Vessels & Voyages, episode 1 of Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects

This episode features the perspective of three critical scholars and artists, including Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Ayana V. Jackson, and Camille Turner. They explore the theme of moving objects and peoples across multiple futures: stories within stories; the sea; floating objects; and shipwrecks as containers of memory, history, and spirits.

This podcast is also available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, guest
Kenya-born Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s novels include Dust (2013) and The Dragonfly Sea (2019), which have been translated into several languages. Her assortment of short stories, essays, reportages, and articles have been featured in numerous publications worldwide. Her texts have been incorporated into art exhibitions in Europe. A self-described “sea-citizen,” Owuor was the Executive Director of the Zanzibar Film Festival/Festival of the Dhow Countries (2003–5). She is also the co-founder of the pre-eminent Pan/Trans-African Nairobi-based Macondo Literary Festival. For a good part of the year, Yvonne lives in and works from any one of the many beautiful places of Africa.

Ayana V. Jackson, guest
Ayana V. Jackson was born in 1977 in East Orange, New Jersey, and lives and works between Brooklyn, NY, and Johannesburg, South Africa. She uses archival impulses to assess the impact of the colonial gaze on the history of photography.  By using her  lens  to deconstruct nineteenth- and early twentieth-century portraiture, Jackson questions photography’s authenticity and role in perpetuating socially relevant and stratified identities.

Camille Turner, guest
Camille Turner is an artist/scholar whose work combines Afrofuturism and historical research. Her most recent explorations confront the entanglement of what is now Canada in the transatlantic trade in Africans. She puts into practice Afronautics, a methodological frame she developed to approach colonial archives from the point of view of a liberated future. Turner is a graduate of OCAD and has recently completed a PhD in York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change. Currently, she is a Provost’s postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Turner is the recipient of the 2022 Artist Prize by the Toronto Biennial of Art. Her artworks are held in museums and public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada; Art Museum,University of Toronto; Art Gallery of Hamilton; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Canada Council Art Bank; Royal Bank of Canada; Museum London; The Wedge Collection; and The Rooms.

Zulfikar Hirji, co-host
Zulfikar Hirji is Associate Professor in Anthropology at York University. His research explores Muslim materialities in coastal East Africa before the twentieth century, with particular focus on a corpus of illuminated Qur’an manuscripts produced on Pate Island in the Lamu Archipelago between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Uncontainable Collections: Speculative Futures of Objects is a limited-series podcast featuring three conversations exploring the prospective and yet unknown condition of the might-be through the lens of collections and contemporary art. In this series, scholars, curators, and artists engage with articulations, expressions, and representations of the (im)possible, the (extra)ordinary, and the (un)imaginable—or speculative—futures that diverse individuals, groups, communities, and societies are envisaging, dreaming of, composing, conjuring, striving for, imagining, and bringing into being. This series developed out of conversations between AGYU curators Lillian O’Brien Davis and Clara Halpern, and Anthropology Professor Zulfikar Hirji related to the University’s art collection and a course at York University, Toronto that considers various perspectives: Indigenous Futurisms, African Futurisms, Afro-American Futurisms, Arab/Gulf/Muslim Futurisms, Asian/Sino/Indo/South-Asian/Adivasi Futurisms, MesoAmerican/LatinX Futurisms. 

***NOTE: Email AGYU@yorku.ca to be notified when episode transcript is available.

See also

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast

Episode 2: Positioning the Present podcast
Uncontainable ...
24 May 2024

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast

Episode 1: Vessels & Voyages podcast
Uncontainable ...
4 May 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2024
podcast series
Summer 2024

Uncontainable Collections 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2023
research project
4 May 2023

Uncontainable Collections 2022

Uncontainable Collections 2022
research project
20 Apr 2022

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