Great Texts/Big Questions:Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum & Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi
4 Mar 2019 - 19:45
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum & Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi.
‘To consent not to be a single being’
The third lecture in the ICA's 2019 Great Texts/Big Questions series -- entitled ‘To consent not to be a single being’ -- takes place on Thursday 7 March with artists Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi.
‘Our music is contributive rather than competitive,’ jazz pianist and bandleader Horace Tapscott said on the album sleeve of the 1979 record with the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Live at I.U.C.C. The same ethos threads through the life and work of Sunstrum and Nkosi. The duo, who have collaborated together over many years, demonstrate a refusal to yield to the competitive winner-takes-all logic of capitalism.
In this public conversation, Sunstrum and Nkosi discuss collaboration as politics, as friendship, as a means of preserving life in the face of forces mobilised against it.
The theme underpinning this Great Texts series -- "Imagining Futures" -- is drawn in part from Kodwo Eshun’s essay, ‘Further Considerations on Afrofuturism,’ in which he writes that ‘it is clear that power now operates predictively as much as retrospectively.’ The present, Eshun argues, is saturated with articulations of the future commissioned by various powerful actors, ‘that are primarily concerned with making futures safe for the market.’ Departing from this standpoint, the intention for this Great Texts series is to offer talks that intervene in the production and distribution of these futures. The work of imagining futures, Eshun says, ‘constitutes a chronopolitical act’ – a radical attempt to re-engineer the present.
Photo credit: Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi + Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum photographed by Maimuna Adam in their studio during the Mashup the Archive Artist's Residency at Iwalewahaus African Art Archive, University of Bayrueth, Germany, 2013.
Institute for Creative Arts
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3