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Notes from the Stuart Hall Library Fall – 2012: Roshini Kempadoo – Iniva’s First Library Animateur

Two quotes that really struck me:

The first is the catalogue entry I read from the Pan-Afrikan Connection: An exhibition of work by young black artists (1983):
‘In developing our sense of “some bodyness”, we are trying to avoid blind mimicry. We are trying to recreate and develop our humanity.’

The second is from Denise Ferreira da Silva’s article ‘No-bodies: Law, Raciality and Violence’ (2009), quoting Foucault: “‘the essential role of the theory of right is to establish the legitimacy of power'”. (2009: 220)

This by way of an introduction on my part and to those who may be interested in a regular contribution of thoughts, notes, quotes, ideas, responses to my exploring the publications in the Stuart Hall Library (Iniva) at Rivington Place, London. As you would have seen on the Iniva website (see: http://www.iniva.org/library/news/stuart_hall_library_animateur), the idea of this is to give more exposure to some of the wonderful material from the library and the (audio/visual/written) Iniva archive. As someone who creates – making artworks using photography, and who writes about art and visual culture, I hope to share with you how I make use of such a library full of beautifully rich material on the visual arts, cultural politics and institutional histories.

I had intended to re-familiarise myself with any work that was associated with the artists and writers involved with the forthcoming conference being organised by the Blk Art Group Research Project 2012 on 27th October 2012. Sonia Hope (the Stuart Hall Library librarian) kindly dug out material for me including a couple of booklets of exhibition documentation and Kobena Mercer’s edited series Annotating Art Histories of four publications published by Iniva and MIT press between 2005 and 2008.
But this was not to be…
Instead I read through and prepared myself for a discussion with two writers and scholars about issues of ethics, multiculturalism and cultural politics – equally interesting and so relevant to what I am sure will be part of future discussions, presentations and conversations. The articles I perused are:

Ferreira de Silva, Denise (2009), ‘No-bodies: Law, Raciality and Violence’, Griffith Law Review, 18: 2, 212 – 236.
Sharma, Ashwani (2009), ‘Postcolonial racism: white paranoia and the terrors of multiculturalism’, in Huggan, Graham & Law, Ian, (eds.) Racism Postcolonialism Europe, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 119 – 130.

They make for great reading – and inspiration for considering the ethics of violence (as it is enacted onto black Brazilian bodies) and the melancholic space of Europe.
My first contribution to the blog – less wordy, more visuals and hope to have some people commenting. More later.
Roshini