Social Justice Institute Fellowship
Sep
5
to Aug 31

Social Justice Institute Fellowship

The Social Justice Institute marks the next chapter of Barnard’s Center for Research on Women’s commitment to scholar-feminist praxis and accountable exchange with activists and organizations in New York City and beyond. The Social Justice Institute provides multi-year fellowships with financial, research, and other material support to visionary feminist activists and leaders to develop and disseminate their work.

The 2018-2020 cohort includes La Vaughn Belle, Mariame Kaba, CeCe McDonald, and Andrea J. Ritchie.

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Publication: Small Axe Journal no. 60 Cover and Visual Essay "The Alchemy of Creative Resistance"
Nov
1
to Dec 1

Publication: Small Axe Journal no. 60 Cover and Visual Essay "The Alchemy of Creative Resistance"

Small Axe focuses on publishing critical work that examines the ideas that guided the formation of Caribbean modernities. It mainly includes scholarly articles, opinion essays, and interviews, but it also includes literary works of fiction and poetry, visual arts, and reviews. For more information see here.

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Black Portraiture[s] V: Memory and the Archive. Past/Present/Future
Oct
17
10:45 AM10:45

Black Portraiture[s] V: Memory and the Archive. Past/Present/Future

  • Kimmel Center for University Life (map)
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Where We Gon Guh Burn?: Visualizing Resistance Narratives in the US Virgin Islands

Where you gon go burn? is a rallying cry that almost every Virgin Islander learns perhaps even before they learn to read. These words from a popular folk song about Queen Mary and the 1878 labor revolt known as the Fireburn, harken the Afro-Caribbean tradition of queendom bestowed upon women who were fierce leaders. The refrain is a cry of defiance that forms a significant part of Virgin Islands’ collective memory and identity and has manifested in various forms that stand in sharp contrast to the Danish colonial archives. Although the Danes boast some of the most expansive archival records of the transatlantic slave trade, their removal of them in 1917 when they sold the Danish West Indies to the United States meant that the newly named US Virgin Islands would be a community that would have to form collective memory without their records. This panel presents different perspectives- on a painting, a monument, a performance and reenactments- as examples of the alternative archival systems and ways of remembering that have developed in the Virgin Islands. Unlike the colonial archives, these alternative memory systems center the agency and subjectivity of Virgin Islanders in their still ongoing quest for self-determination. In addition to the four founding members of VISCO (the Virgin Islands Studies Collective) the panel will be moderated by Dr. Cynthia Oliver, also a Virgin Islander and author of “Queen of the Virgins: Pageantry and Black Womanhood in the Caribbean”.

Panelists:

Hadiya Sewer, Brown University, Visiting Scholar

La Vaughn Belle, Barnard College, Columbia University, Artist & Fellow at the Social Justice Institute for the Barnard Center for Research on Women

Tami Navarro, Barnard College

Tiphanie Yanique, Emory University, Professor

To register see link.

To hear an audio recording click here.

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Oct
15
6:00 PM18:00

Barnard College welcomes the arrival of I Am Queen Mary

On October 15, 2019, “I Am Queen Mary”, a human-scale monument memorializing resistance to Danish colonialism in the Caribbean and part of a transnational collaboration between artists La Vaughn Belle (U.S. Virgin Islands, Columbia ‘95, BCRW Artist-in-Residence) and Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark) will be installed at Barnard College. The sculpture sparks a number of important questions about public art, representations of black women, and the impacts of colonialism and slavery. 

“It is a great honor to have ‘I Am Queen Mary’ installed at Barnard College,” says Ehlers. “The project aspires to create a space for black and brown people to see themselves in an empowering light, to inspire everyone to know more about the issues embedded in the sculpture, and to carry this knowledge with grace and compassion.” 

“As an insittution dedicated to relationships between social movements and feminist praxis,” Belle says, “Barnard is perfectly positioned to engage with this project in really exciting ways.” 

Monica L. Miller, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, agrees. “As a professor of Africana Studies who walks through the space of Barnard Hall everyday, I am excited to think with this powerful statue of Queen Mary as I teach the literature and cultural history of the black diaspora,” she says. “The questions we are already asking about race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation, the politics of decolonization, art and memorials, among many other topics, will be re-animated and deepened with the presence of the Queen Mary statue.”

