Previously at the ICA - Events

Language, Symbolism and Power


2 Jun 2017

The opening event of NON XCHANGE, this panel discussion focuses upon individual and collective bodies that come together in resistance to existing hierarchies of power and structures of oppression. Departing from the performativity of the United Nations as a theatrical platform for global politics, the speakers consider and reflect upon how artists can create social spaces that disrupt the flow of power. How does our investment in a notion of ‘global identity’ tie us to the valuation of certain notions of community and the rejection of other evident bodies?

The panel is chaired by curator and writer Osei Bonsu and speakers include artist, DJ and writer Juliana Huxtable, Professor Akwugo Emejulu (University of Warwick) and filmmaker and academic Kodwo Eshun (Goldsmiths University).

Speaker biographies

  • Osei Bonsu

    Osei Bonsu is a British-Ghanaian curator and writer based in London. His activities encompass exhibition programming, publishing and cultural strategy in the field of visual arts. He has developed projects focused on transnational histories of art, collaborating with museums, galleries and private collections in Europe, Asia and Africa. Through his research, Bonsu focuses on questions of progress and the conception of modernity against the backdrop of social, cultural, and economical transformation in the 20th and 21st centuries. He writes about developments in contemporary art for publications such as Artreview, NKA Journal and New African Magazine among others. As a lecturer in modern and contemporary art, Bonsu has undertaken prestigious research residencies at various institutions including Para Site (Hong Kong), Hospitalfields (Edinburgh) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

  • Akwugo Emejulu

    Akwugo Emejulu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include investigating racial, ethnic and gender social and economic inequalities in Europe and the United States and exploring women of colour’s grassroots organising and activism for social citizenship and social justice. Her first book, Community Development as Micropolitics: Comparing Theories, Policies and Politics in America and Britain was published by Policy Press in 2015. Her second book, Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain, co-authored with Leah Bassel, is forthcoming from Policy Press, and the co-edited volume To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe is forthcoming from Pluto Press. Emejulu’s work has appeared in Politics & Gender, Race & Class and the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies. Before entering academia, Akwugo worked as a community organiser, a participatory action researcher and as a trade union organiser in America and Britain.

  • Kodwo Eshun

    Kodwo Eshun (born 1967) is a British-Ghanaian writer, theorist and filmmaker. He studied English Literature (BA Hons, MA Hons) at University College, Oxford University, and Romanticism and Modernism MA Hons at Southampton University. He currently teaches on the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Eshun's writing deals with cyberculture, science fiction and music with a particular focus on where these ideas intersect with the African diaspora. In 2002 Eshun co-founded The Otolith Group with Anjalika Sagar. Based in London, the group's work engages with archival materials, with futurity and with the histories of transnationality. The group was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010 for their project A Long Time Between Suns. Eshun’s books include More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction and Dan Graham: Rock My Religion.

  • Juliana Huxtable

    Juliana Huxtable is an American artist, DJ and model who works in photography, video, performance, poetry and music. After gaining visibility in the New York club scene, Huxtable came to prominence in the art world with her inclusion in the 2015 New Museum Triennial, Surround Audience. In her work, Huxtable uses her own body as a primary subject to archive and abstract representations of art history, the internet and her experience as a trans and intersex woman of color. She draws from a broad range of references, including the Nuwaubian movement.

    Huxtable is a co-founder of the nightclub SHOCK VALUE in Queens, New York and is a member of the Queens-based collective House of Ladosha. She currently lives and works in New York City.


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E.g., 11-03-2020