Ekow Eshun: "In the Black Fantastic" [res. Tina Campt]

Mar 19, 2024, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
N107 (SoA)


Event Description

Graduate Program in Media + Modernity | Princeton University


Ekow Eshun

“In the Black Fantastic”

[Response: Tina M. Campt]

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 @5pm ET

N107 (School of Architecture)


:: co-sponsored by the Princeton Collaboratorium for Radical Aesthetics ::


Ekow Eshun will explore the landscape of ideas and imagery that inform his recent book, In the Black Fantastic (MIT Books, 2022). Embracing the mythic and the speculative, In the Black Fantastic, recycles and reconfigures elements of fable, folklore, science fiction, spiritual traditions, ceremonial pageantry, and the legacies of Afrofuturism to shows how speculative fictions in Black art and culture are boldly reimagining perspectives on race, gender and identity. Standing apart from Western narratives of progress and modernity premised on the historical subjugation of people of color, In the Black Fantastic celebrates the ways that Black artists draw inspiration from African-originated myths, beliefs, and knowledge systems, confounding the Western dichotomy between the real and unreal, the scientific and the supernatural.


Writer and curator Ekow Eshun is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth, overseeing the foremost public art programme in the UK, and the former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.  He is the winner of the Association for Art History Curatorial Prize 2023 and author of books including Black Gold of the Sun (Penguin 2006) shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, and Africa State of Mind (2021) nominated for the Lucie Photo Book Prize.


Tina M. Campt is Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of Humanities in the Department of Art & Archaeology and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. She is the author of Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (University of Michigan Press, 2004), Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe (Duke University Press, 2012), Listening to Images (Duke University Press, 2017), Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography (with Marianne Hirsch, Gil Hochberg and Brian Wallis, Steidl, 2020) and A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See (MIT Press, 2021).