Courtauld Contemporary

Listening to Revolution

Speakers: Dr Yasmine Espert (Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Spelman College and École normale supérieure) and Minia Biabiany (Artist)

Listening to Revolution presents work by the contemporary artist Minia Biabiany (b. 1988). Living between Mexico and Guadeloupe, Biabiany creates videos about embodiment, sensation and spatial relationships. Her work Pawòl sé van (2020) is the focus of this presentation, as it explores the importance of sound in the midst of social change – past and present. The talk analyzes Pawòl sé van in the context of the artist’s intent: exposing a contemporary “silent genocide” in Guadeloupe. By drawing attention to distinct sounds in her video, it will stress the significance of translation, ecology, and embodiment in social justice movements. This presentation also includes a discussion with the artist about her current work.

Dr Yasmine Espert is visiting assistant professor of art history at Spelman College and École normale supérieure. Her publications on film and photography in the African diaspora include “Blood, Fire and Interiority in Horace Ové’s Pressure” for Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and “Can Photography Be Decolonial?” for Public Books, among others. Her first book project is under contract at Duke University Press. Dr Espert received a doctorate in art history from Columbia University.

Minia Biabiany (born in Guadeloupe, 1988) lives and works in Guadeloupe. In her installations and videos she uses the layering and the fragmentation of narrations framed in context of the Caribbean to build ephemeral poetics of forms. She observes the interrelation between colonialism, the action of weaving and the notion of territory. She initiated the artistic and pedagogical collective project Semillero Caribe in 2016 and continues with the ongoing project Doukou to explore pedagogical decolonial practices with the body and from concepts of Caribbean authors. Her work has been shown in the Xth Biennale de Berlin, TEOR/éTica in Costa Rica, Witte de Wite in Rotterdam, Cràter Invertido in Mexico, Prix Sc Po 2019 in Paris, SIGNAL in Malmö.

Organised by Dr Wenny Teo (The Courtauld) 

Photo of woman whit shell at her ear
Still from Pawòl sé van, 2020. Video by Minia Biabiany. 13 minutes.