The sculpture features an allegorical representation of Mary Thomas, one of four women who, on October 1, 1878, led the largest labor revolt in Danish colonial history. Dubbed the Fireburn, the revolt involved burning most of the western town of Frederiksted in St. Croix and over 50 plantations in protest against  the abusive conditions that continued to bind workers to the plantation system 30 years after slavery had been abolished in the Danish West Indes. 

The sculpture’s base is comprised of coral stones excavated from Belle’s property in Christiansted, St. Croix and encased in plexiglass. Originally harvested from the ocean by enslaved Africans, the stones form the foundations of most colonial-era buildings and, in another sense, the foundations of colonial wealth. Reconstructed as a plinth, the stones draw attention to the people whose lives and labor were systematically erased, as well as the hidden inner workings of colonization, making visible the colonial extraction and the colonizer’s debts to those who perished, survived, and resisted. 

“It is a project with multiple layers of symbols and histories,” says Belle. The statue of Queen Mary is a literal hybrid of the two artists’ bodies, working on a physical and representational level. “The project represents a bridge between bodies, nations, and narratives.” 

The timing of the project is equally significant. 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the sale and transfer of the islands now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States. Ehlers says, “What’s unique about this sculpture is not only its size and thematics but that it was not commissioned. It is we, two artists, who are pushing into the public space.” 

“We want to continue the conversation about colonialism beyond the centennial year, asking people to question their relationship to this history,” says Belle. 

“I Am Queen Mary” also makes symbolic references to histories of Black resistance in modern history and their representations in culture. Mary Thomas’s pose, seated in a chair and holding a cane bill in one hand and a flaming torch in another, mirrors a famous photograph of Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton seated in a chair with a shotgun and a spear. The title of the work makes reference to the clarion call “I AM A MAN,” printed on protest placards in the infamous 1968 santation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee. It also recalls Spike Lee’s 1992 film “Malcolm X,” which ends with children around the world chanting, “I am Malcolm X.” Centering Mary Thomas, this statue acknowledges the historic erasure of Black women and their centrality to resistance struggles throughout the African diaspora. 

The “I am Queen Mary” statue to be installed at Barnard College is a scale iteration of the original 23-foot monument, which is currently on view in front of the West Indian Warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark. It has received international press coverage since its unveiling in March 2018, including features the BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, VICE and Le Monde. On long-term loan to the College, it will be on view in Barnard Hall and open to the public. 

The College community will welcome the sculpture in a brief ceremony on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 6pm. There will be a public event scheduled early in the spring semester where the community can interact with the artists to discuss the important questions the sculpture raises about public art, representation, and the place of “I Am Queen Mary” at Barnard College.




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Panel Discussion:Visual Art, Architecture, and the Memorialization of Slavery
Oct
10
to Oct 12

Panel Discussion:Visual Art, Architecture, and the Memorialization of Slavery

Enduring Slavery: Resistance, Public Memory, & Transatlantic Archives

Belle will be a part of a panel “Visual Art, Architecture, and the Memorialization of Slavery” organized by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. “Enduring Slavery: Resistance, Public Memory, and Transatlantic Archives.” will be held at the Schomburg Center in New York City on October 10-12, 2019. A display of her work will be during the conference at the Media Gallery during the conference. For more information see here.

“Visual Art, Architecture, and the Memorialization of Slavery”

Sat, October 12, 2019 2:45-4:30pm

Conference Program

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Panel Discussion: What We Mean When We Say Free Them All
Oct
2
6:30 PM18:30

Panel Discussion: What We Mean When We Say Free Them All

  • Event Oval, Diana Center, Barnard College (map)
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Join the BCRW Social Justice Institute Residents La Vaughn Belle, Mariame Kaba, and CeCe McDonald for a discussion of their work as artists, organizers, scholars, and visionaries responding to violence. We will hear about different approaches to addressing violence that manifests in archives and built environments, in state systems and logics, and in interpersonal relationships. Centering Black trans and non-trans women, girls, and femmes, the Residents’ work intervenes on the legacies and ongoing effects of colonialism and slavery, tears open the wide and tangled net of criminalization, and builds transformative, survivor-led responses to interpersonal harm. This conversation will welcome questions and contributions from the audience, including seasoned and emerging activists, artists, students, and scholars in these fields.

