Sensing the Planet

A Black Atlantic symposium
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Sensing the planet

A Black Atlantic symposium
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WHEN:

29-31 October

EARTH TALKS FROM:

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Paul Gilroy, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Philippe Sands

ARTWORK AND INSTALLATIONS BY:

Artists and researchers including Nabil Ahmed, Barby Asante, Radha D’Souza & Jonas Staal, Forensic Architecture, Hannah Catherine Jones, Thandi Loewenson, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Femi Oriogun Williams, Ingrid Pollard, Tabita Rezaire, Jason Singh, Himali Singh Soin, Foluke Taylor, Seah Wraye, Zadie Xa

ACTIVISTS IN ATTENDANCE FROM: 

Wretched of the Earth, BLM UK, Decolonising the Curriculum, Plane Stupid, Racial Justice Network

VENUE:

Dartington Trust, South Devon

PRICING:

Full Symposium (includes all talks, workshops, evening music sessions and film) : £100
Full Symposium plus accommodation (full board, see below for details): £276

Individual Sessions: £25

Concessions: a 50% reduction on the price of a Full Symposium ticket (without accommodation) is available for those receiving low income state support (eg Universal Credit), and for full-time students. To apply for a concessionary rate, please email boxoffice@dartington.org.   

Special offer: if you book Session 1 or 3, you can get a discount on the music events that follow in the evening. Please see the Session-by-Session Programme below for details. (If you book a Full Symposium ticket, all music sessions are included as standard).

Read more about our residential options

Select the Full Symposium plus accommodation option at checkout to secure a student-style single room with shared facilities.  This is a full board option with all meals – made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team – included.  (Dinner on Friday; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday; breakfast on Sunday.)

These rooms have easy access to the wider estate, the White Hart and the symposium itself. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. 

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. An upgrade to a single room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £25 per night and a double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £40 per night. If you would like to upgrade, please contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847101 or email guestservices@dartingtonhall.com to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

For a more rustic experience, our Glamping Pods are also available during the weekend. These are located on our campsite – a 5-10 minute walk from the symposium venue. You will need to book a Full Symposium ticket and Glamping Pod seperately – you can book our pods here.

about this event

Join leading decolonial thinkers, artists and activists for a unique gathering that launches Black Atlantic: a new decolonial cultural project at the intersections of race, art, ecology and climate justice.

Timed to take place just before the intergovernmental climate conference COP26, Sensing the Planet will highlight issues of race and environmental harm as well as the role played by the UK, most prominently the south-west of England, in histories of slavery, empire and climate breakdown. It will also champion the role of interdisciplinary artists in imagining new futures built on principles of sustainability and justice.

The symposium programme consists of four sessions.  Attendees can book tickets for the full symposium or individual sessions, with each session including:

– An Earth Talk, by leading decolonial thinkers & activists Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Paul Gilroy, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Philippe Sands.

–  Facilitated sessions exploring antiracist cultural strategies through key themes including ‘Ecologies of Empire’, ‘Sensing the Planet’ and ‘Futurism as Organising/Organising as Futurism’.

– Plus live performance, film, art installations and more (see below for the full programme).

SESSION-BY-SESSION programme

Friday 29 October

SESSION 1: ‘Ecologies of Empire’ (2:30pm-6pm)

This session focuses on decolonising our assumptions about nature and the English countryside.

Including an introduction by filmmaker/activist and Dartington curator, Ashish Ghadiali, an Earth Talk by sociologist Paul Gilroy and a performance of These Shoots Need to Grow: An invocation by Asadua. Turning Sour into Sweetness featuring artists Barby Asante, Hannah Catherine Jones, Femi Oriogun Williams, Foluke Taylor and Seah Wraye, a facilitated conversation will invite participants to recognise ways that legacies of slavery and empire live on in the landscapes of South-West England and far beyond.

full session details

Timetable

Introduction
These Shoots Need to Grow: An invocation by Asadua. Turning Sour into Sweetness. Featuring Barby Asante, Hannah Catherine Jones, Femi Oriogun Williams, Foluke Taylor and Seah Wraye
Earth Talk: Paul Gilroy
Short presentations on the theme ‘Ecologies of Empire’ by artists and activists, focusing on decolonising our assumptions about nature and the English countryside
Film: Black Atlantic Symposium film presentation
Art installations: Edouard Glissant interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist; Ingrid Pollard; Jason Singh; Zadie Xa and a live feed from the Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes in Amsterdam, a project by Radha D’Souza and Jonas Staal.

about our contributors

Paul Gilroy joined UCL as Professor of the Humanities in August 2019 and, as Founding Director of the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism & Racialisation, is responsible for establishing a vibrant new interdisciplinary research centre that harnesses scholarship from across UCL in the critical study of race as well as the history, theory and politics of racism and its effects.

Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator and educator. Her practice is concerned with the politics of place, space and the ever-present histories and legacies of slavery and colonialism. Her projects are durational and collaborative exploring memory, archival injustice and re-collection, through collective writing, performance, re-enactment and creating spaces for transformation, ritual and healing. With a deep interest in black feminist and decolonial methodologies, Barby also embeds within her work notions of collective study, countless ways of knowing and dialogical practices that embrace being together and breathing together.

Live Music: Friday 29 October, 8pm-late

(requires additional booking if you are only attending session 1)

We will be joined by Shifa and Elaine Mitchener for an exciting live music double-bill from 8pm.

Taken from the Arabic word for healing, Shifa are a new trio borne out of old musical partnerships from the ever shifting sands of the UK improvised music scene. Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer working between the worlds of contemporary new music, experimental jazz / free improvisation and visual art.

This event is included in a Full Symposium ticket, and you do not have to book separately.

If you are booking a Session 1 ticket, you can get 50% off the ticket price. Your discount will be applied automatically when you add a Session 1 ticket plus concert tickets to your basket.

LIVE CONCERT: MORE INFO AND BOOKING >

Paul Gilroy

paul gilroy

Saturday 30 October

SESSION 2: ‘Sensing the Planet’ (10am-12:30pm)

Led by the visionary imagination of artist, Tabita Rezaire, whose film Deep Down Tidal establishes connections between the geographies of digital connectivity and the transatlantic slave trade and by black feminist author and activist Alexis Pauline Gumbs, whose Earth Talk will point towards the emancipatory lessons to be gleaned from the study of marine mammals, this facilitated conversation invites participants to seek out an experience of what lies beyond ecologies of empire – a sense of connection with the planet and the planetary that transcends the limits of island, nation and even species, bringing us into contact with a more-than-human world.

full session details

timetable

Film: Tabita Rezaire, Deep Down Tidal (2017, 18’41’’)
Earth Talk: Alexis Pauline Gumbs
– Sensing the Planet: short presentations inviting participants to seek out an experience of what lies beyond ecologies of empire – a sense of connection with the planet and the planetary that transcends the limits of island, nation and even species, bringing us into contact with a more-than-human world.
Art installations: all day

about our contributors

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings. Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice. Her poetic work in response to the needs of her cherished communities has held space for multitudes in mourning and movement. Her book Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals is a series of meditations based on the increasingly relevant lessons of marine mammals in a world with a rising ocean levels and part of adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy Series at AK Press.

Tabita Rezaire is infinity longing to experience itself. As an eternal seeker, her path as an artist, devotee, yogi, doula, and farmer apprentice weaves healing arts and scientific systems through connections to the land, the ancestors, the songs.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

alexis pauline gumbs

SESSION 3: ‘Futurism as Organising/Organising as Futurism’ (2.30pm-7pm)

This session looks at the role played by imagination in the work of political organising and in the building of just and sustainable futures. Opened by a piano solo performance by musician Pat Thomas, the session features an Earth Talk with radical geographer and prison abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore, as well as short interventions and presentations by artists and activists.

full session details

timetable

Film: Himali Singh Soin, we are opposite like that
Performance: Pat Thomas
Earth Talk: Ruth Wilson Gilmore
‘Organising as Futurism/Futurism as Organising’: short presentations by artists and activists, looking at the role played by imagination in the work of political organising and in the building of just and sustainable futures.
Art installations: all day

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies, and the director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Co-founder of many grassroots organizations including the California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore is author of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (UC Press).

Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style – embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week, with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra, and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.

Pat is also a co-founder of Black Top together with multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson. This shape-shifting unit with a unique guest collaborator explore freely improvised performances combine twisted loops, samples and dub-effects, with a spontaneity and daring rooted in experimental free-jazz. His current project Ahmed, a quartet with Joel Grip, Antonin Gerbal and Seymour Wright exploring ideas and a journey around the music and philosophy of visionary bassist Ahmed Abdul Malik who searched source material from Sudan and elsewhere in islamic Africa in the late 1950s. 

www.cafeoto.co.uk/archive/2016/06/02/pat-thomas-solo-piano/

www.cafeoto.co.uk/shop/somegoodnews/

www.cafeoto.co.uk/shop/ahmed-super-majnoon/

DJ SESSION: Saturday 30 October, 8pm-late

(Requires additional booking if you are only attending session 3)

Join us for a Saturday night music session with our Black Atlantic DJs, including Jason Singh, Chris Hall, Keiko Yamamoto and others, from 8pm.

This event is included in a Full Symposium ticket, and you do not have to book separately.

