For the record . . . Feminists Artists, Activists, and Academics: Crossing Black Geographies

ZOE_0059The crossing of black geographies is fierce work to be done. The “unconference” would not allow me to bracket myself. My depressive nature causes me to fear beginnings and to look forward to endings. Fear and anticipation bracket my imaginations. Never ‘in the moment,’ as it were. The “Unconference” imposed themselves and created these in-between, these interstitial intimacies, so that I could say every day in the words of one of our participants: Thrilled to be in Durban this morning at 2015 FAAA Crossing Black Geographies with a dynamic and frankly quite bad-ass delegation of South African and Black American feminists, artists, activists and academics.
Crossing black geographies is fierce work. I was not ready to leave. I had to return too quickly. And the intensity is only more distant, not less. The will and skill to document our proceedings were stunning. To say nothing of everyone’s brilliance, difference, and tenacity—as facilitators, presenters, and participants. I feel privileged to have crossed the sacred Atlantic Ocean and traveled through Jo’berg to Durban to be so perilously near the Indian Ocean—a different reverence. And honored to have crossed it with Fran White, a close friend, and to have been welcomed to the shores of Durban by consummate activist artist, Zanele Muholi.
Crossing black feminist geographies is fierce work. I find in my notes the fragment: Then Africa and the world will be a far, far better place. One of our artists, activists, or academics said this of the practice of black feminism, I can’t but think.
“FAAA Crossing Black Geographies 2015 set the gauge for a type of world change—with black feminists in diaspora at the center and at the margins. The dimensions of which are infinitude.

Cheryl Clarke
01/05/2016


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