Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) recently announced the opening of two new exhibitions titled Past Disquiet and Seismography of Struggle: Towards a Global History of Critical and Cultural Journals. Accompanying the opening is a symposium titled The Poetics and Politics of Archival Practice and a book launch of Radical Solidarity: A Reader this Saturday 5 August.
South African poet, educator, and activist Ambassador Barbara Masekela spoke at the public opening on Thursday 3 August. Speaking at the launch this Saturday will be Justice Albie Sachs, South African lawyer, activist, writer, and former judge appointed by Nelson Mandela to the first Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Past Disquiet is a documentary and archival exhibition based on research conducted by Lebanese curator-writer duo, and long-time collaborators, Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti. For over a decade, they explored four seed collections of art that were intended to be “museums in solidarity” or “museums in exile” that incarnated the engagement of artists with a particular political cause. It is an exhibition of stories told with documents, photographs, pamphlets, press clippings, posters, interviews, and videos.
The exhibition is presented in parallel with the multi-media installation and database, Seismography of Struggle: Towards a Global History of Critical and Cultural Journals, an itinerant exhibition compiled and curated by French-Algerian art historian Zahia Rahmani. Seismography of Struggle is an inventory of critical and cultural journals from the non-European world that understands print media and publishing as fundamental tools of struggle for anti-colonial, abolitionist, and liberatory movements in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Together, these two exhibitions speak to rich and radical histories of art and culture as integral to political struggles for democracy, equality, and sovereignty. These themes and values will be explored in the one-day symposium The Poetics and Politics of Archival Practice with keynote lectures from the curators of Seismography of Struggle and Past Disquiet alongside distinguished guests from the field of art, activism, and academia. Included in the symposium is a roundtable discussion on poetic and political approaches to the archive where attendees will have the opportunity to not only engage with the three curators, but also with notable authors, historians, and scholars.
Furthermore, Zeitz MOCAA will be launching its latest publication, Radical Solidarity: A Reader, which captures the profound ideas and projects of radical thinkers, artists, and activists committed to fostering the arts from Africa and its diaspora. The publication emerges from the proceedings of the Radical Solidarity Summit, a week-long online gathering hosted by Zeitz MOCAA in September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the intention to not only address the urgent issues of the moment, but to explore the alternative futures, and possibilities that can be forged in the cultural field through acts of radical solidarity.
Find out more about the exhibitions, symposium and publication at Zeitz MOCAA.