RSVP to attend

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Panel Discussion: Engaging The Archival Record of Danish Colonial Rule
Sep
26
6:30 PM18:30

Panel Discussion: Engaging The Archival Record of Danish Colonial Rule

The year 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the sale and transfer of the islands now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States. That year, the Danish government began digitizing a number of archival records from its colonial history. Now, two years on, our guests will discuss the significance of this project, including questions related to access and translation, as well as the nature of what can be traced, remembered, and imagined through these archives. La Vaughn Belle, Dr. Tami Navarro , Helle Stenum and Tiphanie Yanique, will bring questions from their own work in creative and scholarly archival practices, and addressing structural inequalities in the archives. This conversation will highlight national projects to digitize archives of historic, and often enduring, state violence.

For more information see link.

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Exhibition: Radical Love at the Ford Foundation Center For Social Justice Gallery, NY
Jun
11
to Aug 17

Exhibition: Radical Love at the Ford Foundation Center For Social Justice Gallery, NY

  • Ford Foundation Gallery (map)
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This is a free event with Registration.

Exhibition Opening
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Through the theme of Utopian Imagination, the trilogy of exhibitions in the gallery's inaugural year create a trajectory toward a more just future. The first exhibition, Perilous Bodies (March 4 - May 11, 2019), examined injustice through the intersecting lens of violence, race, gender, ethnicity, and class. Radical Love responds to the first show by offering love as the answer to a world in peril. The works in Radical Love are grounded in ideas of devotion, abundance, and beauty; here, otherness and marginality is celebrated, adorned, and revered.

Curated by Jaishri Abichandani and Natasha Becker. Exhibiting Artists: Sue Austin ~ La Vaughn Belle & Jeannette Ehlers ~ Maria Berrio ~ Raúl de Nieves ~ Omar Victor Diop ~ Vanessa German ~ Jah Grey ~ Baseera Khan ~ Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt ~ McCallum & Tarry: Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry ~ Rashaad Newsome ~ Ebony G. Patterson ~ Jody Paulsen ~ Thania Petersen ~ Lina Puerta ~ Faith Ringgold ~ Athi-Patra Ruga ~ Nep Sidhu ~ Rose B. Simpson ~ Imani Uzuri ~ Lina Iris Viktor

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Finalist for the Dinah Memorial Project: Inequality in Bronze
Jun
2
to Oct 1

Finalist for the Dinah Memorial Project: Inequality in Bronze

  • Stenton Historic House Museum (map)
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Belle has been selected as one of three finalist chose to develop a monument to an enslaved woman known as Dinah at the historic house museum Stenton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Stenton has primarily interpreted the life of James Logan, Secretary to William Penn. The museum recently accepted the gift of a cast bronze memorial to Logan. Although a Quaker, Logan was also a slaveholder, placing the monument squarely in the current national debate about the validity of public images deemed racist, insensitive or inappropriate.
 

Stenton also stewards a memorial plaque to Dinah, a once-enslaved woman who was brought to the site as part of a dowry c.1753. An oral tradition recounts Dinah’s role in saving Stenton from burning by the British in November 1777. The plaque memorializes this story of Dinah and although it uses language that is anachronistic today, the plaque is extraordinary in that it is one of the earliest and few memorials to an enslaved African American woman. In the mid-20th century, the plaque was removed by the city and languished in Stenton’s cellar.


Dinah’s neglected plaque and the arrival of the Logan memorial present a unique opportunity for Stenton to address a crucial issue at the heart of the debate over monuments, the absence of memorials to the millions of Africans and African Americans who lived as slaves and whose contributions to our country’s history remain ignored in many public spaces.

To read more about this project see here.

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Screening and Panel Discussion of "We Carry It Within Us" by director Helle Stenum at the Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture, NY
May
30
6:30 PM18:30

Screening and Panel Discussion of "We Carry It Within Us" by director Helle Stenum at the Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture, NY

  • Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture (map)
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The Lapidus Center presents “We Carry It Within Us”. This film explores the collective memory of and differing perspectives on the shared slavery and colonial histories between Denmark and the current U.S. Virgin Islands. Which events and individuals are remembered or excluded in public memories of the past? What are the ethical considerations involved in narrating history? A talkback with the film’s director Helle Stenum, artist La Vaughn Belle, scholar Dr. Tami Navarro, and writer Tiphanie Yanique will follow.



