This conversation brings together collaborators of the ambitious Institute for the Humanities-led project, In-Between the World and Dreams: Amanda Krugliak, Arts Curator UM Institute for the Humanities and Lead Curator; Ozi Uduma, Assistant Curator for Global Contemporary Art at UMMA; Neil Alan Barclay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; and Ibrahim Mahama, internationally known Ghanaian artist and Director of the Savannah Center for the Arts in Tamale, Ghana.
The project presents public facing installations at a time when our indoor spaces and opportunity for engagement with the arts are limited. Mahama's work acknowledges the troubling histories of colonialism and slavery in the Western world, and the labor of Black and brown people behind global exchange. At the same time, the work and overall project speaks to building new worlds out of failed systems, futures out of disappointments, asking the question, What can we do? Mahama addresses this prompt in a statement for the project: “promises of the present can start with ghosts from both the future and past. Ghosts are an embodiment of failed revolutions and unrealized futures, which need to be used as a starting point for new conversations within this century and beyond. Every life form is a gift.” The conversation discusses the critical role art and artists can play in times of crisis, and the significance of public art at a time when we are changing the picture as to who we honor and what we value.