Accelerator Series: Migration and Borders — Visible and Invisible Walls

Accelerator Series: Migration and Borders — Visible and Invisible Walls, Tang Teaching Museum, April 20, 2017

Join us for the second event in the Tang Teaching Museum’s Accelerator Series on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 pm, “Migration and Borders — Visible and Invisible Walls.” The conversation about international movements of people aims to go beyond political boundaries to explore issues of identity, citizenship, and what it means to be human. Speakers include Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj; Irish conceptual documentary photographer Richard Mosse; author, artist, and activist Tanya Selvaratnam; and moderated by Tang Curator-at-Large Isolde Brielmaier.

About the Guest Speakers

Hassan Hajjaj is a self-taught artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture design. Heavily influenced by his North African heritage and by the hip-hop, reggae, and club scenes of London, Hajjaj’s work combines the personal with the political. His colorful and glossy portraits also combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art with the tradition of African studio photography, in a thoughtful commentary on the influences of cultural trappings, the interpretations of high and low branding, and the effects of global capitalism. His work plays with and upends stereotypes, the power of brands, and the familiarity of everyday objects, applying a “street-wise” approach to his layering of influences, items, and cultural signifiers to imbue the work with an electrifying tension. He was the winner of the 2011 Sovereign Middle East and Africa Prize, and was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize for Islamic Art in 2009.

Born in Ireland in 1980, Richard Mosse is a documentary photographer and filmmaker, who has received a Deutsche Boerse Photography Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, and was recently shortlisted for the Prix Pictet. His recent project, Incoming (2014-2017), is concerned with the refugee crisis unfolding across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and prior to that he worked extensively in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to create The Enclave (2010-2015). He received an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London.

Tanya Selvaratnam is an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer, writer, actor, and activist. She is the former Communications and Special Projects Officer for the Rubell Family Collection, and she co-founded the social media campaign Humanity for Progress, which within three months of its July 2016 launch had garnered an online audience reach of 275 million. Her films have played on HBO, IFC, PBS, Starz, and the Sundance Channel and she has produced work by Gabri Christa, Chiara Clemente, Laura Dawn, Liz Garbus, Catherine Gund, Le Tigre and Laura Parnes, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jed Weintrob. She is the author of THE BIG LIE; and her writing has been featured in Vogue, Bust, Paper, xoJane, Huffington Post, The Stranger, Art Basel Magazine, Tokion, Journal of Law and Politics, Women’s eNews, and CNN. She has been a featured guest on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, Sirius XM, and CBS Radio News. She received a BA and MA in Chinese language and history from Harvard University.

About the Accelerator Series

The Accelerator Series is the Tang Teaching Museum’s dynamic conversation series on big ideas and big issues that seeks to find new entry points into discussions that veer from traditional paths. As an open and inclusive public forum for dialogue, exchange and questioning, the Accelerator Series ignites a collective sense of intellectual curiosity and fosters thoughtful engagement with a deeper understanding of compelling issues that have the potential to spark radical transformations.

The series features key cultural influencers from the arts and culture sector as well as academia, entertainment, government, journalism, media, politics and beyond, who present new perspectives and disrupt the status quo by encouraging a “getting comfortable with discomfort” attitude in order to think and work through big ideas to drive change.

The Accelerator Series is supported by Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum, a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by a generous gift from Michele Dunkerley ‘80.

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