Managing editors: Katarzyna Bojarska, Dorota Sosnowska

Minor Matter by Ligia Lewis with performers Jonathan Gonzalez and Thami Manekehla; photo: Martha Glenn

Race is a political and social construct detached from the skin colour. Yet the color, visuality, and visibility of the body still form the basis of both racial exclusion and the emancipating identity built upon it.  We would like to reflect on the actualizations of images of “race” and a racialized imagery both in racially diversified as well as in apparently racially homogenous countries of central and eastern Europe, whose phantasmatic, though politically promoted homogeneity of this part of Europe needs to be questioned. One also needs to consider the racist framing of the so-called PIGS (Portugal, Ireland / Italy, Greece and Spain) – semi-peripheral members of the EU, and the return of colonial and imperial dynamics in Europe after 2008. Following Achille Mbembe, narrating the history of democracy and capitalism in terms of solar (worker’s) bodies and nocturnal (slave’s) ones we would also like to ask what constitutes the nocturnal body of democracy in Poland and other “non-racial” countries? How is capitalism connected to the discourse of race? How is race produced in frames of capitalist system?

 

We would like to reflect on recent and historical artistic and vernacular visual practices thematizing race and more broadly skin-colour as well as racism as specific practice in the visual field, a form of visual “hate-speech”. We are also interested in how this discourse can be countered by ideas drawn from black studies, especially the notion of „blackness” understood not as including and representative of black people, but also more broadly as a philosophical and anthropological project of subject formation. We frame blackness as expression of contradictions: an absolute negation, something that owes its existence only in opposition to whiteness – a construct in itself – and a fundamental multiplicity. Blackness – something less and more than one, than a whole (Fred Moten) – becomes a subversive, unclean element that poses a threat to rules and norms, an element that potentially destabilized racism its images and its performances.

 

We would like to combine tools of visual and performance studies to understand the archeology of the present moment. At the same time, it seems worthwhile to critically asses the implicatedness of these tools in the very constructions of race and challenge their emancipatory potential.

 

Sample topics:

- images and performances of race in visual and performative arts of Eastern European countries

- constructions of race in the visual culture of democratic and capitalist systems

- contemporary racial imagery

- emancipatory strategies / images

- race as a critical category

- racism in art, artworld and culture

 

We welcome abstracts (max A4 page) until July 30th. The deadline for submitting the first version of the article: October 10th, 2020. Please attach the author's biography together with the ORCID number, abstract and the bibliography (in Chicago-style).

Please send your proposal at redakcja@pismowidok.org.

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http://www.pismowidok.org/en/about/submissions