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Alongside our current exhibition, Karuppu, join us for a free online in-conversation event between our exhibiting artist Osheen Siva with Jelena Sofronijevic, producer of EMPIRE LINES podcast and Nicole Thiara, researcher of Dalit and Adivasi literature.

Together, they will explore topics related to Osheen’s practice; their inspiration from cultural aesthetics that explore speculative futures and racial identity, including Afrofuturism. Osheen’s work uses science fiction, mythology, and religious heritage amidst their love of comic books and the vibrant soul of South India. Their artworks imagine fantastical dreamscapes, whilst reclaiming and reinventing Indian folktales and myths to imagine a decolonised future.

This event will be live streamed on YouTube, with auto generated closed captions. During the live event there will be the opportunity to ask questions.

For the third and final event from our Plants Beyond Empire series, Claire Reddleman and Sophie Fuggle will explore how plants have become aligned with human ideas about time, seasons and cycles.
 
Many plants have been co-opted into colonial and capitalist ways of understanding time. Reddleman and Fuggle will begin by taking up the case of the Ginkgo Biloba – often described as a ‘living fossil’ due to the fact it has remained unchanged for over 80 million years.

Drawing on Claire Reddleman’s research, and its arrival in Britain in the 18th Century, they will consider the ways in which the ginkgo has become an important presence in the British landscape. The speakers will then look at the castor bean, a very different plant, which has been used by humans for at least 24,000 years. In the late 19th century, the castor bean’s best-known product, castor oil, started to be used as a lubricant for car and aircraft engines. It enabled greater speed and fluidity, and joined fossil fuels in the service of capitalism’s quest for ever faster, ever more efficient movement. Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing and others call this era the ‘plantationocene‘, to identify how capitalism, colonialism and labour have, often destructively, shaped the natural world.

Free – open to everyone.

Book your ticket

Taking place online via YouTube.

Plants Beyond Empire is a new series of conversations starting in February 2024, as part of our Formations programme, in partnership with the Postcolonial and Global Studies Research Group. The events will explore a range of creative and community interventions aimed at understanding complex human-plant entanglements within postcolonial Britain and beyond.

Photo credit – dendrologista by Claire Reddleman. Map credit – 1725 Kaart van de provincie Utrecht, François Halma, collection of Universiteitsbibliotheek, Utrecht

Join Katharina Massing and Jen Ridding for an online talk exploring how Birmingham Botanical Gardens is working with local communities and visitors to highlight its colonial connections and diversify voices within plant interpretation.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens was founded in 1832, originally as a site of botanical and horticultural research and later with a greater emphasis on leisure and wellbeing.

Similar to many Botanic Gardens, its collection is linked to colonial expansion and trade. These links can be observed throughout the site, for example through the economic plants in the glass houses or the ornamental plants from China at the Wilson border, named after the ‘plant hunter’ Ernest Henry Wilson who brought plants over to the UK. 

Katharina Massing and Jen Ridding will look at how the garden is working with local communities and visitors to highlight some of these colonial connections and diversify voices within plant interpretation.

Free – open to everyone.

Book your ticket

Taking place online via YouTube.


Plants Beyond Empire is a new series of conversations starting in February 2024, as part of our Formations programme, in partnership with the Postcolonial and Global Studies Research Group. The events will explore a range of creative and community interventions aimed at understanding complex human-plant entanglements within postcolonial Britain and beyond.

Photo credit: Birmingham Botanical Garden (2024). Photo courtesy of Katharina Massing

Join artist Rebecca Beinart for a free online talk where she will share stories and work-in-progress from her long term research into plant-human relationships, medicine and porous bodies. 

During this talk she will share a short film made in collaboration with Usha Mahenthiralingam and Freddy Griffiths. The work explores the Island site in Nottingham – that once housed the Boots pharmaceutical factories and is currently under redevelopment – and spills out into histories of plant medicine, land, bioprospecting, pharmaceutical production, and thinking with plants and fungi.

Plants Beyond Empire is a new series of conversations starting in February 2024, as part of Bonington Gallery’s Formations programme, in partnership with NTU’s Postcolonial and Global Studies Research Group. The events will explore a range of creative and community interventions aimed at understanding complex human-plant entanglements within postcolonial Britain and beyond.

**No audio between 04:36 and 07:46, presenter repeats the start of her talk after the screening of the film later in the event. At 22:42 the speaker cut out, which has been cut from the video. This causes a small pause that lasts 6 seconds**

Photo credit: Film Stills, Freddy Griffiths. Courtesy Rebecca Beinart.

