Imagining Activism: Black, Gold, Dust

Kempadoo, Roshini 2021. Imagining Activism: Black, Gold, Dust. Kunstlicht. 42 (3/4), pp. 63-68.

TitleImagining Activism: Black, Gold, Dust
TypeJournal article
AuthorsKempadoo, Roshini
Abstract

This photo essay explores the presence of women environmental activists. This is drawn from characters originally conceived for the initial iteration of the artwork Like Gold Dust, created while on the Artist International Residency at Artpace San Antonio, USA (2019). The artwork evokes gendered narratives about everyday survival, economics, and special powers needed for the 21st century, created in response to the oil and gas extraction off the Essequibo coast,northwest Guyana in the disputed ocean waters with neighbouring Venezuela.
Women narratives, including the presence of the late Wangari Maathai, are imagined as a network of environmental activists from the black Atlantic in order to explore and trace progressive relationships between landscapes, environments and present-day life.
This photo essay explores the artistic methodologies that reveal the ‘slow violence’ (Rob Nixon, 2011) of colonialism and capitalism as systems of extraction and what rethinking environmental activism might look like for a planetary future. It imagines women activism and presence as socially, culturally and racially transforming their/our worlds. The photo-essay and artwork develops the notion of decolonial and feminist environmental activism that Sylvia Wynter describes as ‘hybrid-auto-institutinglanguaging-storytelling,’ practice that involves narrating ourselves into existence.

JournalKunstlicht
Journal citation42 (3/4), pp. 63-68
ISSN0921-5026
Year2021
PublisherVrije Universiteit/VU University Amsterdam
Web address (URL)https://tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl/vol-42-no-3-4-2021-the-worldliness-of-oil/
Publication dates
Published2021

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