Power Talks

Denise Ferreira da Silva: Through the Question(ing) of Justice

This presentation contemplates the question of what happens to the thesis of the (im)possibility of justice when considered through artistic practice, in particular when taking into account the limit(action)s of representation, and the urgency and duty to attend to how colonial and racial violence continue to rule in the global present. This exploration consists primarily in a reflection organized by the interrogations, questions and propositions introduced in three of Ferreira da Silva’s collaborative works—the play Return of the Vanishing Peasant (2014, with Ros Martin), the film Serpent Rain (2016, with Arjuna Neuman) and the practice Poethical Readings (2016, with Valentina Desideri)—as well as insights occasioned by the works of contemporary artists such as Otobong Nkanga, Carlos Motta, and Paulo Nazareth.

Ferreira da Silva is a professor and director of The Social Justice Institute-GRSJ at the University of British Columbia. Her academic writings and artistic practice reflect on philosophical, political, and ethical issues related to the workings of colonial and racial violence under the contemporary arrangement of global state-capital. Works in addition to those cited above include the film 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018) with Arjuna Neuman, and the exhibition Sensing Salon (2018) which included the relational art practice, Poethical Readings (2016).