Talks / Workshops

Seminar: Curating Strategies of Productive Refusal with Gabi Ngcobo

The Black Archives, Amsterdam, Netherlands
07 Feb 2019

We are absolutely ending this, 2012. Courtesy of CHR.

We are absolutely ending this, 2012. Courtesy of CHR.

On Thursday, 7 February, 14:00 – 16:00 a closed seminar with curator, educator, and artist Gabi Ngcobo takes place at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten and The Black Archives in Amsterdam.

Gabi Ngcobo will discuss refusal as a curatorial strategy as employed in her collaborative projects. These include Nothing Gets Organised – NGO, Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR, 2010–14) and the 10th Berlin Biennale: We Don’t Need Another Hero, which resisted the desire for a single heroic conclusion in favor of embracing complexity. Herein, refusal is applied as a strategy to challenge the uptake of assigned or inherited responsibilities that keep certain people in roles whereby they are expected to explain to those who have the privilege not to know.

The seminar is part of a two-day event, starting with an evening lecture at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, where Ngcobo is also a guest advisor. The second day at The Black Archives, Amsterdam, will go deeper into the topic of refusal in a closed seminar, where some preparatory readings will be provided after registration. Read more about the evening lecture here: Lecture: Curating Strategies of Productive Refusal – Gabi Ngcobo

The study seminar will be a closed session with limited seats so we ask you to RSVP to Yolande van der Heide at with a brief letter of motivation.

This event is co-organized with De Appel, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, and Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten with The Black Archives.

Initiated by Casco Art Institute, Curating Strategies of Productive Refusal is organized in line with one of Casco Art Institute’s study lines on the commons, Angry letters. Angry Letters works with the magazine as a repository medium for collating tools that de-center the oppressor/s in conversations on freedom and liberation. The inaugural ‘issue’ is developed with Open – Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain and takes a text-to-workshop form for opening up and applying discussions in real time. The outcome will thus comprise of online and print components to be published in the fall of 2019.


Read more about the study line and project here:



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