Speakers spotlight: Onyeka Igwe and JD Stokely

Auto ethnography as Hiraeth

“Archives are the physical manifestations of our collective understanding of history, a way of proving and so legitimising the existence of cultures, practices and peoples. However, for queer people of colour, entrance into the archive is not easily permitted, the truths of these lives have been, and are presently, obscured, claimed as contingent and/or rendered ‘folk’ – lesser forms of knowledge than traditional archival institutions.

In this paper, we will discuss the ways in which QTPOC artists have employed auto-ethnography in their practices, including our own, to implode the archive. We will explore the ways in which auto-ethnography expands what the archive holds – by claiming, naming and legitimising the lives and truths of those marginalised. Further, auto-ethnography can also provide a space to render the untranslatable, the im/possible, as archive material. It is a strategy of both redefinition and defiance.”

JD Stokely

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JD Stokely is a trickster-in-training hailing from Philadelphia. Stokely graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama in 2014, with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice. They devise performances that draw from their love of Theatre of the Oppressed, 90s nostalgia & Blackness. They make space and work with SUPER|object, a curating collective for Queer emerging artists, and with A Collective Apparition, a group whose art is “rooted in the past, but poised on the crux of the present & future.”

Onyeka Igwe

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Unyoke Igwe is an artist filmmaker living and working in London. She studied at Goldsmiths College for a Masters in non-fiction filmmaking. She came to video art from a radical political activist experience, hoping to develop filmmaking practice as a way of doing politics. Onyeka’s work has been screened in festivals and galleries across the UK, Europe, and North America such as the V&A, London Film Festival and Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Wintherthur.

Twitter: @useurjudgement

JD and Onyeka are speaking on day one of the conference.

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