BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures is the seventh conference in a series of conversations about imaging the black body. It offers a forum that gives artists, activists, and scholars from around the world an opportunity to share ideas from historical topics to current research on the 40th anniversary of Soweto. Presenters will engage a range of topics such as Biennales, the Africa Perspective in the Armory Show, the global art market, politics, tourism, sites of memory, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, music, film, art, and photography.

The conference will be held November 17-19, 2016 in Johannesburg and held in collaboration with the U. S. Department of State, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick H. Gaspard, Goodman Gallery, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research/Harvard University, New York University’s LaPietra Dialogues, Tisch School of the Arts and the Institute of African American Affairs.

A Message from the Dean

In 2004, Bridging the Gaps: First Annual Conference on African American Art was hosted by the Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. In 2007, NYU Tisch School of the Arts was proud to partner with our colleagues at Harvard, and in the years since, the bridge has spanned from Cambridge to New York and later to Baltimore with the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Center for Race and Culture. Each time attendees got a closer look at African, African American and Black art.

In 2013, the world took notice when Black Portraitures: The Black Body in the West was presented in Paris. By 2015, Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Restaging Histories was held at NYU’s La Pietra in Florence, and after overwhelming demand, it was brought to New York earlier this year for Black Portraitures: Revisited.

I could not be more pleased that the bridge these scholars, photographers, artists and activists have built now takes us to Johannesburg for Black Portraitures III: Reinventions, Strains of Histories and Culture organized by the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, the Institute of African American Affairs, La Pietra Dialogues at NYU, co-funded by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard, and the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.

The world will be greater because of the conversations and explorations that will be held when more than 140 papers and performances are presented on topics such as the global art market, activism, politics, tourism, sexuality, sites of memory, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, music, film, and photography.

I am grateful.

Allyson Green
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University