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While social and cultural structures hypersexualise black women’s bodies and demonise their sexualities, The Politics of Pleasure Workshop aims to create a social-cultural space for Black women to explore sexual and non-sexual pleasure as generative of creativity and community, and as fundamentally linked to their humanity.
The workshop, aimed at black and mixed race women, will be led by Rita Gayle, Nydia A. Swaby and ICA Assistant Curator Ifeanyi Awachie. Activities examine black women's pleasure as a means of redefining dominant conceptions of gender and provide opportunities to respond to an interactive installation exploring black women's pleasure in the realms of black feminist theory and visual culture, which runs for the duration of Fugitive Feminism.
The Politics of Pleasure is a multidisciplinary Black feminist project developed by Nydia A. Swaby and Rita Gayle that investigates how Black women engage in pleasure as a politics of refusal.
Rita Gayle is a PhD Researcher at the University of Birmingham investigating how millennial Black British feminists work collectively to counteract their exclusion from the creative and cultural industries. Rita is funded by an AHRC DTP Midland3Cities Research Award. She previously worked for BBC News.
Nydia A. Swaby is a historian and ethnographer working at the intersection of black feminist theory, diaspora studies, and queer theory of colour. She is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, where she obtained her PhD from the Centre for Gender Studies. Previously, she worked at the NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is a member of the editorial collective for Feminist Review.