Within social, political, and cultural arenas, issues of representation—the act of depicting and/or speaking on behalf of someone—and responsibility have come into even sharper focus in recent months. These issues, surfacing in the commentary surrounding the leadership of the Women’s March, contentious government elections, speeches by literary figures, and calls for the removal of artworks in museums, proliferate news and social media feeds as communities try to make sense of it all in a new era of rapid consumption of information. Within the arts, important questions are being raised, primarily: who gets to represent whom in art? The ICA and Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research invite you to join artists, scholars, and educators in a series of conversations this fall and spring that address ideas of cultural appropriation and creative license in the 21st century. 

Moderated by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Muhammad is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America and former Director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Panelists include:

Camilo Alvarez, Owner, Director, and Preparator at Samsøñ, formerly Samson Projects, founded in 2004

Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora at Wellesley College and Visual Arts Editor of Transition, a publication of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University

Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA

Sheida Soleimani, Artist and Lecturer at Brandeis University and Rhode Island School of Art and Design