Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture explores legacies of slavery, indentureship and the oceans

image shows a tree in front of an ocean
Ayesha Hameed
Ayesha Hameed

In a presentation titled “Of Sea Changes and Other Futurisms,” Hameed will expand on the themes of two of her research-creation projects Black Atlantis and Brown Atlantis, exploring the legacies of indentureship and slavery through the figure of the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Black Atlantis is a speculative exploration of the relationship between the transatlantic slave trade, contemporary illegalized migration and the watery environment of the ocean below. It is a multi-part sound, video, performance and scholarly project that combines Afrofuturism and the Anthropocene.

Brown Atlantis is a new project that extends the speculative methodology Hameed produced for Black Atlantis to at the ecologies of the Indian Ocean world with histories of indenture and slavery. The project explores the Indian and Atlantic oceans together as a site of both indentured and slave labour and considers the development of the book as a form of technology. It imagines what would a book be if it was invented in Africa.

Hameed’s Afrofuturist approach combines performance, sound essays, videos and lectures and examines the mnemonic power of these media – their capacity to transform the body into a body that remembers. The motifs of water, borders and displacement, recurrent in her work, offer a reflection on migration stories and materiality. More broadly, she reflects on the relations between human beings and what they imagine as nature.

The Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture is an annual event at York University that brings a major intellectual figure in the areas of critical and cultural studies to York for a public lecture. It was initiated in 2000 to honour the memory of the late Ioan Davies, professor of sociology at York University. The lecture engages with some of the concerns and themes in his diverse scholarship.

This event is a public lecture. Registration is required and can be completed through an online form that is available here.

To learn more, visit the Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture website.