Alongside our current exhibition, history is a living weapon in yr hand, join us for a free online In-conversation event between our current exhibitor Onyeka Igwe and Dr. Jenni Ramone, Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Global Literatures at NTU.

Together, they will explore topics related to Igwe’s wider practice and the ideas, research and development that informs both the exhibition and Igwe’s 2023 film, A Radical Duet, that is central to the installation.

On the evening there will be the opportunity to pose questions.

Please note this is a rescheduled event that is now streaming online only.

Coinciding with The Art Schools of the East Midlands exhibition, join us for a free event that explores the role of British art schools in shaping fashion, music and club culture over the last 40-50 years.

We will be joined by esteemed writer and curator Paul Gorman, who will discuss his work’s engagement with the significant role played by art schools, their educators and attendees in the broader culture.

Join us as we explore this past and consider it against the wider influence of the notion of the ‘art school’ on other forms of cultural and creative production.

Photo of Paul Gorman by Toby Amies.

Join us for a free, online talk between Irene Lusztig and Patricia Francis – part of the When I Dare to be Powerful conference.

Free and online via YouTube.

Reserve your place here

Patricia Francis and filmmaker Irene Lusztig will explore and discuss the value of archive in bringing voices and their subjective truths from the past into the present. Irene will also show extracts from a couple of her films including her latest release, Richland.

This is the final in the series of online talks and podcast conversations we have been having as part of the When I Dare To Be Powerful in-person international conference.

Bio:

Irene Lusztig is a filmmaker, visual artist, archival researcher, and amateur seamstress. Her film and video work mines old images and technologies for new meanings in order to reframe, recuperate, and reanimate forgotten and neglected histories. Often beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historical materials into conversation with the present day, inviting viewers to explore historical spaces as a way to contemplate larger questions of politics, ideology, and the production of personal, collective, and national memories. Much of Irene’s current work is centred on public feminism, language, and histories of women and women’s bodies, including her debut feature Reconstruction (2001) the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives (2013) and the ongoing web-based Worry Box Project (2011). 

Born in England to Romanian parents, Irene grew up in Boston and has lived in France, Italy, Romania, China, and Russia. Her work has been screened around the world, including at the Berlinale, MoMA, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty NYC, IDFA Amsterdam, RIDM Montréal, Hot Docs, AFI Docs, and BFI London Film Festival and on television in the US, Europe, and Taiwan. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, Massachusetts Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, and Sustainable Arts Foundation and has been awarded fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Flaherty Film Seminar, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard’s Film Study Center. She is the 2016-17 recipient of a Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship in Portugal. She teaches filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz where she is Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media; she lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Discussing the relationship between social activism and research, Dr Asma Sayed will tell us more about her ongoing research.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Asma Sayed, Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Canada, and NTU PhD candidate Ramisha Rafique.

They will discuss how the academic space can play an important role in working towards equity and inclusion and fostering a just society through anti-racism and Islamophobia awareness initiatives. Discussing the relationship between social activism and research, Dr Asma Sayed will tell us more about her ongoing research, activist work, and anti-racism initiatives at KPU.

Free – online via YouTube.

Taking part as part of Bonington Gallery’s Formations programme in partnership with NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre.

Bios:

Dr. Asma Sayed

Dr. Asma Sayed is Associate Vice President (interim) for anti-racism, professor of English, and Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada. She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2020. She is the past President of the Canadian Association for Postcolonial Studies. Her interdisciplinary research is informed by feminist and critical race studies and focuses on marginalization of gendered and racialized people as represented in literature, film, and media. Her current project examines the contributions of South Asian writers and filmmakers in Canada to the discourse of social justice. Her publications include five books and numerous articles in academic journals, anthologies, and periodicals.

Ramisha Rafique

Ramisha Rafique is a NTU PhD studentship funded PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University. Her creative-critical doctoral thesis explores the ontology of the postcolonial flâneuse, considering, class, language, religion, and global technological advancements. Her research interests include Islamophobia, British Muslim women’s writing, and flânerie.

Join Dr Tracey Lindberg in conversation with Valentina de Riso, as part of the When I Dare to be Powerful conference at Bonington Gallery.

Valentina de Riso will be in conversation with Dr Tracey Lindberg on Indigenous voice in literature. This online talk will explore writing as a form of activist engagement, with fiction a site of resistance and a tool for empowerment. Tracey Lindberg will discuss voice as represented and mobilised in her novel Birdie, and the personal and collective implications of storytelling at the intersection with activist and academic work. 