If you are booking a Session 3 ticket, you can attend this event for free. Your discount will be applied automatically when you add a Session 3 ticket plus concert tickets to your basket.

DJ SESSION: MORE INFO AND BOOKING >

Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Sunday 31 October

SESSION 4: ‘Against Ecocide’ (10am-12pm)

In this closing session of Sensing the Planet, we focus on the nascent definition of ecocide as a crime within international legal frameworks, bringing together struggles towards social and environmental justice. It will feature a screening of Forensic Architecture’s investigation into the distribution of toxicity in post-plantation landscapes, Environmental Racism in Death Valley, Louisiana as well as an Earth Talk by lawyer Philippe Sands, one of the co-authors of the legal definition of ecocide.

full session details

timetable

Film: If toxic air is a monument to slavery, how do we take it down (2021, 31’03”)
Earth Talk: Philippe Sands
Against Ecocide: A morning focusing on the nascent definition of ecocide as a crime within international legal frameworks, bringing together struggles towards social and environmental justice.
Libita Sibungu & Imani Robinson, Welcome Note (Quantum Ghost)
Art installations: all day

about our contributors

Imani Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, and researcher from New Orleans. Her work investigates the continuum of Extractivism, from settler-colonial genocide and slavery to fossil fuel production, gentrification, and police and corporate

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He appears as counsel before international courts and tribunals, and sits as an international arbitrator.

He is author of Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008) and numerous academic books on international law, and has contributed to the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times, The Guardian and the New York Times.

philippe sands

Philippe Sands

all weekend: installations and film

Installations: Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October, 11am-8pm / Sunday 31 October, 11am-6pm

full session details

Radha D’Souza and Jonas Staal

Duke Room
A live feed from the Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes in Amsterdam, a project by Radha D’Souza and Jonas Staal.

Ingrid Pollard

Gallery
An exhibition by photographer, media artist and researcher Ingrid Pollard

Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews Edouard Glissant

Tagore Room
A nine-hour film archive of interviews of writer, poet and philosopher Edouard Glissant (1928-2011) by Serpentine Artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist. The interviews of Édouard Glissant by Hans Ulrich Obrist have been edited, transcribed, subtitled, chaptered as part of the ongoing research for the Living Archives program at LUMA Arles, for the Hans Ulrich Obrist archive, deposited at LUMA Arles. They have been presented to the public in Arles since the opening of LUMA Arles on 26 June 2021.

Jason Singh

Pontin Room
Originally curated by Yasmin Canvin in partnership with Fermynwood Contemporary Art in 2018, I Bring my Body to This Place, to Observe the Coming and Going of Life is a sound installation by Jason Singh which explores themes of home, separation and migration for both people and wildlife.

Zadie Xa

Great Hall
An installation by artist Zadie Xa, whose work uses water and marine ecologies as metaphors for exploring the unknown, whilst also alluding to abstract notions of homeland.

Films

A programme of films (free to all Symposium attendees) by artists and researchers, part of Sensing the Planet, will take place in the Barn Cinema throughout the three-day gathering.

full session details

session 1: Ecologies of Empire programme

Thandi Loewenson, A Taxonomy of Flight (2020, 24’52’’)
Forensic Architecture, If toxic air is a monument to slavery, how do we take it down (2021, 35’03’’)
Nabil Ahmed, Radical Meteorology (2013)
SERAFINE1369, Untitled (2021, 10’28’’)
Barn Cinema, Friday 29 October, 11:30am / Sunday 31 October, 3pm

Session 2: Sensing the Planet programme

Himali Singh Soin, we are opposite like that (2019, 12’26’)
Tabita Rezaire, Deep Down Tidal (2017, 18’44’’)
Manthia Diawara, Edouard Glissant: One World in Relation (2010, 50’)
Barn Cinema, Friday 29 October, 1:15pm and 3pm / Sunday 31 October, 11:30am

plus: The Otolith Group, O Horizon
2018. 4k video, colour, sound. 90 minutes
Barn Cinema, Saturday 30 October, 1pm / Sunday 31 October, 1:15pm

Himali Singh Soin
Himali Singh Soin

about black atlantic

Black Atlantic is a new decolonial arts partnership, co-established by UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre, Serpentine Galleries, Royal Court Theatre and Dartington Trust that aims to strengthen the role of arts and culture in advancing social and climate justice. Additional partners include Cafe OTO/OTO Projects, Verso, Lawrence & Wishart Books, LUMA Arles and the Stuart Hall Foundation.

MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAMME >

Book now

We are proud to be Covid-secure. With guidance around Covid constantly changing, find out what we're doing to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience here >

Select a time below to begin your online booking. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at boxoffice@dartington.org with any queries you have.



Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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