March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial

March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial

Sharjah Art Foundation

Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.

February 22, 2022
March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial
March 5–7, 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation
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Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announces the schedule for March Meeting 2022, the Foundation’s annual programme that convenes artists, art professionals and academics for panels, lectures and performances exploring critical issues in contemporary art. Taking place from March 5–7, 2022, March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial will examine the legacies of colonialism and the contemporary impacts of related issues on cultural, aesthetic and artistic practices around the world. The 2022 edition expands upon March Meeting 2021: Unraveling the Present, both of which engage with the framework of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) and curated by SAF President and Director Hoor Al Qasimi, which opens in February 2023.

Drawing upon Enwezor’s concept of the “Postcolonial Constellation,” March Meeting 2022 will consider contemporary art and issues through the lens of postcolonialism, the critical study of the historical, social and cultural legacies of colonialism and imperialism. From this perspective, participants will analyze current global issues such as racism, settler colonialism, apartheid, new imperial wars, social movements including Black Lives Matter, Indigenous rights, climate change and the restitution and repatriation of looted artifacts. The programme will also explore theoretical frameworks such as intersectionality, gendered identities, coloniality, and decoloniality. To discuss the “afterlives” of the postcolonial, March Meeting will convene key voices in art and academia whose work reflects discourses, practices, theories and critical perspectives derived from postcolonialism and focused on the late 20th- and early 21st-century world and its present and future challenges.

Featuring more than 40 speakers spread across three days, March Meeting 2022 will offer 12 sessions, including panel discussions and keynote addresses taking place in-person in Sharjah and subsequently available for viewing online. Sessions include, among others:

–A keynote conversation between Angela Davis (activist, scholar and author) and Manthia Diawara (professor at New York University and filmmaker);

–A keynote by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (University Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University), titled ‘Imperatives to Reimagine the Postcolonial’;

–An exploration of the scholarship surrounding the restitution and repatriation of looted cultural artifacts with David Adjaye (architect), Ngaire Blankenberg (Director, Smithsonian Museum of African Art), Chika Okeke-Agulu (Director, Program in African Studies and Professor, Art and Archaeology and African American Studies, Princeton University) and artist Michael Rakowitz;

–A discussion focusing on new theoretical constructs that have emerged in the aftermath of the postcolonial or older constructs shaped by it, such as ‘intersectionality’, ‘feminism’ and ‘gendered identities’, with Anjali Arondekar (Associate Professor, Feminist Studies and founding Co-Director, Center for South Asian Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz), Tina Campt (Owen F. Walker Professor, Humanities and Modern Culture and Media, Brown University and Visiting Professor, Art and Archaeology, Princeton University) and Naminata Diabate (Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Cornell University and Senior Fellow, The Africa Institute, Sharjah);

–A discussion on structural inequalities caused by settler colonialism, segregation and apartheid, featuring Noura Erakat (Human rights attorney and Associate Professor, Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University), Premesh Lalu (Professor, History, The Africa Institute) and artist Khalil Rabah;

–A critical examination of the paradox of the celebration of global cultural talent and exchange and the rise of anti-immigration policies in Europe and North America, as unpacked by Zahid Chaudhary (Associate Professor, Department of English, Princeton University), Ayesha Hameed (artist and Senior Lecturer, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, University of London), as well as artists Bouchra Khalili and Rachid Koraichi.

March Meeting 2022 will also feature film screenings and new, site-specific performances by CAMP and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. The event coincides with the opening of several exhibitions, including solo exhibitions of work by Abu Hamdan, CAMP and Khalil Rabah, all opening on 4 March, as well as a retrospective of work by Gerald Annan-Forson, organised in collaboration with The Africa Institute, opening March 7. A retrospective for Aref El Rayess, organised in collaboration with Sharjah Museums Authority and presented at Sharjah Art Museum, will also be on view.

More details on March Meeting schedule and list of speakers are available here.

To register to attend on site or access sessions online, visit the link here.

Enwezor envisioned the invitation to curate Sharjah Biennial 15 as a way to reflect on and contribute to the Biennial’s history and that of the overarching Foundation, and their role in addressing the need for institutional models outside of the West that support dialogue and the production and presentation of contemporary art responsive to our times. Following March Meeting 2021, which examined the 30-year history of the Sharjah Biennial and the future of the biennial model, March Meeting 2022 further engages with Enwezor’s framework for Sharjah Biennial 15, building momentum towards its opening in February 2023. Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, will continue to explore these themes, bringing together 30 artists to make commissioned works that explore histories that continue to shape our present, alongside a selection of contemporary works by international artists.

The 30 artists who have been invited to embark on major commissions are: John Akomfrah, Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Carolina Caycedo, Destiny Deacon, Manthia Diawara, Coco Fusco, Hassan Hajjaj, Mona Hatoum, Lubaina Himid, Isaac Julien, Amar Kanwar, Bouchra Khalili, Mohammed Ibrahim Mahama, Kerry James Marshall, Steve McQueen, Almagul Menlibayeva, Aline Motta, Wangechi Mutu, Philippe Parreno, Doris Salcedo, Berni Searle, Yinka Shonibare, Vivan Sundaram, Fatimah Tuggar, Hajra Waheed, Barbara Walker, Nari Ward and Carrie Mae Weems. The Biennial is being realised by Hoor Al Qasimi as curator in conjunction with the  Working Group, comprised of Tarek Abou El Fetouh (independent curator); Ute Meta Bauer (professor and Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore); Salah M. Hassan (professor and art historian, Cornell University and Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah); Chika Okeke-Agulu (professor and art historian, Princeton University); and Octavio Zaya (independent curator, art writer and Executive Director of the Cuban Art Foundation). Al Qasimi and the Working Group are overseeing the development and implementation of the Biennial with an Advisory Committee that includes Sir David Adjaye (architect) and Christine Tohmé (Director, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut).

Media contact:
Alyazeyah Al Marri
T +971(0)65444113 / alyazeyah [​at​]

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