The Arts: Decolonising the Spirit!


The Arts: Decolonising the Spirit! is the theme for the 6th Rex Nettleford Arts Conference hosted online by the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, October 6-8, 2021.

Signalling the role and place of the arts in current dialogue on social, cultural, and political discourse, this theme underscores a journey of decolonisation that is pivotal to and through the arts, especially in the 21st century.

In “Decolonizing the Spirit” (2009), Rex Nettleford reminds us that this ongoing project “finds answers in the exercise of the creative imagination.” The arts and culture are thus central to the effort. But, like every other ecology, it too is disrupted.

As the world becomes more interconnected, our individual experiences expand into the collective, shared milieu. Global declarations, a pandemic, and a fight for race and identity representation have marked diverse journeys and learnings that must be explored together to present renewed understandings, perspectives, and directions for continuity.

This virtual conference, therefore, is a call to workers engaged in critical arts and culture practice to offer presentations, papers, roundtables, workshops, and performances addressing the sub-themes listed below. The aim, as we give ourselves pause, is to strategise for our renewal and continuity, even as we confront ongoing shifts to our lives and landscapes.

© 2021   Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts

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