Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism

Hameed, Ayesha. 2021. 'Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism'. In: Fall Semester 2021: Oceanic Archives. Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, United States 17 November 2021. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This lecture-performance is composed of notes on a film to be made and an essay to be written. On April 29, 2006, a twenty-foot boat was spotted off the south-eastern coast of Barbados. On board, eleven bodies were found by the coastguards, preserved and desiccated by the sun and saltwater. The ghost ship was adrift for four months on the Atlantic Ocean. It set sail on Christmas day in Praia in the Cape Verde Islands, full of migrants from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, and the Gambia, en route to the Canary Islands. Each of these men paid £890 for their place on the boat. Four months later the boat was found on the coast of Barbados.

This is an inadequate telling of this story that draws on the materials and tools at hand to make sense of the complicity of weather, ocean currents, and state violence in the journey of this ship. Hovering between the film and the essay form is a questioning of the adequacy of the measuring of histories and affects connected to crossing, languages to make evident the materiality of the sea, and both measurable and immeasurable horror contained in the figure of the ghost ship.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


17 November 2021Completed

Event Location:

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, United States

Date range:

17 November 2021

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Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2024 10:07

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2024 10:07


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