Black Sonic: Heritage as Heresy
THE VISUAL IDENTITIES IN ART AND DESIGN RESEARCH CENTRE (VIAD) IS HOUSED WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG’S (UJ) FACULTY OF ART, DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE (FADA). VIAD SUPPORTS AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF VISITING PROFESSORS, RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS, WHOSE DIVERSE RESEARCH PROJECTS PROMOTE CRITICAL THINKING (AND FEELING) AROUND TWO CORE THEMATIC CURRENTS IN RELATION TO VISUAL PRACTICE, REPRESENTATION AND CULTURE, ART AND DESIGN PRACTICES.
These thematic currents are interdisciplinary practice-led research and the histories,
identities, and lived experiences of peoples in African and its diaspora. In 2019, the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre at the University of Johannesburg, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, embarked on a major three-part project. The project, titled The Imagined New, is an interdisciplinary platform for critical exchange and research around African and African diasporic art practices as they relate to questions of history, archive and the alternative imagination(s) of radical Black tradition. Complicating conventional conceptions of the archive, a 2019 workshop that called together industry stakeholders from prominent locales, set a train of interrogation into how various cultural, artistic and expressive forms operating as archives tell different stories. Black Sonic: Heritage as Heresy takes off from here as digital programme that explores sound and sonics not as content, category, or the cultural ‘by-product’ of the Black experience, but as a heritage of heretical praxis; as so many ways of being and becoming. Referring to a systemic mainstream culture
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