Date & Time
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Off Off Campus
Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave, Chicago
Initiated by the former President of Senegal and leading Pan-Africanist Léopold Sénghor, The First World Festival of Negro Arts (FESMAN) took place in Dakar, Senegal in 1966. With the participation of over 45 countries, the festival showcased visual art, music, literature, dance, and film from across the diaspora. William Greaves’ film captures the spirit of the event and provides unparalleled insight from the perspective of the African American delegation. Based on the 1969 novel of the same title, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is an example of “blow-back” film intended to show the consequences of covert operations. Set in Chicago, the film chronicles the struggles of the Central Intelligence Agency’s first black agent, who eventually leaves the CIA and trains Chicago’s black youth to become Freedom Fighters. The screenings are followed by a small reception.
Presented in partnership with Black Cinema House.
What does it mean to return—to a cultural history, to a movement, and to the site of Africa in developing an artistic language?
Taking place from October 13 through 19, 2017, Returns considers the aesthetic and sociopolitical ramifications of Pan-Africanist movements of the early to mid-20th century, which sought to garner connectedness and solidarity among Africans on the continent and those of African descent living internationally. Returns features conversations that unpack the different meanings and uses of the term Pan-Africanism across the diaspora, looking to the ideas spearheaded by prominent scholars such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Kwame Nkrumah, and Léopold Sénghor. With a particular focus on activities in Chicago, Returns also explores trends of Afrocentrism in artistic practices and social movements in the city from the 1960s into the 1970s, alongside reflections on the global Pan-African cultural festivals of the era including FESTAC ’77.
Returns is part of a multiyear research project, public program and online platform that explores the history of Pan-Africanism and its articulation in the art and culture of the contemporary African Diaspora, entitled The Ties that Bind: Waves of Pan-Africanism in Contemporary Art and Society. The Ties that Bind creates space for critical discourse and art production, and engages a multigenerational and international group of artists, scholars, and curators across three public forums or "congresses" taking place in Chicago.
To learn more, please visit tiesthatbind.uchicago.edu