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Finalist for She Built NYC initiative for Shirley Chisholm monument
Apr
1
12:00 PM12:00

Finalist for She Built NYC initiative for Shirley Chisholm monument


Belle has been selected as 1 of 5 artists chosen to submit a proposal for the She Built NYC initiative. This project attempts to rectify the disparity of women and woman-centered narratives represented in the public space by commissioning a series of 10 monuments honoring women change-makers. The first one is to honor Rep. Shirley Chisholm in Prospect Park. The final selection takes place April 1st.


This proposal reinterprets Shirley Chisholm’s famous quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair” and positions it into a larger framework of mobility. This monument invites visitors to not only think about Chisholm’s personal journey from childhood to elderhood, but also the movement of a people and a nation. For what her historic run for the presidency challenges most is our imaginary of what is possible. Wearing a turban and an eagle pin, she steps boldy into a reenvisioned version of the presidential seal. She challenges us to think about how this petite black woman with a Bajan accent marking her immigrant roots, could represent the promise of the United States both literally and symbolically and how her trail -to use her campaign slogan- could “bring  U.S.  together”.

This proposal reinterprets Shirley Chisholm’s famous quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair” and positions it into a larger framework of mobility. This monument invites visitors to not only think about Chisholm’s personal journey from childhood to elderhood, but also the movement of a people and a nation. For what her historic run for the presidency challenges most is our imaginary of what is possible. Wearing a turban and an eagle pin, she steps boldy into a reenvisioned version of the presidential seal. She challenges us to think about how this petite black woman with a Bajan accent marking her immigrant roots, could represent the promise of the United States both literally and symbolically and how her trail -to use her campaign slogan- could “bring U.S. together”.

To read more about Belle’s proposal see here.

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Symposium: Black Imaginaries/ Scandinavian Diasporas
Mar
4
to Mar 7

Symposium: Black Imaginaries/ Scandinavian Diasporas

ART, ACTIVISM AND DECOLONIZATION: Black Imaginaries:/Scandinavian Diasporas is a week-long series of lectures, performances, and workshops exploring their mutual (and sometimes collaborative) artistic and activist explorations of the aesthetics of decolonization in Denmark and Sweden, as well as in the US Virgin Islands, which were known as the Danish West Indies for nearly 200 years. In recent years, artists/activists in Denmark, Sweden, and St. Croix have been at the forefront of movements to acknowledge and reckon with Scandinavia’s colonial history and the relation of this history to racial imaginaries and modes of national belonging in Europe and the Caribbean.

Artists La Vaughn Belle (Virgin Islands, Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark) and Ellen Nyman (Sweden) will be in conversation during this week. Invited by Monica L. Miller, Associate Professor, Departments of English and Africana Studies, and Tami Navarro, Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

For more inför: tnavarro@barnard.edu

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Panel Discussion: African Diasporic Countervisualities
Feb
11
6:30 PM18:30

Panel Discussion: African Diasporic Countervisualities

African Diasporic Countervisualities

Panel Discussion with La Vaughn Belle, Vanessa Valdes, and Dixa Ramirez, moderated by Tina Campt

Feb 11, 2019 | 6:30pm
The Diana Center, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027


This panel challenges the overproduction of certain images of Caribbean men, women, and children that have allowed for dominant, often nationalist, narratives from the region. Instead, each speaker reveals how the subjects of the archives from which they draw exhibit their own agency in confronting those chronicles. Speaking about the Danish West Indies / the US Virgin Islands (La Vaughn Belle), the Dominican Republic (Dixa Ramírez), and the Puerto Rican community in New York (Vanessa K. Valdés), the panel will highlight inconvenient histories previously ignored, erased, silenced, ghosted.

Co-Sponsors: Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CU) and the Practicing Refusal Working Group (BC)

For more information see here.

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Conference: Scholar & Feminist Conference: The Politics & Ethics of the Archive
Feb
8
to Feb 9

Conference: Scholar & Feminist Conference: The Politics & Ethics of the Archive

This Scholar and Feminist Conference will bring together archivists, librarians, artists, activists, and scholars to discuss the particular political and ethical challenges that reside in the project of creating archives for communities and social justice movements.

