A call to rasanblaj

Black feminist futures and ethnographic aesthetics

The Haitian-American feminist anthropologist, artist and academic Gina Athena Ulysse engages in rasanblaj: a unique feminist and decolonial practice rooted in black aesthetics and the Haitian spiritual and historical experience. This volume attempts to broaden access to contemporary black radical thought and art, especially, to Caribbean genealogies. At the core of the volume is the script of the performance Ulysse presented at the “Decolonizing Hellas” symposium in November 2021, accompanied by a related text on contemporary Haitian art. In an introductory conversation with her, Ulysse reflects on critical questions regarding history and decoloniality, ethnography and art. What does it mean to contest the hegemony of anti-blackness and Eurocentrism in practice? How might dominant historical narratives, but also the very meaning of freedom, transform if we place at the center of our analysis and practice the historical experience, traditions of artistic expression, genealogies of resistance and spirits of Haiti and, more generally, the perspectives opened up by black radical thought?

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