This lecture will address the question of the relationship between blackness and cities with reference to the sonic and visual cultures of the African diaspora.
How have cities around the world been shaped by and in turn influenced creative articulations of ‘blackness’? Why has ‘urban culture’ become almost synonymous with cultures of ‘blackness’? Drawing on personal experiences of urban travel, original research in urban theory and contemporary art, as well as critical thinkers like Edouard Glissant, Saidya Hartman and Fred Moten, this lecture will argue that visual art, music and sound culture – the sounds and images of blackness – are essential to understanding the past, present and future of global cities. In particular, the role that black visual, musical and sonic cultures have played in the shaping of cultures of resistance in the urban context will be emphasised.
Paul Goodwin is a curator, writer and urban theorist based in London. Goodwin’s curatorial, research and writing projects extend across the interdisciplinary fields of contemporary art, urbanism, and curating, with a particular focus on black and diaspora artists and visual cultures. Goodwin is currently based at University of the Arts London (UAL) where he is UAL Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism and Director of the Transnational Art, Identity and Nation Research Centre (TrAIN). Some of his current research and curatorial projects include: ongoing research on ‘blackness as a speculative methodology’ in contemporary art, urbanism and social practices; rendering modalities of ‘whiteness’ in the global museum visible; a major survey of contemporary African diaspora artists practices in Britain (a two year ACE strategic touring project 2017-2019 in collaboration with New Art Exchange, Nottingham) and a four-year artistic and curatorial investigation into the ecological and cultural consequences of climate change on glaciers in the Valais region of Switzerland with the Verbier 3-D Foundation.