Belle will be participating on SATURDAY 2/9 10:30 AM – 12 PM

Panel discussion entitled “But words live in the spirit of her face and that/ sound will no longer yield to imperial erase”: Archiving Colonialism” features La Vaughn Belle, Justin Leroy, Cameron Rowland, and C. Riley Snorton, moderated by Saidiya Hartman

See here for full conference schedule and registration.

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FILM Premiere: DET SORTE KAPITAL
Sep
26
7:00 PM19:00

FILM Premiere: DET SORTE KAPITAL

  • 2 Nyhavn København, 1051 Denmark (map)
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Belle makes an appearance in this documentary film as it follows the journey of the co-creator of I AM QUEEN MARY, Jeannette Ehlers, and her friendship with the film director Maya Albana.

Film premiere: 7pm at Charlottenborg Kunsthal

A BLACK CHAPTER

As an adult Maya feels like an ordinary Dane, while Jeanette identifies as black. She feels a strong connection to her father’s African ancestors, who were shipped from Ghana to the Caribbean as slaves. All her artwork challenges structural racism, which she sees as pervasive in Danish mentality and society.

Maya begins to realise that there is a chapter in their shared history that she unknowingly has skipped. And that it is necessary for her to try to see things from Jeanette’s perspective in order to maintain their friendship.

The visual artist, Jeannette Ehlers, and the director, Maya Albana, became best friends when they were children. They both had Danish mothers and non-Danish fathers, from Trinidad and Malaysia respectively. This created a common bond between them in Odense in the 80s, where people of colour were a rare sight. Their friendship has lasted more than 30 years, but something between them has radically changed.

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Lecture: The Secret Lives of Colonial Objectivity
Sep
26
2:30 PM14:30

Lecture: The Secret Lives of Colonial Objectivity

Belle will be giving a lecture at the University of Aarhus in Denmark on Wednesday, September 27, 2018 entitled, "The Secret Lives of Colonial Objectivity". The talk will focus on her art practice around the material artifacts of the colonial period and the built heritage in the US Virgin Islands. For more information contact: 

Dr Laura McAtackney

Associate Professor

Co-ordinator of MA in Sustainable Heritage Management

Department of Archaeology & Heritage Studies

Aarhus University

Email: laura.mcatackney@cas.au.dk

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Group Exhibition: Mammon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Split, Croatia
Jun
28
to Aug 31

Group Exhibition: Mammon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Split, Croatia

Mammon

In this exhibition we present a selection of Croatian artists in dialogue with artists living and working in the Caribbean. Entering the 21st Century, Croatia and the Caribbean region are steadily growing into Capitalist Societies taking its cues from the United States and Europe. This exhibition will hold up a mirror in which we are confronted with the reality of their societies while given context by reflecting on respective histories and with that offer us future.

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KØS Museum for Art in Public Spaces presents "Transformations in Plaster"
Apr
19
to Aug 26

KØS Museum for Art in Public Spaces presents "Transformations in Plaster"

Contemporary play with plaster
The exhibition thrones the model of the newly revealed and much-discussed memorial sculpture, I Am Queen Mary, who honors African slaves on the West Indies. The memory sculpture, showing the rebel Mary Thomas, was created by the visual artists Jeannette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle and is a hybrid of the two artists' bodies created with 3D scanning. The model is then 3D printed directly in plaster and shows, among other things, how the plaster today is part of contemporary art's creation processes.

Participating artists:
A Box, HW Bissen, Johannes Bjerg, Nicolai Dajon, Jeannette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle, Elmgreen & Dragset, Edvard Eriksen, Poul Gernes, Jørgen Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Sophia Kalkau, Pontus Kjerrman, Svend Lindhart, Christian Lemmerz, Mogens Møller, Kai Nielsen, Knud Nellemose, Bjørn Nørgaard, Svend Rathsack, Helen Schou, Niels Skovgaard, Theobald Stein, Elisabeth Toubro, Hanne Varming and Willy Ørskov.

For more information click here.

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Reveal: "I AM QUEEN MARY" PUBLIC ART PROJECT, COPENHAGEN
Mar
31
1:30 PM13:30

Reveal: "I AM QUEEN MARY" PUBLIC ART PROJECT, COPENHAGEN

Jeannette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle will reveal their much anticipated public sculpture I Am Queen Mary on March 31st. The event is organized in collaboration with SMK and ActionAid Denmark. It will take place on the harbor front and everyone is welcome. The ceremony will include invited speakers from Denmark and the Virgin Islands.

