Episode 4 (part 1): Ecologies of knowledges, Economies of the living with Felwine Sarr & Shela Sheikh
Ikọ zone featuring: Kechi Nomu
October 28th, 2020
In part 1 of this episode, Otobong Nkanga will be hosting a conversation between Felwine Sarr, Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University (North Carolina) and Shela Sheikh, Lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. The discussion draws parallels between ways of understanding and engaging with living and more than living entities that inform economic processes and production knowledge. Our guests share their reflection on alternative modes of thinking pluralities of tangible and immaterial resources as a way to build communities of living.
Within the Ikọ zone we will listen to two poems, Pre-Loved Bodies and Sauna for Our Lifelong Displacements, written and read by Kechi Nomu, a poet and writer living in Nigeria.
Felwine Sarr is a Senegalese scholar and writer. He is currently Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. He previously taught at Gaston Berger in Saint Louis (Senegal). His lectures and academic research focus on ecologies of knowledge, epistemology, African contemporary philosophy, economic policies, anthropology of economy, and history of religious ideas. As a writer, he has published to date Dahij (Gallimard, 2009), 105 Rue Carnot (Mémoire d'Encrier, 2011), Méditations Africaines (Mémoire d'Encrier, 2012), Afrotopia (Philippe Rey, 2016), Ishindenshin (Mémoire d’Encrier, 2017) and Habiter le Monde (Mémoire d’Encrier, 2017). In 2018, Sarr and French art historian Bénédicte Savoy, published Restituer le Patrimoine Africain (Seuil/Phillipe Rey), a report on the restitution of African artifacts taken by France during the colonial period. Felwine Sarr is also a musician.
Shela Sheikh is Lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she convenes the MA Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy. Her current research addresses environmentalism through a decolonial lens, with a focus on artistic practices and forms of witnessing between the human, technological and environmental. A recent multi-platform research project around colonialism, botany and the politics of the planting includes The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions, a special issue of Third Text co-edited with Ros Gray (vol. 32, issue 2–3, 2018), and numerous workshops and talks on the topic with artists, filmmakers and environmentalists. Together with Wood Roberdeau, she chairs the Goldsmiths Critical Ecologies Research Stream.
Kechi Nomu is a Nigerian poet and prose writer. She is a 2019 semifinalist for the Boston Review Aura Estrada Short Story Prize and an NYU Stein/Brody Fellow. She works with Narrative Landscape Press, Urgent Action Fund Africa and the American Jewish World Service as a freelance editor.