Opening Conversation: A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Opening Conversation: A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence

2 PM-3:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Sat January 29, 2022
2 PM-3:30 PM



Open to the public


How has art been used to protest, process, mourn, and memorialize anti-Black violence within the United States?

 Originating at Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art, A Site of Struggle explores how artists have engaged with the reality of anti-Black violence and its accompanying challenges of representation in the United States over a 100 + year period.

Opening speakers include Courtney R. Baker, scholar of Black literary and visual cultures and author of Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African-American Suffering and Death; Dino Robinson, founder of Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston; and Carl and Karen Pope, exhibition artists. They will be joined in conversation by Janet Dees, Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and curator of A Site of Struggle, to consider how the exhibition explores intersections of race, violence, visual culture, and history, and what the arts can bring to a national conversation about racial justice.

 Robin R. Means Coleman, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion; Chief Diversity Officer; Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor in Communication Studies, and Natasha Trethewey, Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University and former United States Poet Laureate, will provide opening and closing remarks.

Visitors are invited to view A Site of Struggle before or after the performance of Numbers Station 2 [Red Record] by Mendi + Keith Obadike, and the Opening Conversation. The Block Museum will be open from 12-5pm CST.



Please join us before this opening conversation for

Opening Performance: Mendi + Keith Obadike Numbers Station 2 [Red Record]
In this piece, artists Mendi + Keith Obadike sonify data from Ida B. Wells' 1895 publication, The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States, with chants and sounds generated from the dates of lynching contained in Wells' text.


Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at