August 31, 2015

Angela Davis speaks on “Art, Philosophy, and Politics”

Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm

Courtesy of Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch. Photo: Sandi Sissel.

As part of The Domain the Great Bear series, the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm is honored to have Angela Davis speak publicly on “Art, Philosophy, and Politics.” Through her activism and scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in the quest for social justice both in the United States and worldwide. Her work as an educator, activist, scholar and writer—both at the university level and in the larger public sphere—has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender equality.

Angela Davis is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at University of California/Santa Cruz, and the author of nine books, including Women, Race, and Class (1980), Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003), and a book of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues (2012). This more recent publication confronts the interconnected issues of power, race, gender, class, incarceration and conservatism to explore a radical notion of freedom as a participatory social process rooted in difficult dialogues that demand a new way of thinking and being.

In recent years a persistent theme of Davis’ work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. Davis draws upon her own experiences in the early 1970s as a person who spent 18 months in jail and on trial after being placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Dr. Davis holds a doctorate in Philosophy from Humboldt University in Berlin. She studied Philosophy at Brandeis University under Frankfurt School’s Herbert Marcuse, who became her mentor. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1960s, she joined the Black Panthers and also participated in Che Lumumba Club, an all-black branch of the Communist Party. Her teaching position at the University of California, Los Angeles was retracted when Davis was fired by the school because of her association with communism. Davis fought the case in the courts and subsequently won.

She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, Angela Davis is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.
Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.

A special screening and presentation by documentary filmmaker Göran Olsson  
3 September, 17:30h at the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm

Preceeding Angela Davis’ September 8th lecture at the Royal Institute of Art, documentary filmmaker Göran Olsson will screen and speak about acclaimed films The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 (2011) and Concerning Violence (2014) at the Royal Institute of Art.

About The Domain of the Great Bear at the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm
The Domain of the Great Bear is the research platform of the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm—a series of public lectures, workshops and events focusing on art and production and the changing nature of conditions for that production to address the challenges and aspirations for anyone claiming the category of artist. The Domain of the Great Bear serves as KKH’s will as an institution to plant within the public domain a set of attitudes about art, architecture, knowledge and culture that extend from historicity forwards, and visa versa—forwards, backwards—to serve as a larger conversation piece about anything that claims itself as or beyond the art world.



Angela Davis speaks on "Art, Philosophy, and Politics" at the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm

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