I Am Queen Mary emphasizes that Denmark’s colonial legacy is something we carry with us and will continue to problematize after the 2017 centennial of Denmark’s sale of the Virgin Islands to the United States when the Danish public experienced a previously unheard of cultural and political focus on an otherwise silenced historical narrative. 

The figure representing the rebel queen Mary Thomas is a hybrid of the two artists’ bodies created using 3D scanning technology. Mary Thomas emerged as the most popular leader or “Queen” of the 1878 ‘Fireburn’ uprising on St. Croix, the largest labor revolt in Danish colonial history. 

I Am Queen Mary is the first collaborative sculpture to memorialize Denmark’s colonial impact in the Caribbean and those who fought against it. 

I Am Queen Mary is realized with the generous support from Beckett-Fonden, The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces, The Municipality of Copenhagen, Wow Factory, 3D Printhuset, ActionAid Denmark and Statens Museum for Kunst.
Visual: 3D Printhuset & Daviid Ranløv

www.iamqueenmary.com

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Lecture: "The Alchemy of Creative Resistance" at Bridgewater State University
Mar
22
12:00 PM12:00

Lecture: "The Alchemy of Creative Resistance" at Bridgewater State University

La Vaughn Belle has been invited to be a speaker at the Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Carnival Week, March 19-23 at Bridgewater State University. The theme is "Creative Resistance" which was chosen not only to speak to current events of political demonstrations and social movements against sexism, racism, police brutality, mass shootings, global warming, and economic neocolonialism. The LACS program dedicates this week of 12 events to celebrating the region’s characteristic creative resistance in all forms: the artistic, the musical, the performative, the academic, the literary, the verbal, the culinary, the geographical, the cultural, and of course the collective and the individual. 

Belle's lecture will occur at 12:30m -1:45pm in the DMF Auditorium.

 

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Exhibition: Possessions @ Peachcan Gallery, St. Croix
Jan
12
to Feb 28

Exhibition: Possessions @ Peachcan Gallery, St. Croix

Peachcan Gallery | "Possessions' by La Vaughn Belle

This exhibitions presents a series of large oil painting that piece together images of colonial pottery, popularly known as "chaney", while exploring ideas of fragmentation, identity, history and subjectivity. Although Belle started this series in 2015, this is the first time she will be presenting new works that in addition to ubiquitous blue colored patterns explore "chaney" in a variety of colors. 

Location: Strand St. Christiansted, St. Croix
Time: Friday, Jan 12, 2018 6pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 1-6pm

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Exhibition: Colonial Stories-Power and People
Aug
24
to Oct 24

Exhibition: Colonial Stories-Power and People

Curated by Marie Oxholm Ziegler at the GL Holtegaard, Denmark,  this exhibition marks the centenary of the sale of the Danish colonies in the West Indies, exploring the shared colonial history and power and powerlessness of this chapter of Danish history through historical artworks, cultural history materials, and contemporary art from Denmark and abroad. 

The exhibition will present works by acclaimed artists from Denmark and a range of other countries, including: La Vaughn Belle (f. 1974, VI), C.W. Eckersberg (1783-1853, DK), Jeannette Ehlers (f. 1973, DK), Jens Juel (1745-1802, DK), Patricia Kaersenhout (f. 1966, NL), Joachim Koester (f. 1962, DK), John Kørner (f. 1967, DK), Hugo Larsen (1875-1950, DK), Fritz Melbye (1826-1869, DK), Wangechi Mutu (f. 1972, KE), Yinka Shonibare MBE (f. 1962, UK/NG), Frederik Visby (1839-1929, DK)

Opening Reception: Thursday August 24th at 5-8pm

Welcome speech by Maria Gadegaard, the director of Gl. Holtegaard. Opening speech by Anna Neye, actress and author of the new book Emma Gad for hvide and editor at the Danish online media Føljeton

Gl. Holtegaard offers dinner, drinks and music by DJ Master Fatman outside in Gammel Holtegaard’s beautiful sorroundings.

The exhibition runs from August 25th to December 30th 2017.

