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KEYNOTE LECTURE: “Benin 1897: Artist Intervention & the Restitution Issue”
With Peju Layiwola, Professor of Art History, University of Lagos (November 5, 2021)
Restitution is a way for communities that were harmed to remake themselves in the face of what was taken from them: for communities in Africa from whom people and objects were stolen, to try to account for and move on from those losses, and for Black communities in the diaspora to reckon with and remake their connections to Africa and to each other. The discussion will center on artistic practices of memory and activism that help restore the past, present, and future of Black life in the wake of colonialism, the slave trade, and imperialism (Sharpe 2016). We will examine how Black artists reconcile with the past and look towards the future through an engagement with activism, Artificial Intelligence, performance, and other technologies and practices of remediation.