Black Matters

By Afua Cooper
By (photographer) Wilfried Raussert

Black Matters
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Halifax?s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya ? a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert?s photos into poetry, ... Read more


Overview

Halifax?s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya ? a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert?s photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance.

Afua Cooper

Afua Cooper is a multidisciplinary scholar, author, and artist. Her indomitable research on slavery and Black history has made her one of the leading figures in African Canadian studies and the authority on Canadian slavery.

Wilfried Raussert

 

Dr. Wilfried Raussert is a multidisciplinary artist and scholar. He works across the boundaries of music, literature, photography, art, and literary criticism. He is Chair of North American and Inter-American Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany. He is director of the International Association of InterAmerican Studies, author and editor of 20 scholarly books, including Art Begins in Streets Art Lives in Streets, Cultural Memory and Multiple Identities, and Traveling Sounds: Music, Migration and Identity in the U.S. and Beyond.

 

Excerpt

Awards

  • APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award 2021, Short-listed
  • Pat Lowther Memorial Award 2021, Long-listed
  • Alcuin Society for Excellence in Book Design 2021, Commended
  • J.M. Abraham Poetry Award 2021, Winner
  • Portia White Prize 2020, Winner

Reviews

 

“How fortunate we are to have the record of this collaborative generosity and what a potent and timely conversation to be having. This is the agility of art: extending back into history with the vitality of a future fortified by dignity while remaining firmly rooted in the present. What combusts is inspiration — the sustainability of art in practice and how it makes sense of this time we’ve been brought together in. I’m so grateful for the contribution this book will make, the poignant energy it is composing for the living archive we’re making as we go. ”

 

Sue Goyette, Halifax Poet Laureate and author of Ocean

 

“This artful text is the emphatic means by which Afua Cooper and Wilfried Raussert arrive at this historical moment. Crafted on an anvil of brilliant collaboration in the wild and overlapping histories of the modern world, the marks of Black life are revealed everywhere. This far-seeing work is a beautiful visual object that imagines us beyond the narrow spaces of coloniality. Black Matters intervenes at every turn. ”

 

Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst and Voodoo Hypothesis

 

“If Black lives matter, what sort of matter is Blackness? To address this question, Afua Cooper and Wilfried Raussert bring vision and text together. In this beautifully sculpted book they stretch the skein of Blackness around grief, love, strength, persistence and revelation. ”

 

Robbie Shilliam, author of Decolonizing Politics and The Black Pacific

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