This event is part of online talks series leading to the in-person conference When I Dare to be Powerful, on 21 June at Bonington Gallery. The international conference will bring filmmakers, artists, writers and activists, together with conceptual thinkers and cultural theorists in order to answer pressing questions relating to voice as an agent of change.

Image credit: David Weatherall

Bio:

Professor Tracey Lindberg hails from the As’in’î’wa’chî Ni’yaw (Kelly Lake Cree Nation) and grew up in small cities and towns in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan (including, Melfort, Nipawin and Prince Albert). She studied law at the University of Saskatchewan, Harvard Law School (LLM) and the University of Ottawa (PhD). Her academic work Critical Indigenous Legal Theory won the University of Ottawa’s Gold Medal and the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Tracey Lindberg’s work with Elder Maria Campbell and Priscilla Campeau “Indigenous Women and Sexual Assault in Canada” (in Elizabeth Sheehy ed. Ch. 5, Indigenous Women and Sexual Assault in Canada (Ottawa: U Ottawa, 2017) represents the legal thinking and pedagogy in which she is most interested and engaged and includes engagement with Cree laws, critical Indigenous legal theory and storytelling. Her best-selling novel Birdie is widely read and used to teach courses worldwide.

Professor Lindberg studies, reads and practices Niyaw / Cree law, and works in the areas of Indigenous law and literature, Indigenous legal theory, the rejuvenation and application of Indigenous laws and Indigenous women’s societies, laws and legal orders. 

Her next work will be on bookshelves this fall. It is called: sâkihitowin: the Cree word for love and features 16 intertwined stories about the spectrum of love tied to 20 pieces of art by Cree painter George Littlechild.

Tracey currently teaches at the University of Victoria faculty of law.

Valentina de Riso (she/her) is a Vice Chancellor’s Studentship PhD student at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on contemporary writings by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women who challenge and re-think models for testimony and Indigenous-settler relations in Canada. Her thesis examines motifs of mutual understanding, healing, forgiveness, and empathy which, when employed in national discourses of reconciliation risk naturalising, pathologising, or sensationalising Indigenous experiences of violence and trauma. They are re-imagined in Indigenous women’s productions. Valentina published her article ‘Spin the Tale Inside: Opacity and Respectful Distance in Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song’ in the academic journal Studies in Canadian Literature (SCL) in 2021.  

Join Jeff VanderMeer in conversation with Trang Dang, as part of the When I Dare to be Powerful conference at Bonington Gallery.

Trang Dang and science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer will explore and discuss nonhuman voices, resistance, and activism in an age of anthropogenic climate change and the power of storytelling in accentuating these voices.

This event is part of online talks series leading to the in-person conference When I Dare to be Powerful, on 21 June at Bonington Gallery. The international conference will bring filmmakers, artists, writers and activists, together with conceptual thinkers and cultural theorists in order to answer pressing questions relating to voice as an agent of change.

Image credit: Kyle Cassidy

Bios:

Jeff VanderMeer has been profiled by the New York Times, Audubon Magazine, and the Guardian, in large part for his environmentalism and his exploration of the nonhuman world in his fiction. His NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy has been translated into over 35 languages. The first novel, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and Shirley Jackson Award, and was made into a film by Paramount in 2018. Other works include Dead Astronauts, Borne (a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), and The Strange Bird. These novels, set in the Borne universe, are being developed for TV by AMC. His most recent novel, Hummingbird Salamander (MCD/FSG), a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, interrogates the foundations of our modern world in an environmental context. Called “the weird Thoreau” by The New Yorker, VanderMeer frequently speaks about issues related to climate change and storytelling. His nonfiction about wildlife and nature has appeared in Orion Magazine, Esquire, and the Los Angeles Times, amongst others. In January of 2023, VanderMeer founded the Sunshine State Biodiversity Group, a non-profit devoted to rewilding, biodiversity education, and environmental journalism. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife Ann, cat Neo, and a yard full of native plants.

Trang Dang (she/her) is a PhD researcher in literary studies at Nottingham Trent University, funded by NTU Studentship Scheme, and previously graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA and an MA in English Literature. Her PhD project focuses on Jeff VanderMeer’s weird fiction, exploring narratives of co-existence between humans and nonhumans and the role of new weird novels in portraying the current climate crisis. Her main research interests are contemporary literature, cli/sci-fi, critical theory, and continental philosophy. She has published on the topics of animal studies, American culture and politics, and the Anthropocene.