Trans-epistemic Mapping
Dele Adeyemo in conversation with Nehal El-Hadi
The Nick Mirkopoulos Screening Room, Accolade East
Building (ACE 004)
Saturday, October 1, 2022
7:30pm to 8:30pm

Dele Adeyemo, The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism, 2020; (digital version of drawing detail [white ink printed on black acrylic])

A public conversation between Nigerian-British architect, urban theorist, and creative director Dele Adeyemo and Toronto-based journalist and urban planning scholar Nehal El-Hadi. The conversation will explore Adeyemo’s research practice of trans-epistemic mapping and how he’s enacting this at York University’s campus as well as Adeyemo’s and El-Hadi’s shared interests in the body (racialized, gendered), performance, Black geographies, and circulations of sand.

Adeyemo has been commissioned to use his trans-epistemic mapping process to create a digital work of art that focuses on the site of the new Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery (GGYU) on York University’s campus. For Adeyemo, trans-epistemic mapping is a process that is inspired by multiple cartographic methods and builds upon the typical considerations of an architectural site analysis—such as historical factors, topography, zoning, climate, and cultural patterns that are used to understand the context of a location—to work toward alternative modes of mapping that may include embodied experiences of Black life, non-linear conceptions of time, as well as Indigenous subjectivities to convey the entangled nature of differing world views and the spaces and architectures they’ve produced. Adeyemo will use archival images, site documents, and text that register histories of the land and York University and will build upon this material through a short residency in Toronto from September 26 to October 2, 2022. Trans-epistemic Mapping: A conversation between Dele Adeyemo and Nehal El-Hadi will culminate his time in Toronto, as he moves from the research phase toward the production of a digital work of art slated to be presented in spring 2023.

Dele Adeyemo is a Scottish / Nigerian artist, architect, and critical urban theorist based in London and Lagos. Dele’s research and creative practice explore the architectures of racial capitalism and the contemporary lifeworlds that exist in their midst. Paying tribute to the radical acts of everyday Black life in Africa and the diaspora through drawing, film, sculpture and installation design, Dele constitutes a trans-disciplinary praxis that encompasses these embodied cultures of movement and their circulation to mobilise what he calls “the Black radical spatial imaginary.” Dele’s projects have been presented at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2023; the 13th International Architecture Biennale of Sao Paulo, 2022; the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial, 2020; and the 2nd Edition of the Lagos Biennial, 2019. Most recently, he has presented the solo exhibitions Licor-Mãe, 2023, at Sismógrafo, Porto; Residues of the Sweet Purge, 2023, at Capel da Boa Viagem, Funchal; and Wey Dey Move, 2022, at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. Dele is the recipient of the inaugural JAE Fellowship, the Canadian Centre for Architecture & Andrew Mellon Fellowship, and Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research Fellowship. Dele was awarded a CHASE-AHRC scholarship for his PhD doctorate entitled “Last Dark Continent,” which he is currently completing at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Nehal El-Hadi is a journalist, researcher, and editor whose work explores the relationships between the body, place, and technology. Nehal is the Science+Technology Editor at The Conversation Canada and Editor-in-Chief of Studio Magazine. She completed a Ph.D. in Planning at the University of Toronto, where she examined the relationships between user-generated content and everyday public urban life. She is in residency at The Theatre Centre, where she is developing a live arts event that examines privacy, consent, and surveillance in public spaces. Currently, Nehal is researching sand as a material through which to understand social, cultural, environmental, and geographical issues.

Programmed by AGYU; Curated by Felicia Mings




Art Gallery of York University
Keele Campus, Accolade East Building
Toronto Ontario  M3J 1P3

Staff directory


Monday to Friday: 10 am to 5 pm
please note: the gallery spaces are currently closed for construction of our new building

Always free


Click here for a map

Visual story visitor guide

Nearest TTC Wheel-Trans stop is York University Subway (north entrance)