Sunday, 13 April 2014

Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones

On Saturday the University of Kent held a conference on the work of Amiri Baraka at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Originally this was to have featured Baraka himself. Thankfully the organisers decided to go ahead after the news of his death on January 9th. The nature of the conference surely changed because of this. It became more of an overview and less, perhaps, of a straightforward celebration. I was able to get to the conference (despite rail trackwork in Kent) though I didn’t stay on for the reading in the evening. The standouts for me were Aldon Lynn Nielsen talking about Baraka’s work with musicians, Daniel Matlin’s account of the poet’s political development and his relationship with the Black Power movement, and the keynote address by Paul Gilroy that introduced a personal note to the proceedings.
Baraka on screen, Paul Gilroy at podium
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
LaDonna L Forsgren and Jean-Phillipe Marcoux
Daniel Matlin

David Grundy and Ben Hickman

Ian Brinton and Kat Peddie

What it said on the label

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