Interrogating African Modernities Postcasts on UCTV and Perspectives:Women, Art and Islam at MoCADA

I’ve been trying to focus on my chapters the last few weeks, with moderate success: I’m just a bit too easily distracted by recent news and, you guessed it, the power of google to harvest little gems on the net. Two of the latter, I thought I quickly share the two of the latter’s results with you:

If you didn’t know the UCTV website yet, check it out! There you will find YouTube videos and podcasts of many a public lecture given at the University of California as well as some of the channels regular programmes such as Conversations with History. Well, as I’m particularly interested in everything African arts I thought I point you towards the video of a conference at the university in 2007: Interrogating African Modernity: Art, Cultural Politics, and Global Identities convened by the university’s Dr. Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie. Find the conference programme here.

Since my last visit to the site some time in January another video (panel 5) has been uploaded and I thought I take that as an occasion to point you toward the whole collection of audio and video podcasts. Personally, I found the papers presented quite interesting and inspiring so I can only recommend the conference’s podcast collection.

[I was trying to upload the video but as this does not seem to be working find it on the UCTV website y here, UCTV also has a YouTube channel so you can find the video here as well. Click through to the podcasts of the other panels.]

The other gem … well, to be honest knowing about this one is not my own accomplishment at all, I’m just on a mailing list by the National Museum of African Art. And, today this came around: A review of the Perspectives: Women, Art and Islam exhibition currently held at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (MoCADA) by Mohamed Hassim Keita.

Perspectives: Women, Art and Islam at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) lives up to its title, aptly providing deep insight into five disparate lives shaped by Islam, the West, and everything in between. With roots in Bangladesh, Algeria, Pakistan, Morocco, and New York City, the artists utilize family photographs, spiritual poetry, Quranic verses, and personal accessories to shed insight into the personal conflicts of Muslim women who face religious pressures to fulfill social expectations at the expense of personal aspirations.

Terrorism and the treatment of women have largely defined Islam in public discourse in recent years. In response, Perspectives challenges the notion of Islam as a monolithic, misogynist, unimaginative and atavist faith. This is no small task, yet it is achieved with a remarkable fusion—from modern photography, painting, installation and video to traditional Islamic crafts like tilework, ceramics and calligraphy.

Read more here.

And as I was at it anyway I also found this little documentary about the exhibition by WNYCRadio:

[I had been meaning to upload the video but somehow this is not working so find it here on YouTube]

So, I’m off to my chapters again … arrrgghhh, no end in sight!!!


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