Join the Women and Gender Studies Institute for a Research Seminar with Dr. SA Smythe titled: Black Mediterranean Freedom Dreams for “Atmospheres and Afterlives”
Dr. SA Smythe is an Assistant Professor of Black Studies and the Archive, Faculty of Information; Affiliated Faculty, Women & Gender Studies Institute and Sexual Diversity Studies.
Abstract: In “Black Mediterranean Freedom Dreams,” SA Smythe considers some material and aesthetic contours of belonging in/to the onto-geographical space of the Mediterranean Sea, its surrounding African and European nation states, and an attendant terrain of black imagination. This talk emphasises the convergence of aesthetic practices and collective liberation with Audre Lorde’s “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” Édouard Glissant’s relational poetics, Robin D.G. Kelley’s “freedom dreams,” and social movements led by refugees, migrant-workers, and Black citizens/citizens- in-waiting in Italy and across the Mediterranean. Smythe describes the atmosphere of violence and dispossession engendering murders of Black, Indigenous, and migratised people in the Mediterranean by critiquing the necropolitical regime undergirded by Frontex European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which facilitates the deaths of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea. Towards a Black Mediterranean poetics, Smythe theorises the relationship to language, naming, and conflicting clarion calls for liberation and citizenship reform through analyses of creative writing, performance, and other political actions that have deepened in recent years in response to the concurrent resurgence of ethnonationalist populism and fascism.