Curated by Omar Berrada
4- 6 May 2018

‘There is less and less living room’, June Jordan laments in Moving
towards Home, ‘and where are my loved ones?’ This may seem
paradoxical within a fiercely political poem from 1982 written in
solidarity with the Palestinians in Lebanon. But home is a capacious
place, and fighting the powers of war begins by nurturing communities
of affect. It begins, literally, in the living room. A poem is an embrace.

If oppression is embodied, then how do bodies become free? How do
they enact performances of survival, performance as survival? This is
about black intimacy. It is about resilient bonds on the verge of breaking.
How do you build a sense of belonging? How does the invention of new,
communal forms of life contribute to a reinvention of one’s own existence?
There are histories and herstories waiting to be exhumed. There are
ancestors longing in silence. Our work is the work of generations.

Over three afternoons, FORUM will strive to make more living room
by exploring the political potentials of intimacy. We will honour black
feminist traditions and listen to the voices that have called upon us to
liberate ourselves. We will dwell on the politics of African and diasporic
bodies, as it finds expression in practices of language, ritual, protest, craft
and care. We will consider the uses of solidarity in revolutionary Algiers
and the possibilities of healing in post-apartheid South Africa. We will
stage virtual encounters with intimate strangers, practice site-specific
exercises in ‘getting well soon’, and reflect on rituals as modes of making
kin, ways of resisting together.

Speakers, contributors, and performers include Derrick Adams, Sophia
Azeb, Babirye Leilah, Hatim Belyamani, Phoebe Boswell, Aruna D’Souza,
Emmanuel Iduma, NIC Kay, Lawrence Lemaoana, Joiri Minaya, Elaine
Mokhtefi, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Nkiru Nzegwu, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Jay Pather,
Serubiri Moses, Ekow Eshun, Lyle Ashton Harris and Neelika Jayawardane.