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Reparative Encounters: A transcontinental network for artistic research and reparative practices


Reparative Encounters is a network that brings together artists, curators and researchers from the US Virgin Islands, Ghana, Kalaallit Nunaat and Denmark to foster exchange and artistic collaboration across these locations. In 2023-2024, the project will organize 3 workshops - in Nuuk, St. Croix and Kumasi - where the members will meet to share their artistic practices and interventions into colonial structures.

The project departs from the premise that Nordic colonialism had both entangling and disconnective effects: while it forcefully connected different regions through the material entanglement of people, practices, capital and technologies; it also disconnected people from their own communities, kinship, cultural archive and expressions. The vision of this project is to establish a network to connect artistic practices from these regions, bringing together artists and cultural agents who are repairing colonial legacies in each location through artistic practice.

The network builds on previous collaborations between the partners, dating back to the important event “Rethinking Nordic Colonialism” (2006) and more recently the 2017 centennial of Denmark’s sale of the Virgin Islands to the United States. The members are taking these previous collaborations further to strengthen transcontinental conversations between communities differently impacted by Danish colonialism but which rarely have the chance to come together and exchange experiences on their own terms of reference.

Reparative Encounters takes an artist-led approach, departing from the practices of visual artists to surface new insights and chart new connections between these regions. The aim is to generate knowledge about the ongoing effects of colonisation and how artists respond to those legacies through different media, vocabularies and strategies. With these encounters, the project aims to form a collaborative cartography that binds these regions anew with artistic exchange.

Jointly coordinated by assistant professor Daniela Agostinho and visual artist Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, the network brings together visual artists Julie Edel Hardenberg (Nuuk/Copenhagen), La Vaughn Belle (St. Croix), Dorothy Amenuke and Bernard Akoi Jackson (KNUST, blaxTARLINES, Kumasi).


The first meeting took place in Nuuk on August 3-5 2023, alongside Julie Edel Hardenberg’s solo exhibition “Nipangersitassaanngitsut //Those Who Can’t be Silenced, on view at the Nuuk Art Museum. This was the first solo exhibition of Hardenberg in Kalaallit Nunaat which showed more than two decades of work. This first meeting included a public programme of artist talks and a film screening by the participating artists at Nuuk Art Museum.

The second meeting took place in Saint Croix, United States Virgin Islands, on January 3-10 2024, alongside La Vaughn Belle’s solo exhibition Being of Myth and Memory, curated by Dr Erica Moiah James, on view at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts. Exploring the relationship between history, memory and myth, this solo exhibition presents the artwork of La Vaughn Belle as she expands on Black feminist writer Audre Lorde’s concept of biomythography, in which myth and fiction function to frame past, present and future selves. This was the first major exhibition by Belle in St Croix, and it showed a series of new and earlier works. The network organized a film screening and artist talks with the participating artists, Dr Hadiya Sewer and Chalana Brown at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts. The title of the event, “We Were Never Meant to Meet”, is inspired by a quote from La Vaughn Belle’s video Between the Dusk and Dawn (how to navigate an unsettled empire). Filming the sunrise in Point Udall in St. Croix and the sunset in Point Udall in Guam, spaces that represent the eastern and westernmost point of the American empire, the film evokes the distance as well as the ties that bind regions connected by coloniality. The film programme and artist talks take the lead from Belle’s evocative phrase to create dialogue between different forms of engaging with colonial histories and repairing their ongoing legacies in the present.

The third and final meeting will take place in Kumasi, Ghana, in collaboration with the Department of Painting and Sculpture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The meeting will be organized around Dorothy Amenuke’s solo exhibition Figures of Stitch and Other Figures, on view at the Great Hall Foyer of KNUST, and the collective exhibition jointly curated by the Reparative Encounters network,  entitled “... flowing and floating like fragments and extensions: of waters, lands and skies...” at Opoku Ware II Museum in Kumasi. 

The exhibition brings together new works created by the network’s members, developed collaboratively and in conversation between the artists during the previous encounters in Nuuk (2023) and St. Croix (2024). The encounter in Kumasi will bring together the works and discussions that have developed over the past encounters, and new works produced especially for the exhibition. The exhibition aims to explore what happens when artists, who have been separated by coloniality, meet across different geographies. Which experiences, vocabularies and strategies resonate across different spaces, and how together they can create new horizons for repairing coloniality. 

The project’s main international collaborators

The project’s main international collaborators include:

  • Nuuk Art Museum, Kalaallit Nunaat
  • Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts CMCArts, St. Croix
  • Department of Painting and Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
  • blaxTARLINES art collective and incubator, Ghana

The project is funded by the Globus programme of the Nordic Culture Fund (2023-2024) and the Danish Arts Foundation. 

Header image: La Vaughn Belle, Between the Dusk and Dawn (how to navigate an unsettled empire), 2023. Courtesy the artist.