``Who Says We Shall Not'': Revealing Artistic and Cultural Resilience in Times of a Global Pandemic


Ama Ata Aidoo famously stated, “Who says we shall not survive among these turbines?” (c 1964 – 1965). This paper looks at revealing artistic and cultural resilience in times of global pandemics. In what ways could our much-needed return to indigenous ways of social, cultural and ecological engagement with the environment initiate sustainable practices? In this paper, I focus on a diversity of contemporary art concerns, allied practices that anticipate emergent formats, media, transformative futures, and translation configurations. I make recourse to collaborations that bring resilience, such as Gudskul ( Jakarta) and blaxTARLINES KUMASI. Through a critical reading of the innovative approaches to cultural resilience in art, this study is built on the lessons we can garner from the sort of resilience that characterizes such audacious projects embarked on by extremophile collectives such as blaxTARLINES and Gudskul. A model is developed as a guide to acquainting ourselves with strategies that would provoke us to a more responsible practice and existence. Art can be more resilient and reach contested spaces if we think of synergies and inclusivity.

Keywords: resilience, contemporary art, pandemic, sustainable practices

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