|The project's concluding event is not solely reflective, but opens up a perspective on the future as poets, filmmakers, scholars and artists question how the power contained in the Black history of suffering and marginalisation has influenced their own search for specific forms and what the 21st century might offer them as new-old challenges.
Gina Ulysse, PhD, anthropologist and poet, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Afro-American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Gina Ulysse was born in Pétionville, Haiti. She emigrated to the US East Coast as a youth and has lived there ever since. Her research focuses on political and economic issues, the representation of gender and the nature of race and class within the context of the Black Diaspora. She has published her theoretical reflections in a number of articles.
Her dissertation Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importing and Self-Fashioning in Jamaica - a Reflexive Political Economy Study of the Work and Subjective Practices of Import/Exporters in Kingston will be published shortly.
In her very expressive poems Gina Ulysse endeavours not only to extend the framework of cultural anthropology, but also to break through its boundaries. In this sense, she uses spoken poetry as an "alterednative" form of ethnography.
Social injustice, complex identities, anger at the far-reaching consequences of colonial atrocities and racism - now and in the past - are themes of this "changed origins" and these "original changes". Her most important poems are: "A Poem about Why I Can't Wait: Going Home Again and Again and Again: Why I Prefer the Term Incarcerated When Talking about Agency" in The Butterfly's Way: Voices From the Haitian Diaspora in the United States, edited by Edwige Danticat (2003), "I Came of Age Colonized Now my Soul is Tired and I Am Feeling All this Rage" in Jouvert: Journal of Postcolonial Studies; "Homage to Those Who Hollered Before Me" in Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism; "Water Spirits and Revolutionary Barbies" and "Ode to the Metres: On Going Home and Learning How to Glide" in Ma Comere, Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.
Cheryl Finley is an Assistant Professor of the History of Art at Cornell University as well as an art critic, columnist and curator specializing in photography, African American Art, cultural heritage tourism and the politics of memorialization. She earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies and the History of Art from Yale University. Dr. Finley's publications and organized museum exhibitions include "Harlem Sites of Memory" in Harlem World: Metropolis as Metaphor (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2004); "When Lightning Strikes: Terry Adkins Imagines History" in Terry Adkins: Deeper Still (Harn Museum of Art, 2002); Imaging African Art: Documentation and Transformation (Yale Art Gallery, 2000); "Committed to Memory: The Slave Ship Icon in the Black Atlantic Imagination," (Chicago Art Journal 9, Spring 1999), and From Swing to Soul: An Illustrated History of African American Popular Music From 1930 to 1960 (Elliott and Clark, 1994). In May 2004, she co-curated (with Salah M. Hassan) the exhibition 3x3: Three Artists/Three Projects: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z, the Official United States Participation in Dak'Art 2004, the contemporary African Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal. During the 2004-2005 academic year, she will be a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA, where she will be completing a manuscript and exhibition on the visual memory of the slave ship icon.
Jean-Marie Teno, film-maker, was born in Cameroon in 1954. Teno studied audio-visual communication in Valenciennes, France. Since 1985, he has worked as a film critic for the Buana Magazine and as a cutter for television. At the Festival Vues d'Afriques (Montréal) he was awarded the short film prize for his second short film Hommage (1987). The same year, his first feature film Clando (1996) was nominated the best film in its category at the International Festival of French Films, Namur. His work was part of the official programme of the Documenta 11 in Kassel (2002). With his socially committed documentaries, short films and feature films, Teno wants to raise peoples awareness in both Africa and Europe of colonialism and neo-colonialism, migration, dictatorship and the abuse of power in Africa. Teno has been living in Paris since 1977 and travels regularly to Cameroon, which he still regards as his home.
Renée Green, concept artist, film-maker, author and professor at the Studio Art Department, the University of California, Santa Barbara. Green studied at the Parsons School of Design, New York and at the Wesleyan University, where she gained her Bachelor of Arts. In 1989/90 she participated in the independent study program run by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Green taught at the Institute for Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and was guest teacher on the Independent Study Program (ISP) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at Yale University School of Art. In 1994 she was guest professor at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Greens installations, which are composed of objects, photographs, videos, films and quotations from texts, reject unambiguity and clarity. Instead, she simply presents the many and diverse results of her research, in which the question of remembering plays a central role.
Her exhibitions, videos and films have been shown at international museums, biennials and festival, the last being the Documenta 11 in Kassel (2002) and in Sonic Process at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Her texts have been published in Texte zur Kunst, Spex, October, Transition, Frieze, Flash Art and elsewhere.