May 1, 2021. Wellesley College Art Department (online).

The panel brings focus to decolonial discourse through the power of art and practices at the intersection of three often separately considered regions: Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. At the crossroads of diverging languages, current decolonial efforts point towards exciting trajectories, on the path from delinking structural national narratives to speculative fiction.

Four historians come in dialogue at this intersection:

  • Magdalena Moskalewicz (US/Poland),
  • Valeria Ibraeva (Kazakhstan)
  • D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem (US/Nigeria)
  • Moderated by critical geographer Zoltán Ginelli (Hungary)
  • Panel introduced by Randi Hopkins (US)

The speakers will reflect on the works in the exhibition In the Words, In the Bones that took place at Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, May 23–July 21, 2019 curated by Magdalena Moskalewicz. Artists in the exhibition were Marina Leybishkis with “roots” in Central Asia (Uzbekistan), Zsuzsanna Szegedi-Varga in Eastern Europe (Hungary) and Nyugen Smith in the Caribbean (Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago) as they uncover their family histories, examine the contentious heritage of the colonial era and postcommunist ruptures and absences, as they reclaim, revive, and recalibrate narratives.

Video on the event’s website

The panel is hosted by the Wellesley College Art Department and pays honor to the legacy of artist and scholar Alice Van Vechten Brown at Wellesley. Between 1897 and 1911 Brown initiated a laboratory system for art historical studies, the Wellesley Method, at one of the first art history programs in the United States. As we globally experience the effects of pivotal shifts from an East-West to North-South mentalities, conversations that connect artists and arts historians are increasingly vital.

Land Acknowledgement:
Although our panel is virtual, we acknowledge that our host institution, Wellesley College is located on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary unceded lands of the Massachusett tribe. Recognizing the operations taking place on a stolen land, we extend gratitude to the many Indigenous peoples who have rich histories here, including the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Nipmuc nations, for their ongoing stewardship of the land.

Special thanks:
Edit Andras, Boston Center for the Arts. The exhibition-related panel discussions are generously supported by Wellesley College Art Department, Russian Area Studies Program, Committee on Lectures & Cultural Events, also City of Boston Opportunity Grant, Samsøn Projects, Honorary Consulate of Hungary Boston, Barabasi Lab at Northeastern University, and Delta Air Lines.

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