Reconstructions: black feminist spatial futures

Reconstructions: black feminist spatial futures

Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm

Image credit: Reconstructions

March 18, 2024
Reconstructions: black feminist spatial futures

Application deadline: April 10, 2024
Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm
Flaggmansvägen 1
SE-111 49 Stockholm

T +46 8 614 40 00

“You got to make your own world, you got to write yourself in.” ―Octavia Butler (2000)

Reconstructions is a further education course at Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. It seeks to reimagine spatial practices “otherwise”—learning from black feminism. The course is experimental, interdisciplinary and practice-based at advanced level, bringing together an intimate group of practitioners and researchers to be in dialogue and engagement with each other alongside invited guests. 

Guided by the questions: what might it mean to imagine spatial practices that center the emotional and affective labor required to refuse the world as we know it? The course asks what kind of reparative world-building practice could emerge if careful attention was paid to the bodily, affective work, and the physical and mental cost that are demanded in undermining colonial scripts. 

Critically, centering the refusal of the separation of mind and body, and separation from the land and other species—reimagining the reconstructions for black feminist futures seeks to reflect upon what it means to refuse, and not simply resist.

Reimagining spatial practice through the lens of emotional and affective labor intends to learn and source from approaches which considers refusal as a generative rubric for understanding everyday practices of struggle, to seriously consider how such practices suggest alternative paths of responding to the challenges of our present. Black feminist refusal not only rejects the world as we know it, but also transforms it. It is the reconstruction of values, narratives, systems, and worlds. Refusal, therefore, is not just the withdrawal from unjust political and economic systems but imagines how such systems can be reconstructed to support pluralities of ecologies and options of living together otherwise. 

Sensing and attuning to social vulnerabilities—their complexities, intersections and unequal distribution—allows for respect, value, and credit to the affective labor and care that is required to reimagine future practices. This involves not only imagining other modes and forms of spatial practice, but also reflectively recovering and foregrounding modes and forms of thinking, being, and doing that have been erased, forgotten, ignored, and devalued. 

The methods that will be employed are relational; embodied and poetic, and will include experimental approaches that centers emotional and affective labor, forms of sharing knowledges and care, both in terms of envisioning future practice as well as future ways of living through a variety of mediums and expressions. These include introducing feminist methodologies and approaches rooted in black radical feminist thought, black study, cyberfeminism, science-fiction, afrofuturism, critical spatial practices––as well as a series of related art, architectural practices and research.

The course is one-year and full-time. The group meets monthly for five-day intensive sessions with lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies, and visits. In dialogue with guests and collaborators, the sessions aim to facilitate a series of semi-public spaces, settings, programs, and activities that centers and rethinks affect, labor, knowledge and care both in terms of envisioning future practice as well as future ways of living. Between course blocks, participants continue to develop work and research independently informed by previous blocks. 

The course welcomes applicants who are well-oriented in black studies, gender, trans, queer, feminist, and critical race discourses, and have a documented theoretical or practical background in relation to these topics. Applicants may have a degree in art, black studies, gender studies, performance studies, writing, film, digital media, architecture, urban studies, or other related fields. 

Reconstructions is led by Marie-Louise Richards, Lecturer in Architecture, and is part of the Department for Research and Further Education in Architecture and Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

For more information on how to apply visit the course page at the Royal Institute of Art website. News will also be updated through the Institute’s social channels. 

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Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm
March 18, 2024

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