Slowness with Okwui Okpokwasili, Tina Campt, Saidiya Hartman, and Simone Leigh
May 7, 2020
On March 26th, we at Danspace Project planned a conversation via Zoom between Platform 2020 co-curator and artist, Okwui Okpokwasili with scholar, Saidiya Hartman, multi-media artist, Simone Leigh, and Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, Tina Campt. The conversation was a reimagining of the live public conversation between Tina and Okwui originally scheduled for March 21st, the last day of the Danspace Project Platform 2020: Utterances From The Chorus. That public conversation, along with five other Platform events, was cancelled due the Covid-19 pandemic.
The concept of slowness, now, takes on a very different resonance. As an extension of the Platform and in response to the state of the world, Okwui, Tina, Saidiya, and Simone planned to gather virtually, across disciplines, with audience, to field questions surrounding the implications, textures, and politics of slowness as it pertains to the current moment of global pandemic, quarantine, shut-downs, cancellations, and physical distance.
Due to an overwhelming volume of registrants, staff working with home equipment, slow internet speeds, and the navigation of a new digital platform, we experienced severe technical difficulties causing us to have to cancel the event. However, earlier that same day, Danspace Project recorded what was to be part one of the conversation between these incredible scholars, writers, and artists. We are sharing that recording with you here.
In this video, you’ll notice that Saidiya is not visually or audibly present, as she couldn’t be on Zoom that morning. Her engagement is via text that her dear friend, Tina, brings into the conversation periodically. Simone Leigh joins the conversation via the Zoom account of another and thus appears labeled with a different name. In the spirit of slowness and this unprecedented moment, we hope you will appreciate not only the rich content of this brilliant discussion, but also hope that you will embrace this footage in all of its incompleteness, the delay in our delivery, and the presence and simultaneous absence of the participants and audience.
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