Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media?from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels?has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self. How is the travel of black bodies reflected in reciprocal black images? How is blackness forged and remade through diasporic visual encounters and reimagined through revisitations with the past? And how do visual technologies structure the way we see African subjects and subjectivity? This volume brings together an international group of scholars and artists who explore these questions in visual culture for the historical and contemporary African diaspora. Examining subjects as wide-ranging as the appearance of blackamoors in Russian and Swedish imperialist paintings, the appropriation of African and African American liberation images for Chinese Communist Party propaganda, and the role of YouTube videos in establishing connections between Ghana and its international diaspora, these essays investigate routes of migration, both voluntary and forced, stretching across space, place, and time.
Exploring the migratory circuits through which identities are performed and positioned in visual encounters of many different kinds, this collection ranges far and wide on a global scale to deliver rich insights into the multiple meanings of blackness. The transdisciplinary inquiry activated in these pages renews the urgency of understanding how aesthetics and politics are articulated in affective experience, and in so doing Migrating the Black Body opens a fresh chapter in the critical dialogue between diaspora studies and visual culture studies.- Kobena Mercer, author of Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s
Migrating the Black Body enunciates a new approach to black visuality by recentering the role of visual media in imagining blackness and diaspora individually and collectively. This exceptional collection deftly interrogates the intersection of diasporic blackness and visual culture from the eighteenth century to the present and across a vast transnational landscape, engaging an extraordinary variety of visual texts and methodologies along the way.- Tina Campt, author of Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe
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