Black Portraiture[s] VII: Play and Performance
DATE: Thursday, February 17 to Saturday, February 19
LOCATION: Express Newark
Express Newark at Rutgers University—Newark will host Black Portraiture[s]: Play and Performance, the seventh annual Black Portraiture[s] Conference from Thursday, February 17 to Saturday, February 19, 2022. The three-day conference explores the theme of play and performance in past and contemporary African diasporic art and performance and will conclude with a series of groundbreaking keynote conversations for the 42nd Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture at the Newark Museum of Art.
The conference will be held in person at Express Newark in downtown Newark for participants and a limited number of Rutgers University faculty, students, and staff. It will be held online for the public via livestream.
An academic conference committed to the study of African diasporic art and culture, Black Portraiture[s] initially began as a colloquium on African American art at Harvard University convened by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. with Dr. Deborah Willis and Manthia Diawara of New York University. Then it went on to Paris, becoming an international conference series, co-hosted by Awam Amkpa, Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Cheryl Finley, Inaugural Director of the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies, Black Portraiture[s] now attracts hundreds of scholars, artists, and activists from around the world each convening. The conference was first held in Paris in 2013 and has since taken place in cities as diverse as New York, Florence, Toronto, and Johannesburg. Black Portraiture[s] now attracts hundreds of scholars, artists, and activists from around the world at each convening.
Organized by an interdisciplinary advisory board of Rutgers University faculty and Express Newark directors Salamishah Tillet and Nick Kline, New Arts Justice program coordinator Alliyah Allen, and Express Newark curators and artists in residence, the conference will feature scholarly presentations, creative lectures, and short live performances that focus on a wide variety of related topics, from “Carnival, Junkanoo, and Mas’ Movements,” “Pleasure and Subject Making in Black Diasporic Visual Culture,” and “Black Girl Performance and Activism.” All panels will be streamed live and the keynote conversation recorded for later posting online as part of Express Newark’s commitment to bringing its programming to audiences around the world.