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Second Site, Ashanti Harris
13 July 2019 until 18 August 2019
Second Site, Ashanti Harris
Exhibition: 13th July – 18th Aug Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 1pm to 6pm daily
Performances: Durational Performances 2-4pm on Saturday 13th July, Saturday 20th July, Saturday 27th July, Saturday 3rd August
Performances made in collaboration with Sekai Machache, Titana Muthui , Libby Odai, Adebusola Ramsay, Natasha Ruwona, Naomi Shoba and Nabu White.
Artist Breakfast with Ashanti Harris: 28th July 11am-1pm Civic Room
Open invitation to view the exhibition ‘Second Site’ and meet the artist in a relaxed informal setting with tea, coffee, juice and croissants provided.
Reading Group and in Conversation event: 6th August 6:30pm CCA
The reading group will be led by Sabrina Henry and followed by a conversation between Sabrina and Ashanti.
‘Second Site’ is a new, site specific installation and collaborative performance work re-imagining the female, African and Caribbean diasporic history which haunts the Mercantile era of architecture in Scotland. Working with a de-colonial methodology and a desire to make invisible histories visible, Second Site explores the historical presence and hidden legacies of Guyanese women in Scotland in the 18th and 19th century.
The Republic of Guyana is a Caribbean country on the coast of South America bordered by Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. Guyana is a former colony of the British Empire and is historically known as the last frontier of British colonial expansion in the West Indies, populated by both enslaved and indentured people who worked the plantations spanning the Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice regions. Scots were prominent among the plantation owners in Guyana and by the mid-1790s, these colonies were predominantly run by Highlanders. Consequently, this colonial relationship between Scotland and Guyana led to the movement of Caribbean women with African heritage to Scotland in the 18th and 19th century.
Responding to this little-known history, the installation and performance, Second Site, occupies the Civic Room building, re-imagining the legacies of this forgotten diaspora, seeking to reconfigure historical narratives past, present and future.
The performance and installation has been developed from conversations and workshops with members of Yon Afro Collective – A collective of black women based in Scotland; and draws from the research of Scottish historian, David Alston; the poetry of Martin Carter and the music of Nina Simone. Techniques which have been utilised in the performances include N’Gomku – a diasporic dance technique developed by Ana Beatriz Ameida – as well as sensory and somatic movement techniques drawing from a wide constellation of practices, propositions, exercises, perspectives and people.
‘Second Site’ is the second exhibition featured in the one-year programme Of Lovely Tyrants and Invisible Women investigating themes of spatial politics, gender and racial hierarchies within imperial architecture. Of Lovely Tyrants and Invisible Women is co-curated by Director, Sarah Strang and Associate Curator, Alasdair Campbell and is generously funded by Creative Scotland with additional project funding provided by Heritage Lottery Fund. Civic Room receives support in-kind from Oran Mor, Carson & Partners and Civic Room Advisory. The development of this work was kindly supported by A-N artist bursaries, Glasgow Visual Art and Craft Awards, National Theatre of Scotland, Sekai Machache, Titana Muthui , Libby Odai, Adebusola Ramsay, Natasha Ruwona, Naomi Shoba Nabu White and Sabrina Henry.