On Reparatory Imaginings and Affective Debt

Lecture, Performance, Screening

MIF Talk

Karina Griffith

Karina Griffith: On Reparatory Imaginings an Affective Debt
Lecture-performance and screening
Thursday November 11, 2021,
18:00 - 20:00

Museum of Impossible Forms has the pleasure to present a lecture-performance by Karina Griffith.“You don’t waste your energy fighting the fever; you must only fight the disease. And the disease is not racism. It is greed and the struggle for power. I urge you to be careful. For there is a deadly prison: the prison that is erected when one spends one’s life fighting phantoms, concentrating on myths, and explaining over and over to the conqueror your language, your lifestyle, your history, your habits. And you don’t have to do it anymore. You can go ahead and talk straight to me.” In resonance with this warning by Toni Morrison, Karina Griffith’s research attends the affective debt as the cumulative result of feelings owed for practices of prejudice. Expanded by what an image can project in order to become a gathering call for witnessing and allyship, Griffith calls for a reparatory imagining through the need for accountability, foregrounding films and practices that demand the kind of affects that prompt recognition and resolutions and that actually seek to repair the structures of harm. In other words, a call to arms for reparation, including the reparation of an affective debt.

About Karina Griffith

The films, installations, and curatorial practices of Karina Griffith explore the themes of fear and fantasy, often focusing on how they relate to belonging. Griffith’s work has been shown at international galleries and festivals, and she has curated film and interdisciplinary programmes for the Goethe Institute, Berlinale Forum, alpha nova & galerie futura and VTape among others. In 2017 she curated the three-month long festival “Republik Repair: Ten Points, Ten Demands, One Festival Reparatory Imaginings from Black Berlin” at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse.

Karina Griffith teaches at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of Art as well as the NODE Centre for Curatorial Studies and is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Institute, where her research on Black authorship in German cinema interacts with theories of affect and intersectionality. Her writing can be found in the Darkmatter Journal, Women in German Studies’ Special Online Section on Race and Inclusivity, Texte zur Kunst, Canadian Art, Berlin Art Link, Shadow & Act, the Berlinale Forum Magazine.

This presentation has the kind support of Goethe Institut-Finnland

Image credit: Luisa Juergens

Toni Morrison, Portland State, “Black Studies Center Public Dialogue. Pt. 2” May 30, 1975. Portland State Library. Last accessed: September 4, 2019.

Karina Griffith: “Bankruptcy of Affect: Blackface in DIE UMZÜGE.” Darkmatter Hub (Beta), no. 15 (November 9, 2020).

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