BLAQ•IT: Representing Blackness in Italy

Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring / United States

February 16, 2021
February 15, 2021
Online conversation: February 16, 12pm

Magazzino Italian Art
2700 U.S. 9
Cold Spring, New York 10516
United States

T +1 845 666 7202
[email protected]
Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Vimeo / #magazzinoitalianart

Join us as filmmaker, scholar and activist Fred Kuwornu leads a live-streamed conversation on the visual histories of Blackness in post-war Italian culture. Inaugurating a new multi-year series entitled Pensiero Plurale, organized by Magazzino Italian Art and curated by Ilaria Conti, Kuwornu will address issues of diversity and the complexities of representation through the lens of his films. You can watch the conversation on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12pm here.

To accompany the live talk, from February 14 through 16, 2021, Magazzino will share access to Fred Kuwornu’s film Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema.

About Pensiero Plurale
Pensiero Plurale is a new series of programs curated by Ilaria Conti. The project explores diversity in culture and the arts from a multidisciplinary perspective, involving artists, scholars, and cultural practitioners in a multi-year series of conversations that shed light on shared questions and critical approaches across Italy and the United States.

Magazzino launches Pensiero Plurale in an ongoing commitment to its communities and the civic urgencies they face. Since its inception, the museum has been devoted to fostering a multidisciplinary and culturally open discourse through the arts and shaping cultural proximity between Italy and the USA.

About Fred Kuwornu
For over a decade, Kuwornu, an Italian-Ghanaian independent scholar, has been involved in narrating and analyzing the experience of the African diaspora in Italy from historical, sociological, and political perspectives. Utilizing examples of visual culture ranging from the 1930s to 2020s, Fred will illuminate conceptions of Blackness underlying contemporary Italian culture. While speaking to the specificities of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racist and citizenship rights movement in Italy, Fred will shed light on how younger generations of creatives, activists, and entrepreneurs have created positive change and established new methods of cultural production in their fields. 

Fred Kuwornu’s film Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema is a diasporic, hybrid, and critical documentary which describes the representation of Blackness in Italian cinema from 1915 to present day. From the perspectives of Afro-Italian; African-American; Afro-Caribbean and African diasporic actors, a population seldom heard from, the film discloses the personal struggles actors faced in establishing a career. More than documenting the history of Blackness in Italian film and media, Blaxploitalian is a call to action, shedding light on the entanglement between lack of media and socio-political disenfranchisement.

About Ilaria Conti
Ilaria Conti is an independent curator. Her work focuses on research-based practices engaging with systems of power, decolonial epistemologies, and the relationship between institutional infrastructures, communal care, and civic agency. Most recently, she served as Research Curator at the Centre Pompidou for Cosmopolis, a multiyear platform devoted to research-based art. Previously, she served as Exhibitions and Programs Director at CIMA New York, Assistant Curator of the 2016 Marrakech Biennale, and Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other positions. Curated projects include ALT(ering) + SHIFT(ing) + COMM(uning) (2020), Prove di R(i)esistenza (2020), Making Space: Art & Generative Communal Practices (2020), Labor/Art/Auratic Conditions (2020), Cosmopolis #2: Rethinking the Human (2019), Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence (2018), Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence (2017), 6th Marrakech Biennale: Not New Now (2016).

About Magazzino Italian Art
Located in Cold Spring, New York, Magazzino Italian Art is a museum and research center dedicated to advancing scholarship and public appreciation of postwar and contemporary Italian art in the United States. The nonprofit museum serves as an advocate for Italian artists as it celebrates the range of their creative practices from Arte Povera to the present. Through its curatorial, scholarly, and public initiatives, Magazzino explores the impact and enduring resonances of Italian art on a global level.

Meaning “warehouse” in Italian, Magazzino was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu. The 20,000 square-foot museum, designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo, opened its doors in 2017, creating a new cultural hub and community resource within the Hudson Valley.

Admission is free to the public.