This year, KAM’s Global African Community Forum is being co-organized with the Center for African Studies and the African Students Organization to explore the themes of Reckoning, Restitution and Repair.
The goal of this multi-day participatory program is to center African perspectives in critical conversations about the fraught colonial histories of museums and the global politics of collecting, restitution, and return. We hope this initiative will spark new thinking about the place of art in (re)building communities at home and abroad, about the life histories of objects, and about the ethics of museum practice as we reckon with the dislocation, interpretation, and collective care of African objects.
Wednesday, October 11, 12pm-1pm, Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center
Food for the Soul: Reckoning, Restitution and Repair: African Art and the Politics of Return
The forum begins with a lecture exploring key themes over lunch as part of Food for the Soul and the Lunch on Us series, a weekly noontime discussion focused on topics relevant to the many communities globally within the African Diaspora and allies.
Thursday, October 12, 5:30-7:30PM KAM 62 and hybrid via Zoom
“If Objects Could Speak”: A Screening and Panel Discussion on African Art, Museum Reckoning, and the Politics of Restitution
The keynote for the KAM-CAS Global African Community Forum offers a screening of the short film, If Objects Could Speak, co-directed by Kenyan filmmaker Saitabao Kaiyare, followed by a zoom conversation with Kaiyare and scholar/activists Njoki Ngumi (in Nairobi) and La Tanya S. Autry (in New York).
Using the film as a point of departure, the speakers will engage the audience in a critical conversation about colonial-era removals and thefts of African objects, restitution, and what it’s like being on the receiving end of long lost objects returning to Africa.
Connecting these three provocative thinkers in conversation across the Atlantic presents an excellent opportunity to reckon with these issues with African voices at the lead.
This hybrid event includes CART captioning and can be accessed in over languages 27 languages through Zoom.
Friday, Oct. 13th 11AM-12:30PM, Krannert Art Museum Encounters: Arts of African Gallery
Reckoning, Restitution, Repair: A Community Conversation
On the following day, a participatory panel discussion imagining what decolonizing a museum can look like, using objects from KAM’s Encounters: The Arts of Africa gallery as points of departure, will be facilitated by Fatou Jobe (grad student, sociology), Toyosi Morgan (grad student, theatre), Hermann von Hesse (assistant professor art history), and moderated by Terri Barnes (director of the Center for African Studies.)
Saturday Oct 14th: 12-3PM, Krannert Art Museum
Global Africa Community Forum Festival
We will round up our events with an all-ages Forum Festival featuring live music, food trucks, museum tours, and arts activities including Make Your Own DIY Soccer Ball African-style!, an African Pottery Workshop, and a community soccer game in the playing field behind KAM. Featuring live music by Jean Rene Balekita y Bomoyi and a live drumming circle.