For more information click here.

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Artist Talk: La Vaughn Belle and Tiphanie Yanique-"Alternative Histories"
Jun
1
4:00 PM16:00

Artist Talk: La Vaughn Belle and Tiphanie Yanique-"Alternative Histories"

A conversation on creativity, images and alternative histories when artist La Vaughn Belle and author Tiphanie Yanique meet art historian Temi Odumosu to talk about their work.

The conversation takes place in the new exhibition Blind spots. Images of the Danish West Indies colony and is free with the purchase of an exhibition ticket.

For more info click here

 

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Film Screening: WE CARRY IT WITHIN US
May
31
5:30 PM17:30

Film Screening: WE CARRY IT WITHIN US

The perspectives of these four Virgin Islanders; La Vaughn Belle (artist) , Chenoa Lee (student in Denmark), Tiphanie Yanique (writer) and Tami Navarro (anthropologist) are at the center of the documentary We Carry It Within Us by Helle Stenum

They will be in the panel discussion after the film screening in Copenhagen at the Grand Theater. For more information click here. For tickets click here.

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Group Exhibition: "My Islands Do Not Make a Nation",  Casa de Las Americas,  Cuba
May
22
to May 31

Group Exhibition: "My Islands Do Not Make a Nation", Casa de Las Americas, Cuba

The 2017 Casa de las Américas colloquium is entitled "Memory and Border Conflicts," and will be held from the 22 to the 26 of May, 2017 in Havana, Cuba. This event will include the first major group exhibition of Virgin Islands artists outside of the territory in 10 years.  The theme of the colloquium highlights the following three historical events: the centenaries of the transfer of the Danish West Indies from Denmark to the United States and the implementation of the Jones Act by the U.S. Congress granting US citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and the eightieth anniversary of the massacre on the Haitian-Dominican border.

The Gri Gri Project exhibition is entitled “My Islands Do Not Make a Nation.” The exhibition’s name is borrowed from St. Thomian writer Tiphanie Yanique’s poem, “Last Yanique Nation” published in her 2015 collection Wife. The following artists have been chosen to exhibit: Shansi Miller, LaVaughn Belle, Jon Euwema, David Berg, Janet Cook-Rutnik, Sigi Torinus and Cooper Penn. Penn will also perform as a Mocko Jumbie.

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Blind Spots: Images of the Danish West Indies colony
May
19
to Feb 3

Blind Spots: Images of the Danish West Indies colony

To mark the centenary of the sale of the Danish West Indies, The Royal Library is putting on a large exhibition about the visual cultural history of the islands. The exhibition focuses on images and postcards in Danish archives and collections. And asks what the images from the island actually show – and what one is unable to see.

The exhibition focuses on the visual material that is in the library: maps, postcards, photographs, newspapers, etc. The historical material is displayed alongside works by the visual artists Jeannette Ehlers, Nanna Debois Buhl and La Vaughn Belle, all of whom work with the presentation of Denmark's colonial past.

For more info click here

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100 Years of ...A Centennial Transfer Reflection Exhibition
Apr
7
to May 2

100 Years of ...A Centennial Transfer Reflection Exhibition

Mongoose Junction’s monthly “First Friday” art & music event will be occurring the same evening from 6 pm to 9 pm.

The curators aim to spur reflection on how we in the Virgin Islands live our histories daily. This is necessarily a personal topic designed to elicit highly individual responses.

“100 Years of…” will feature:
 - New works by St. Croix artist La Vaughn Belle, who is currently involved in multiple residency and exhibition projects in Denmark.

- A video and installation work, “Colere,” by St. John’s Joan Farrenkopf, that explores processes of re-location and adaptation.

- St. Johnian artist Karen Samuel’s latest accomplishment in the art form of quilting.

 -  2-D and 3-D works from Janet Cook-Rutnik’s long-running investigation of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ transfer from Denmark to the United States.

- Figurative, expressionist sculptures by St. Thomas artist Edney Freeman.
- Thematic audio-visual collage by Eric Browne of St. Thomas.

- New paintings and ceramic works by Lisa Etre of St. John.

- New paintings exploring elements of V.I. history and contemporary life by Kristen Maize from St. John.

