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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, Kallalit 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 and community-led 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, cultural archive and expressions. The vision of this project is to establish a network to (re)connect artistic communities from these regions, bringing together artists and cultural agents who are repairing colonial legacies in each location through artistic practice, artistic research and interventions.

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 partners are taking 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.

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 includes visual artists Julie Edel Hardenberg (Nuuk), La Vaughn Belle (St. Croix), Dorothy Amenuke and Bernard Akoi Jackson (KNUST, blaxTARLINES, Kumasi).

The first meeting will take place in Nuuk on August 3-5, alongside Julie Edel Hardenberg’s solo exhibition “Nipangersitassaanngitsut //Those Who Can’t be Silenced”, on view at the Nuuk Art Museum. This is the first solo exhibition of Hardenberg in Kalaallit Nunaat and shows a retrospective of more than two decades of work. This first meeting will include artist talks and a film screening by the participating artists at Nuuk Art Museum, which will be open to the general public.

The project’s main international collaborators include:

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

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

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