Abolition Then and Now with Isaac Julien and Robin D.G. Kelley
Join Robin Kelley and Isaac Julien in conversation about the anti-slavery movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and current abolitionist uprisings against racist police brutality and the prison industrial complex. This event coincides with the presentation of Julien's Lessons of the Hour, 2019, a ten-screen film installation that explores the legacy of Frederick Douglass and his vision for abolition in relationship to contemporaneity, at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco. A composite version of that moving and monumental artwork will be screened for 24-hours online prior to the event.
About the Visualizing Abolition series:This program is part of a series of virtual talks and events presented in conjunction with the exhibition Barring Freedom, co-organized by SJMA and UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS). The online events feature artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition and are coordinated by the IAS in collaboration with Professor Gina Dent, feminist studies, UC Santa Cruz.
About the Speakers
Isaac Julien, Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California Santa Cruz, is a British artist whose work draws from and comments on a range of artistic disciplines and practices (film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture) and uniting them in dramatic audiovisual film installations, photographic works and documentary films. Born in London in 1960, Julien was a founding member of the Sankofa Film and Video Collective formed to expose the racialised unconscious of British Society in the Thatcher years, and subsequently of Normal Films established to produce queer cinema in a UK context. Julien is represented in museum and private collections throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate, the UK Government Art Collection, Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Brandhorst Museum.
Robin D.G. Kelley is a Professor in the Department of African American Studies at UCLA and Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History. His research has explored the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; Black intellectuals; music; visual culture; contemporary urban studies; historiography and historical theory; poverty studies and ethnography; colonialism/imperialism; organized labor; constructions of race; Surrealism, Marxism, nationalism, among other things. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals as well as general publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, Black Music Research Journal, African Studies Review, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), New York Times Magazine, The Crisis, The Nation, The Voice Literary Supplement, Utne Reader, New Labor Forum, Counterpunch, to name a few.
Visualizing Abolition is organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences in collaboration with San José Museum of Art and Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery. The series has been generously funded by the Nion McEvoy Family Trust, Ford Foundation, Future Justice Fund, Wanda Kownacki, Peter Coha, James L. Gunderson, Rowland and Pat Rebele, Porter College, UCSC Foundation, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.
Partners include: Howard University School of Law, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Indexical, The Humanities Institute, University Library, University Relations, Institute for Social Transformation, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, Porter College, the Center for Cultural Studies, the Center for Creative Ecologies, and Media and Society, Kresge College.