- New jewelry pieces made from fresh water pearls & “chaney,” ofColonial-era ceramic shards, by Monika Wendland of St. Thomas.
- Vintage V.I. photographs from internationally-renowned mid-20thcentury photographer Fritz Henle, who relocated to St. Croix in the 1950s.

- New paintings by St. Croix artist Danica David.

- Student Works by members of St. Croix Educational Complex High School's National Art Honor Society and SCEC Art Club, and select Gifft Hill School students.
                                                                                  
- Commemorative V.I history card collections by Valerie Sims.
 
-  The St. John debut of a brand new book of vintage St. Thomas and St. John photograph
compiled by Elizabeth Rezende and Anne Walbom.
 
The Gri Gri project hopes to remind us of the words of Martinican philosopher Eduoard Glissant, that “after we arrange the chronology ofevents that we often accept as ‘history,’ the whole extent of our lived Caribbean histories remain to be discovered.”

The show will run until May 2.
 

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Exhibition: "Chaney: Stories From Migrant Fragments"
Mar
31
to Sep 23

Exhibition: "Chaney: Stories From Migrant Fragments"

This exhibition seeks to examine this past in a collaborative exhibition by La Vaughn Belle, who is an artist from the Virgin Islands currently working in St. Croix and the Danish graduate student of Sustainable Heritage Management, Gitte Westergaard. The exhibition will be facilitated by the National Park Service through their collections and exhibition space at Fort Christiansvaern from March 31 – July 1 2017 in commemoration of the Transfer Day Centennial.

This exhibition makes everyday artifacts, that have never been on display, publicly accessible and breaks down barriers and the exclusions of the public from their own heritage. The exhibition thereby invites the community to participate in a discussion about heritage, identity and how to take ownership of the past.

 

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Group Exhibition: "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017"
Mar
24
to Apr 29

Group Exhibition: "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017"

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The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts cordially invites the public to "Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017," a visual arts exhibition curated by Monica Marin featuring recent work by Virgin Islands artists who are actively engaged in a conversation about the islands' colonial history, including the last 100 years as a US colony as well as the legacy of previous centuries. Themes of resistance, migration, identity, erasure, and visibility—as it relates to the structural history of colonialism and the ways in which it is manifested today—are among some of the topics that inform their work. This large scale, multimedia exhibition will include works by artists La Vaughn Belle (STX), David Berg (STX), Janet Cook-Rutnik (STJ), Edgar Endress (VA formerly STJ), Jon Euwema (STT), Gerville Larsen (STX), Lori Lee (FL formerly STJ) , Ellington Robinson (STT/DC), and Niarus Walker (STX). The show will also feature a presentation of student work featuring designs by island students for a new Virgin Islands flag.

"Invisible Heritage," as conceived and organized by curator Monica Marin, “addresses the ways in which vernacular culture- creole architecture, music, dance, folk tales and other artistic forms- reveal the blind spots and hidden story of our colonial and imperial history in the US Virgin Islands. Power works through historical discourse. In the VI, the Danish perspective of the colonial narrative has primarily been the focus of our history, thereby creating blind spots that conceal the African Caribbean contributions to our cultural landscape…” This, the second phase of the Invisible Heritage project, culminates with a visual arts exhibition featuring contemporary artists from the region who have begun to reframe the narrative through their artistic interventions. The Centennial provides a platform of visibility upon which to take a critical look at the stories, events, and people that have been excluded and to celebrate the rich African diasporic vernacular traditions that were created despite the many restrictions imposed by colonialism. These artists help us to reimagine our collective history in powerful ways and transform how we understand not only history and memory, but culture. Through their “revisions” they creolize methodology to create new culture, promoting the question: How can we utilize these new materials and approaches so that we can operate from the inside? And, by using the Centennial as a marker, how can we manifest our own destinies, reframe our past, define our own terms and be in control of our development?

This exhibition will include a public art component and student engagement workshop in which the student’s work will also be on display. Visiting artists/scholars along with Virgin Islands artists and teachers will conduct several student workshops within the public high schools. The group show, Invisible Heritage: Transfer 2017 will open at Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted on Friday, March 24, from 6 - 8:30 PM. A panel discussion composed of VI artists and scholars will take place on Saturday, March 25, from 10 AM to 12 Noon. This exhibition is scheduled to travel to the VI Cultural Embassy in Copenhagen, DK in June, 2017.

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