As part of her exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion, Simone Leigh will bring together scholars, artists, and activists from around the world for a major project, Loophole of Retreat: Venice.
Organized by Rashida Bumbray with curatorial advisors Saidiya Hartman, University Professor at Columbia University, and Tina Campt, Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, the three-day symposium will comprise dialogue, performances, and presentations centered on Black women’s intellectual and creative labor.
The symposium, which will be live-streamed, is an extension of the critically acclaimed exhibition Simone Leigh: Sovereignty at the U.S. Pavilion, commissioned by the ICA Boston, taking place at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. The conceptual frame is drawn from the 1861 autobiography of Harriet Jacobs, a formerly enslaved woman who, for seven years after her escape, lived in a crawlspace she described as a loophole of retreat. Jacobs claimed this site as simultaneously an enclosure and a space for enacting practices of freedom—practices of thinking, planning, writing, and imagining new forms of freedom.
The livestream can be accessed via YouTube:
Loophole of Retreat: Venice participants
Vanessa Agard-Jones (New York), Mistura Allison (London & Milan), Deborah Anzinger (Kingston) , Firelei Báez (New York), Holly Bass (Washington, DC), Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia), Phoebe Boswell (London), Rizvana Bradley (San Francisco), Dionne Brand (Toronto), Tarana Burke (Harlem, New York), Tina Campt (New York), Cecily (Washington, DC), Aimee Meredith Cox (New York), Javiela Evangelista (New York), Ayana Evans (New York), Denise Ferreira da Silva (Vancouver), Ja’Tovia Monique Gary (Dallas), aracelis girmay (Brooklyn), Kaiama L. Glover (New York), dream hampton (Detroit), Saidiya Hartman (New York), Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich (New York), Leslie Hewitt (Houston and New York), Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (Los Angeles), Sandra Jackson-Dumont (Los Angeles), Zara Julius (Johannesburg), Lauren Kelley (New York and Houston), Bouchra Khalili (Berlin and Paris), Grada Kilomba (Berlin), Daniella Rose King (London), Autumn Knight (New York), Negarra A. Kudumu (Seattle), Las Nietas de Nonó (San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico), Diane Lima (Salvador/São Paulo, Brazil), Raquel Lima (São Tomé, São Tomé e Príncipe), Gail Lewis (London), Canisia Lubrin (Whitby, Canada), Jessica Lynne (New York), Tsedaye Makonnen (Washington, DC and London), Nomaduma Rosa Masilela (Berlin), Paloma McGregor (New York and St. Croix, USVI), Maaza Mengiste (New York), Nontsikelelo Mutiti (New Haven), Kettly Noël (Bamako, Mali and Port-au-Prince, Haïti), Stella Nyanzi (Munich), Lorraine O’Grady (New York), Okwui Okpokwasili (New York), Senam Okudzeto (Basel, Switzerland), Janaína Oliveira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Oluremi C. Onabanjo (New York), Olumide Popoola (London [of German-Nigerian background]), Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Dutchess County, New York), Annette Lane Harrison Richter (Washington, DC), Legacy Russell (New York), Christina Sharpe (Toronto), Lisa Marie Simmons (Lake Garda, Italy), Maboula Soumahoro (Paris), Tourmaline (New York), Françoise Vergès (Paris), Alberta Whittle (Glasgow), Mabel O. Wilson (New York), Nelisiwe Xaba (Johannesburg)