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Two people in a panel at the front of a group of audiences

Tina Campt | Listening to Images: Alternative Methods of Analysis

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

5 p.m. Current exhibition on view at 10 pm

7:30 p.m. Listening to Images: Alternative Methods of Analysis

Lecture and Discussion with Tina Campt

Introduction by Nana Adusei-Poku

Followed by Book Launch Celebration and Public reception

In Listening to Images, Tina Marie Campt, Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin, professor of Africana and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Barnard College-Columbia University, explores a way of listening closely to photography, by engaging with lost archives of historically dismissed photographs of Black subjects taken throughout the Black Diaspora. Using sound, Campt looks beyond what one usually sees and attunes her senses to the other affective frequencies through which these photographs register. Her subjects range from late nineteenth-century ethnographic photographs of rural African women and photographs taken in an early-twentieth-century Cape Town prison to postwar passport photographs made in Birmingham, England, and 1960s mug shots of the Freedom Riders. In these pictures, she hears a quiet intensity and quotidian practices of refusal. Originally intended to dehumanize, police, and restrict their subjects, these photographs convey the softly buzzing tension of colonialism, the low hum of resistance and subversion, and the anticipation and performance of a future that has yet to happen. Campt uses discourses of fugitivity, Black futurity, and Black feminist theory as tools to unpack practices of refusal, rupture, and radical imagination.