LUX Scotland Presents Ayesha Hameed, Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism
GSA Exhibitions in partnership with LUX Scotland

Event Type:

The GSA Public Lecture


The Assembly Hall The Glasgow School of Art 20 Scott Street Glasgow G3 6PE


23 Apr 2019

Tue 18:30 - 20:00



Ayesha Hameed, Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism (still)
Image courtesy of the artist

LUX Scotland Presents Ayesha Hameed, Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism

Event info

LUX Scotland Presents Ayesha Hameed
Black Atlantis: Retrograde Futurism

Performative Lecture

23 April, 2019

The Assembly Hall, GSA Students' Association

Free. Booking essential (click here)

This lecture is part of the Race, Rights and Sovereignty series.
Click here for more information. 

On April 29, 2006, a twenty-foot boat was spotted off the south-eastern coast of Barbados. On board, eleven bodies were found by the coastguards, preserved and desiccated by the sun and salt water. The ghost ship was adrift for four months on the Atlantic Ocean. It set sail on Christmas day in Praia in the Cape Verde Islands, full of migrants from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, and Gambia, enr oute to the Canary Islands. Each of these men paid £890 for their place on the boat. Four months later the boat was found on the coast of Barbados. 

This is an inadequate telling of this story that draws on the materials and tools at hand to make sense of the complicity of weather, ocean currents and state violence in the journey of this ship. Hovering between the film and the essay form is a qustioning of the adequacy of the measuring of histories and affect connected to crossing, languages to make evident the materiality of the sea, and the both measurable and immeasurable horror contained int he figure of the ghost ship.


Ayesha Hameed's moving image, performance and written work explore contemporary borders and migration, and visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. Her projects Black Atlantis and A Rough History (of the destruction of fingerprints) have been performed and exhibited internationally. She is the co-editor of Futures and Fictions (Repeater 2017), and is currently the Programme Leader for the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London. 


The Black Atlantic
Paul Gilroy introduced the concept of The Black Atlantic in his seminal 1993 book of the same name. Gilroy's text critiqued Eurocentric accounts of the development of modernity and argued that the Atlantic, as a site completely shaped by slavery and slave trade, played a key role in the formation of modernism. Through the Black Atlantic counter-cultures and alternative temporalities are named and mapped whereby the Atlantic is a site where modern transnational and intercultural expressions are produced. 

Through the prism of The Black Atlantic many artists, writers and scholars have, and continue to, engage with 'the polyphonic qualities of black cultural expression'; the relations, practices and politics of the African diaspora that cannot be confined to singular nation states. 

For this year, Race, Rights and Sovereignty will present a series of three practitioners whose work is sited in, or explores some of these thematics and concerns.