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Programme Details

2pm – Welcome

2:15-3:15pm – Panel 1: “Art Galleries and Educational Institutions’ Engagement with Black Communities”

Lillian Allen
Julie Crooks w/ Dominique Fontaine
Pamela Edmonds
Michelle Jacques

Moderator: Betty Julian

3:20-4:20pm – Panel 2: “Revisiting Representations of the Female Black Body”

Erika DeFreitas
Olivia McGilchrist
Abdi Osman
Rema Tavares

Moderators: Heidi McKenzie & Ellyn Walker

4:20-4:30pm – Break

4:30-5:30pm – Panel 3: “Making and Building upon Black Diasporic Histories Inside and Outside of the Academy”

Wayde Compton
Honor Ford-Smith
Sheila Petty
Charmaine Nelson

Moderator: Camille Isaacs

5:45-6:45pm – Keynote Address: ‘Conditions Critical’: Anti-Blackness, the Canadian Artworld and Future Collectivities 

7pm – Closing Remarks

7:30-9pm – Public Reception in the Marilyn Brewer Space

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation


The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation is an interdisciplinary conference taking place at Harbourfront Centre on February 22, 2014 in association with OCADU Faculty of Art Innovation Fund and in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council. The conference is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The event brings together artists, curators, academics, students, and multiple publics to engage in dialogue and, in effect, problematize the histories, current situation, and future state of black diasporic artistic practice and representation in Canada. The conference addresses and seeks to shed light on the dearth of cultural production and in turn, presentation activities by black artists who because of racial difference have historically been at the margins of traditional visions of the Canadian nation and its art production – particularly within the past two decades.
This conference includes closed working sessions prior to the public events designed to provide opportunities for artists, educators, curators, scholars and cultural workers to engage in intensive and critical collaborative discussions about the current state of blackness and the challenges and strategies employed to increase visibility. Emphasis will be placed on developing networks of engagement and knowledge exchange while developing methodologies and practices that inform the future of black Canadian artistic production and teaching. 

Conference participants:
Lilian Allen, Karen Miranda Augustine, Deanna Bowen, Sandra Brewster, Charles Campbell, Mark V. Campbell, Wayde Compton, Julie Crooks, Erika DeFreitas, Pamela Edmonds, Dominique Fontaine, Honor Ford-Smith, Richard Fung, Sylvia Hamilton, Jérôme Havre, Ebony L. Haynes, Johanna Householder, Camille A. Isaacs, Michelle Jacques, Alice Ming Wai Jim, Betty Julian, Olivia McGilchrist, Anna Jane McIntyre, Megan Morgan, Charmaine Nelson, Abdi Osman, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Sheila Petty, AboubakarSanogo, Adrienne Shadd, Dionne Simpson, Rema Tavares, Camille Turner, Gaëtane Verna, Rinaldo Walcott, Genevieve Wallen, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Natalie Wood.
Andrea Fatona, Conference Lead
Heidi McKenzie, Conference Coordinator
Ellyn Walker, Graduate Research Assistant
Please visit for more information, contact details and to register in advance of the conference.