Location: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Doors open: 6:30pm BST
“We are living in the imaginaries of those long gone before us, one day people will be living in the imaginaries we’ve created” – Angela Davis
The work of imagination opens up possibilities to transform our society – to redesign and remake the world together. We need to imagine new futures.
Our futures are already being engineered by those in power. Trauma and oppression take away our capacity to vision and build alternatives. We need new imaginations for thriving, just, healthy and dignifying futures otherwise we’ll only get more of the same oppressions.
Imagination is radical practice essential to dreaming, building, and designing new ways to be together. Join us with a panel of people working to implement and experiment with these futures through place and practice. Let us vision and reimagine our cities, environments, cultures, and relationships in a time when we cannot keep doing things the same way. Reproducing harm to ourselves and our communities is not sustainable – let us explore and leverage imagination practices to build towards liberation.
This event is part of several large-scale discussions held by Healing Justice London that are taking place in the build-up to Rehearsing Freedoms – a month-long festival of community health and healing, cultural work and movement building – taking place between October and November 2023. ‘Experiments in Imagination’ is the second of a two-part event Rehearsing Futures, which explores rehearsal of the futures we want to bring about. Part 1 is ‘Life-Affirming Community Practice’ and will explore how community responses through cultural and social practice become part of our life-affirming infrastructures. This first event will be held at Whitechapel Gallery on Friday 7 July at 7pm.
This event is part of several large-scale discussions held by Healing Justice London that are taking place in the build-up to Rehearsing Freedoms – a month-long festival of community health and healing, cultural work and movement building – taking place between October and November 2023. This is the second of a two-part event ‘Rehearsing Futures’, which explores rehearsal of the futures we want to bring about. Part 1 is ‘Life-Affirming Community Practice’ and will explore how community responses through cultural and social practice become part of our life-affirming infrastructures. The event will be held at Whitechapel Gallery on Friday 7 July at 7pm BST.
David A. Bailey MBE
is a photographer, writer, curator and the Artistic Director of the International Curators Forum. He was formerly Acting Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas in Nassau. David’s noteworthy contributions to arts and culture include co-curating the groundbreaking exhibitions Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance with Richard J. Powell at the Hayward Gallery and Back to Black: Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary with Petrine Archer-Straw and Richard J. Powell at Whitechapel Art Gallery. David has more recently curated the exhibition Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s-Now, shown at Tate Britain in December 2021. His practice utilises the Black imagination to vision and bring together alternatives–particularly focusing on the diaspora and global majority people–for new cultures, imaginaries and landscapes. His most recent award-winning book is ‘Liberation Begins in the Imagination- Writings on Caribbean-British art’.
Marai Larasi is a Black Feminist TroubleMaker and “Time-Traveller” with decades of social justice, community organising and movement experience – primarily in the gender-based violence and ending violence against Black / Global Majority women and girls fields. She was the former Executive Director of Imkaan (UK) and former Co-Chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition. Marai is a core founder member of Project Tallawah, a Black Feminist abolitionist collective and fund who are reimagining and building a resourcing and community initiative. Together they are imagining and negotiating alternative economies to sustain and embolden social transformation. Marai’s visionary work invites us to sustain and nurture the conditions we need beyond burnout, breakdown and scarcity towards liberatory futures. Marai is Professor of Practice at Durham University.
Abbas Zahedi is an artist and cultural worker navigating how personal and collective histories interweave. Utilising cultural practices to imagine, grieve, and process how and where we come together. Abbas’s work moves us towards futures rich with new modalities of understanding and being together through reimaging and reconfiguring spaces and sites to become public assets. The Frieze Artist Award winner, on turning his social practice into art, describes his work as ‘hijacking galleries as spaces to grieve’. His work considers how we create new relational infrastructure that helps us have different relationships with ourselves, each other and space.
Gabriella Gómez-Mont’s work helps to explore and reimagine the environments and cities that we live in. She is the former Chief Creative Officer of Mexico City, and the founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad, an award-winning experimental arm and creative think-tank of Mexico City. The Lab was created to tackle urban challenges. As its director, Gabriella headed a highly transdisciplinary team spanning urban geographers, political scientists, internationalists, lawyers, civic tech experts, artists, historians, architects, designers, future thinkers and philosophers amongst others. Through her transdisciplinary creative studio, Experimentalista, she practically enables cities, spaces, and geographies for us to thrive in. Gabriella is currently working on how we build and redesign cities anchored in feminism and care in Bogotá – work deeply rooted in Colombian and Latinx feminist practice.
This event will have BSL (British Sign Language) interpretation, both in the room and online. Unfortunately we are not able to offer closed captioning for this event; however our post-event recording will have subtitles. If you have any additional access requirements, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.