Plantation memories: episodes of everyday racism



søndag 11. oktober 2009, kl. 16:00

Sal: Kverneland (2. et)

Arrangør: New Meaning

Inngang: Billett

Presentasjonen holdes på engelsk

Plantation memories: episodes of everyday racism
Dr. Grada Kilomba

(…) Plantation Memories is a compilation of episodes of everyday racism. Linking postcolonial theory and lyrical narrative, the book provides a new and inspiring interpretation of everyday racism in the form of short stories. From the question ‘Where do you come from?’ to the N-Word to Hair Politics, te book is essential to anyone interested in Black studies, postcolonialism, critical whiteness, gender studies and psychoanalysis." (Unrast Verlag, September 2008)

The combination of these two words "plantation" and "memories," describes racism as not only the restaging of a colonial past, but also as a traumatic reality. Everyday racism, argues Grada Kilomba, is experienced as a violent shock which suddenly places the Black subject in a colonial scene where as in a plantation scenario, one is imprisoned as the subordinate and exotic ‘Other.’

"What a beautiful N.! Look how nice the N. looks" says a girl to Kathleen. Kathleen is shocked, for she didn’t expect to be perceive as the inferior ‘Other.’ This moment of surprise and pain describes everyday racism as a mise-en-scéne where whites suddenly become symbolic masters and Blacks, through insult and humiliation, become figurative slaves. Unexpectedly, the past comes to coincide with the present and the present is experienced as if one were in that agonizing past, as the title Plantation Memories announces.

Plantation Memories was released at the International Literature Festival last Fall in Berlin and has been presented in some of the most significant events in Europe.

About the author:

With origins in the West African Islands São Tomé e Príncipe, Grada Kilomba was born in Lisbon where she studied clinical psychology and psychoanalysis at ISPA.
There she worked in the psychiatry with war survivors from Angola and Mozambique and developed several projects in the fields of memory and trauma.
Early on she started publishing her literary work in the form of essays, prosa and poetry.
Her publications have been described as a combination of academic writing and lyrical narrative approaching remembered stories of slavery, colonialism and everyday racism.
Among others, she is the co-editor of the book Mythen, Masken and Subjekte (Unrast 2005) and the author of Plantation Memories (Unrast 2008) a compilaton of episodes of everyday racism written in the form of short stories.
She holds a distinguished Doctorate from Freie Universität in Berlin (summa cum laude).
Grada Kilomba has been working in several theatre projects and lecturing in the frame of postcolonial studies on slavery, memory, trauma and gender at the Humboldt Universität – Berlin, Department of Gender Studies; at the Freie Universität – Berlin, Department of Psychology and Department of Political Sciences; as well as at the University of Ghana, at Legon/Accra, Department of African Studies and Performing Arts

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