-winning medical anthropologist with specialization in sexual and reproductive health, sexual rights, and human sexualities in Uganda and The Gambia. She self-identifies as a radical queer feminist scholar, social justice activist, human rights defender, non-violent protester, poet, Facebooker, opposition politician belonging to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), former aspirant for Kampala Woman Member of Parliament (2020–21), an ex-prisoner from Luzira Women’s Maximum-Security Prison, and mother of three teenagers. Her first poetry anthology, No Roses From My Mouth: Poems From Prison, was written while imprisoned in Uganda before she was acquitted after 15 months.

Alongside the online keynote, an in-person launch of the Institute will be held on November 5 at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, as part of Em Mirembe’s curatorial residency there. Join us in person for a live screening of the keynote address at 5pm local time, followed by a sonic intervention meditating on its themes. This event is free and open to the general public.

The Institute will continue with a series of online roundtables featuring the renowned interlocutors outlined in the schedule below.

Participants are invited to register for one or more sessions of the program. Each conversation will be held via Zoom at 3–4:30pm UTC, beginning Friday, November 5; continuing each successive Saturday through December 11; and ending with a session on Sunday, December 12. CAD+SR asks that, if you are able, to please consider paying a suggested tuition or donation to ensure the widest access to our  programs.

Virtual events schedule
November 5: Keynote by Stella Nyanzi.
November 6: “What about Africa in/and the Diaspora?” moderated by Neo Sinoxolo Musangi, with Gabeba Baderoon, Abdi Osman, and Catherine Byaruhanga.
November 13: “On Black Joy/Beyond struggle (Who is Blackity Black?)” moderated by Sibonelo Gumede, with Sheba Hirst, Tao Leigh Goffe, and Yomaira Figueroa.
November 20: “What is Black/ness to me?” moderated by Sybille Gorneille, with K’eguro Macharia and Tiffany Jeannette King.
November 27: “The loudest of daughters| Defiant wives” moderated by Jackline Kemigisa, with Stella Nyanzi, Danai Mupotsa, and Lydia Namubiru.
December 4: “’Black Art’ (not)as /and Resistance” moderated by Em Mirembe, with Poetra Asantewa and Kamaru (KMRU).
December 11: “Affect| Materiality| Form” moderated by Jackline Kemigisa, with Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo and Joanna Haigood.
December 12: Closing remarks by moderators and open discussion with participants.

The Black Planetary Futures Institute is led by CAD+SR Researchers Neo Sinoxolo Musangi, EM Mirembe, Sibonelo Gumede, and Jackline Kemigisa, with Assistant Program Director Sybille Gorneille, Research and Program Director Dalida María Benfield, and Executive Director Christopher A. Bratton.

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Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research
October 27, 2021

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