Afropean First - Blackness in Cultural Heritage and Visual Arts in Europe

Sasha Huber Saarikko, Jeannette Ehlers, Adelaide Bannerman, Temi Odumosu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperProfessional


21st century hyper-mediated Europe comes to terms with itself again as a de-constructed subject, and abjectly apprehends this as being in a state of disintegration. Meanwhile, numerous efforts are being made to recover and re-inscribe diasporic presences and experiences that are inherent to the region’s identities.This panel session will feature short presentations and exchanges amongst artists and curators researching, producing new works and staging activities around this troubled predicament. Responding from a post-Brexit perspective, curator Adelaide Bannerman (UK/Ghana) will reflect on her thematic residency Rosa Emilia which spiritually honours Rosa Emilia Clay (1875-1959) Finland’s first African-Finnish citizen, and a sustained consideration of the differing contexts articulating presence and what it means to be ‘in residence’, supported by FRAME Contemporary Art, Finland and HIAP. Artist Jeannette Ehlers (DK/Trinidad) will discuss her latest project that marks the 2017 centennial of the sale of the former Danish Virgin islands to the United States. Ehlers is producing the first memorial statue on Danish soil of Mary ‘Queen Mary’ Thomas one of three prominent female leaders of the Labor Riots of St. Croix, 1878 - also known as the Fireburn. Artist and doctoral candidate Sasha Huber (FI/CH/Haiti) will present her portraiture series THE FIRST which researches historical and systematic racism and its debilitating effects on members of the contemporary African Diaspora. The suppression put upon this community has hindered equitable societal and economic developments which are linked directly to White supremacist thought and action. Huber’s portrait series suggests that this hinderance is the reason why today it can still be possible to be seen as the ‘first black person’ to achieve specific goals across many fields of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017
EventAfroeuropean Conference: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe - University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 6 Jul 20178 Jul 2017
Conference number: 6


ConferenceAfroeuropean Conference
Internet address

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