The Black Lunch Table in South Africa
The Black Lunch Table(BLT)’s primary aim is the production of discursive sites, wherein cultural producers can engage in dialogue on a variety of critical issues. BLT animates discourse and initiates a democratic rewriting of contemporary history around and among the people living it. The past few years have seen an increase in public dialogue around issues of race and BLT has provided a critical platform for exchange, staging and recording community roundtable discussions at institutions internationally.
Our roundtable sessions provide both physical space and allotted time for interdisciplinary and intergenerational discussions, bringing together a diversity of community members and fostering candid conversations. The Artists’ Roundtable series curates artists of the Black African and African Diaspora into roundtable discussions, while The People’s Table series invites participation from all community members. We also stage Wikipedia edit-a-thons to mobilize the collective authoring of articles pertaining to the lives and works of Black artists and curators.
At the roundtables, participants are provided with conversation prompts on a variety of topics. We record, master, and transcribe the conversations from each table. The dialogues are then published on BLT’s forthcoming dynamic online archive (launch end of Summer). The archive structure will enable web visitors to search our dynamic database using a variety of metadata tags. The BLT archive is significant in that it will provide a unique collection of primary source materials.
It is critical for this project, about Blackness and the Diaspora, to include voices from the content of Africa. We have the opportunity to present this project internationally this summer in Cape Town and Johannesburg, our first events overseas. My collaborators and I have worked hard to make this connection happen and BLT can’t fully realize this opportunity without further funding.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (September 2018)