On 29 November 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong ordered that some 150 Africans be murdered by drowning so that the ship’s owners could collect insurance monies. To commemorate the 239th anniversary, M. NourbeSe Philip, Saidiya Hartman and Olivia Douglass launch Zong!
(Silver Press 2020), with music from Rabz Lansiquot. Equal parts song, moan, shout, oath, ululation, curse, and chant, Zong!
excavates the legal text to tell the story that cannot be told yet must be told. Memory, history, and law collide and metamorphose into the poetics of the fragment. M.NourbeSe Philip has also arranged a collective durational reading
, which begins on Monday 30 November and continues for ten days, the length of the massacre.
Zong! is available to stream for 30 days from Sunday 29 November, 7pm GMT.
Join Hito Steyerl tomorrow at 8pm CET for the last episode of her ‘4 Nights at the Museum’ visual podcast. As her exhibition I Will Survive at K21 remains closed to the public, Hito invites collaborators and her wider network on a nightly walk through the museum, as if to prove there’s nothing going on inside the museum during shutdown: ‘no satanic rituals are taking place here at taxpayers’ expense.’
Shannon Ebner is known for photography-based works that explore language as material form. In a new ICA Artists’ Edition, Ebner has combined a poster with a small batch-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (E.V.O.O.). The limited-edition poster brings together three of Ebner’s photographic typefaces from the past two decades in this bespoke ICA configuration.
Artist Charlie Ashwell will lead a three-day workshop at the ICA in February 2021, intended for anyone with conflicted feelings about study and keen to explore alternative modes of thinking and doing for its own sake – between and beyond the realms of education and artistic practice. This space will privilege restlessness and distraction over focus and concentration, and will include conversation, text, images, actions and movement as objects of study.
Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf, whose feature Piedra sola is part of our upcoming film festival FRAMES of REPRESENTATION, shares this poem by Atahualpa Yupanqui, an Argentinian poet and musician who was the film's initial inspiration:
The cosmic particle that sails my blood
Is an infinite world of sidereal forces
It came to me, after a long way of millenniums
When, maybe, I was the sand for the feet of the air
Then I was the wood, a desperate root
sunk in the silence of a dry desert
Afterwards, I was a snail, who knows where
And the seas gave me their first word
Then, the human form spread over the world
the universal flag of muscles and tears
And the blasphemy grew over the old land
So did the saffron, the lime, the stanza, and the prayer
So I came to America to be born as a man
And within myself, I gathered the pampa, the jungle, and the mountain
If a cowboy grandpa galloped up to my cot
Another told me stories with his cane-flute
I do not study things or pretend to understand them
I recognize them, it’s true because I lived in them before
I speak with the leaves in the middle of the hills
and the secret roots give me their messages
And that’s how I go across the world, without age or destiny
Sheltered by a cosmos that walks with me
I love the light, the river, the silence, and the star
And I flourish in guitars because I was the wood.
Piedra sola is available to stream for seven days from Wednesday 2 December, 6:45 pm GMT.
Track of the Day
Check out the ICA Daily playlist here