The Showroom and The Otolith Collective are delighted to welcome writer, editor and broadcaster Ellah Wakatama Allfrey and renowned editor, broadcaster and publisher Margaret Busby to The Showroom. New Daughters of Africa, Busby’s long awaited sequel to her pioneering 1992 volume Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present, will be published by Myriad Editions in Spring 2019. In anticipation of that event, Wakatama Allfrey and Busby will engage in a wide-ranging and informal conversation on the ways in which writing by women of African descent has reshaped the aesthetics of black internationalisms.
Along the way, Wakatama Allfrey and Busby’s conversation will touch upon Exalt B. H., Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s new work for Women on Aeroplanes which responds to the landscapes of Serowe, Botswana, evoked in the writings of the avant-garde novelist Bessie Head. In the course of her sustained reading of Head’s work, Sunstrum encountered a short text written by Head in 1985, one year before her death at the age of forty-nine, that informed the conception of Exalt B.H. In response to Libération’s question: Why Do I write? Head concluded with the words: ‘I am building a stairway to the stars. I have the authority to take the whole of mankind up there with me. That is why I write.’
This talk is the second in a weekend of events focusing on Women in the Pan-African Movement as part of the Women on Aeroplanes public programme. The first talk takes place on the morning of Saturday 8 December at 10.30am with renowned historian Marika Sherwood, who will be in conversation with artist Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa. For more information and to book click here
On Sunday 9 December 1-4pm Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski, Yula Burin and Nydia A. Swaby are running a Black Herstory Archives Workshop which will be exploring the importance of documenting and preserving black women’s herstories, as well as developing a black feminist archival consciousness. For more information and to book click here
This event is part of the Women on Aeroplanes public programme which aims to expand upon and collectively develop new knowledge. Writers, researchers, critics and artists will be considering the activism of women - and in particular women of colour - in the struggles for independence from colonial rule in the 20th century. They will look at how and why the immense achievements of so many of these women have come to be marginalised within the official or mainstream narratives of these struggles, and what these women's erasure might teach us about the workings and priorities of mainstream western forms of historical representation. Through these events speakers, participants and attendees can work together to develop new or alternative strategies for recording and recounting such women’s lives and work in order to do a more lasting justice to their efforts and achievements.