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Flower of Light & Song by Betsabeé Romero at Mexico

Key details


  • 6pm – 8pm


  • Online


  • Free

Who could attend

  • Everyone


  • Lecture

Join the first Urgency of The Arts Assembly: I WANT YOU TO SPEAK TO ME URGENTLY, with guest speakers: Betsabeé Romero, Catherine Malabou, Nana Oforiatta Ayim and Omar Kholeif.

Each speaker for the Urgency of the Arts series is nominated and introduced by a current student from the School of Arts & Humanities at the RCA. They present an issue that is most pressing to them right now.

Presentations will be followed by Q&A.

This event will be held online as Zoom Webinar, registration link will be forwarded in the booking confirmation email.

Betsabeé Romero, plastic artist. She lives and works in Mexico City.

For more than 20 years, her work has specialised in the elaboration of a critical discourse about issues such as migration, miscegenation and mobility, through the re-semanticization of symbols and daily rituals of the global consumer culture, such as cars, tattoos. , urban signage, etc. In the same way, she has been interested in addressing the problems of public art and popular art, its permanence and relationship with the social fabric and with alternative audiences to contemporary art.

Introduced by Annie Trevorah

Catherine Malabou is a professor of philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, at Kingston University, UK , and in the departments of Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies at UC Irvine. Her last books include Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016, trans. Carolyn Shread) Morphing Intelligence, From IQ to IA, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018,trans. Carolyn Shread), and Le Plaisir effacé, Clitoris et pensée, (Rivages, 2020), tbo in English by Polity Press (June 2022), and Au Voleur ! Anarchisme et Philosophy (Paris : PUF, 2022).

Introduced by Ahyeon Ryu

Nana Oforiatta Ayim is a Writer, Filmmaker, and Art Historian who lives and works in Accra, Ghana. She is Founder of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, through which she has pioneered a Pan-African Cultural Encyclopaedia, a Mobile Museums Project, and curated Ghana’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She published her first novel The God Child with Bloomsbury in 2019, and with Penguin in German in 2021. She has made award winning films for museums such as Tate Modern, LACMA and The New Museum, and lectures a course on History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London. She is the recipient of various awards and honours, having been named one of the Apollo ’40 under 40’; one of 50 African Trailblazers by The Africa Report; a Quartz Africa Innovator in 2017; one of 12 African women making history in 2016 and one of 100 women of 2020 by Okayafrica. She received the 2015 the Art & Technology Award from LACMA; the 2016 AIR Award, which “seeks to honour and celebrate extraordinary African artists who are committed to producing provocative, innovative and socially-engaging work”; a 2018 Soros Arts Fellowship, was a 2018 Global South Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, was appointed to the Advisory Council of Oxford University’s Cultural Programme in 2020, was a Principal Investigator on the Action for Restitution to Africa programme, was awarded Woman of The Year Award in Ghana in 2021, and the Dan David Prize, the world’s biggest history prize in 2022. She is currently Special Advisor to the Ghanaian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on Museums and Cultural Heritage.

Introduced by Gabriella Ackerman

Dr. Omar Kholeif CF FRSA (EG/SU/UK) is the avatar of Dr. O, an author of prose and poetry; an artist of lyric and performance; a curator in the physical and the virtual sphere; a cultural historian of the academy and its peripheries, and a broadcaster who explores the public’s understanding of the internet and its relationship to art, culture, and social justice. Kholeif currently serves as Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), UAE. Initially trained as a political scientist, Kholeif’s career began as a music writer, researcher, and producer of documentaries in the UK broadcast sector. Over the last two decades, they have been vested in the picture palace of museums and the public sphere. Their research evolves from an interest in the the intersection of emerging technologies with concepts of ideology, ethnicity, and race.

Introduced by Ramzi Malat

The Urgency of the Arts Assembly: I WANT YOU TO SPEAK TO ME URGENTLY