Still from Serpent Rain (2016) by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman.
Following her public talk on Saturday 25 August, scholar and artist Denise Ferreira da Silva will lead a study group on black aesthetics. This group will provide a focused setting to discuss some of the questions raised in her talk, and to share related ideas and practices.
Through her writing and artistic collaborations Ferreira da Silva has speculated on a ‘Feminist Poethics of Blackness,’ in doing so outlining existence ‘without the tools of universal reason,’ and beyond the global as the ‘ultimate ontic and ontological horizon of thinking.’ Her Poethical Readings, in collaboration with artist Valentina Desideri, experiment with reading tools from practices such as tarot, palmistry, political therapy and philosophy, aiming at expanding the horizon of interpretation and unsettling realities. Through such ‘poethical thinking’, she has sought to activate ‘blackness’s disruptive force’, to ‘tear the veil of transparency (even if briefly) and disclose what lies at the limits of justice.’
Dr Denise Ferreira da Silva is a Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute (the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice) at the University of British Columbia. Before joining UBC, she was an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, at the University of California, San Diego and, from 2010 to 2015, she held the inaugural chair in Ethics at the School of Business and Management and the directorship of the Centre for Ethics and Politics, at Queen Mary University of London.
Her academic publications include the book Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), and the edited volume Race, Empire, and The Crisis of the Subprime (with Paula Chakravartty, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). She is the principal editor for the Routledge/Cavendish book series Law, Race, and the Postcolonial (with Mark Harris and Brenna Bhandar). Her art-related work includes texts for publications linked to the 2016 Liverpool and Sao Paulo Biennales, advising Natasha Ginwala, the curator for the Contour Biennale 8 (Mechelen, 2017), as well as events (performances, talks and private sessions) and texts that form part of her own practice, Poethical Readings (in collaboration with Valentina Desideri). Along with Arjuna Neuman, she produced the film Serpent Rain, commissioned by Stefano Harney for the 2016 Bergen Assembly.