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WWIGS term 3

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Location: FAB4.80

Maria Roca Lizarazu (Girton College, Cambridge):

Fugitive Futurities. Black (im-)possibility and the search for alternative spacetimes in the works of Olivia Wenzel.

My talk engages with Olivia Wenzel's novel 1000 Serpentinen Angst and her 2015 play Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien. Both texts address issues of racialisation and Black (im-)possibility in present-day Germany through an aesthetics that is experimental and invokes elements of the fantastic, the surreal, and the speculative. Drawing on recent scholarship on the politics of aesthetics in Wenzel's text, I propose that Wenzel’s work mobilise these elements to unsettle certain representational and chronopolitical regimes that have been central to the subjugation of Black pasts, presents and futures in the German context and beyond. What Ekow Eshun has recently described as the “Black Fantastic” (2022) is invoked in these texts to counter oppressive realities and realisms in favour of alternative modes of world- and future-making. Inspired by Tina M. Campt's work, I conceptualize these re-makings as “fugitive” and quotidian strategies, developed in response to a broken world, which still have the potential to generate new infrastructures for relationality and futurity.

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