The State of Blackness Examines Black Diasporic Artistic Representation in Canada

Keynote speaker, Rinaldo Walcott, joins artists and academics to discuss the current state of blackness and the challenges and strategies employed to increase visibility at this one-day conference.

Toronto, Ontario, January 6, 2014 –  The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation celebrates Black History Month in Canada with an interdisciplinary conference on February 22, 2014 at Harbourfront Centre. Launched by Andrea Fatona, OCADU’s assistant professor in the Criticism and Curatorial program, and presented in association with OCADU Faculty of Art Innovation Fund and in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council, and with the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the conference presents artists and academics discussing the histories, current situation, and future state of black diasporic artistic practice and representation in Canada.

‘…it would be silly to be offended by André Alexis suggesting in This Magazine, that blackness in Canada is borrowed. Blackness is always borrowed. What is really at stake is what is done with borrowed blackness.’        –  from Black Like Who?: Writing Black CanadaRinaldo Walcott, Associate Professor, Humanities, Social Sciences & Social Justice Education, OISE/UT

The State of Blackness seeks to shed light on the shortage of cultural production and in turn, presentation activities by black artists who because of racial difference have historically been at the margins of traditional visions of the Canadian nation and its art production – particularly within the past two decades.

‘In light of the ascent of the Multicultural Act in Canada more than 25 years ago and the continued dearth of cultural representation of black artists, The State of Blackness seeks to make visible the works of black diasporic artists and incorporate these works into the pedagogical practices of art galleries, and educational institutions.’                 – Andrea Fatona, Conference Lead

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