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Sensing Between Histories & Archives: AFRI’s Refashioning & Remaking Memory Projects

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, February 23, 2022. 10:00 AM
Meeting Location: 
Zoom
Workshop: 
Reframing Fashion Studies: Performance, Gender, and the Body
Meeting Description: 

The African Fashion Research Institute (AFRI) was founded in 2019 by Lesiba Mabitsela and Dr Erica de Greef to address firstly, the absence of African fashion histories in textbooks, archives, curricula, and exhibitions; secondly, the ongoing misperceptions surrounding fashion from the continent (both in its making and its theorisations); and thirdly, the limits in contemporary thinking with regards to future African fashions. Each of these erasures and ambivalences reflect the need for redressing notions of voice, positionality, and agency in relation to both praxes and theories of fashion from and on the African continent. This research workshop unpacks two ongoing creative research collaboration projects that address the scale of erasure/s and disavowal/s of Black South African fashion histories and voices, the impacts of these negations, and the identification of creative methodologies for reclaiming and asserting these archives. The Archiving and Remaking of Memory Project, led by Siviwe James, developed out of a pedagogic intervention Thinking across Fragments, and acknowledges the need for critical audio-visual works that can trace, investigate, and interrogate the material, textual, and visual hauntings of the archives that refuse to remain silenced. The Between Histories archive, created by Sungano Kanjere, responds via Instagram to the need to collect, preserve, and showcase South African popular culture artifacts. Each of these, co-created with Dr Erica de Greef and AFRI, aims to confront the colonial legacies of erasure by inviting filmic, written, sonic, textile narratives, dreams, fragments, and more, through collaboration, participation, and engagement contributing communally to a restructuring and remaking of African fashion histories as they unfold into the future.

This event will be held via Zoom. RSVP to receive Zoom link. >>

About the speakers:

Dr. Erica de Greef (co-founder of the African Fashion Research Institute) has a keen interest in the politics, power, and poetics of African fashion. Her work seeks to investigate the impact of the past on contemporary identities and pedagogies, and supports the possibilities of decolonial fashion futures.  

Siviwe James (a menswear design graduate from LISOF in Johannesburg and research assistant at the African Fashion Research Institute) is passionate about creatively interrogating the fragments of fashion that allude to the psychologies, histories, and disruptions of African fashion that have limited, but also hold potential for new ideals of modernity.

Sungano Kanjere (a recent Honours in Fashion graduate from STADIO School of Fashion in Johannesburg) is interested in exploring and expanding access to contemporary fashion knowledges from southern Africa for more diverse audiences.  

Workshops Calendar

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