‘Truth: Women, Creativity and Memory of Slavery’ – Symposium organized by the UN at Fordham University, New York
This month I participated in this event, organized by the United Nations in the framework of ‘Remember Slavery Program’.
A panel of scholars and artists presented their contributions on the remarkable roles that women played during the times of slavery in the Americas. Among other papers, Dr Deborah Willis (NYU) presented an ensemble of stunning photographs that document the lives of African Americans during and after slavery. I focused my presentation on Afro Brazilian artist Rosana Paulino’s work across media to highlight the fundamental role of black women in building Brazilian society.
Photography was at the centre stage as a tool for the dissemination of the struggle to maintain dignity in times of darkness. This notion was brought to the present by Dr Nicole Fleetwood’s account of a photographic project to promote rights among imprisoned women in the US, which brought to mind the recent activities of Prof. Angela Davies as a promoter of the penal system’s abolition.
The event was closed by a performance based on Maya Angelou’s poem ‘And still I raise’ by artist Angel Uwamahoro.