LUX Scotland and Scotland+Venice are delighted to host a screening of ‘Lagareh – The Last Born’ at the MacRobert Building, University of Aberdeen. This work, which was commissioned by Scotland + Venice and Forma for the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia and now tours to six venues across Scotland, was originally scheduled to be shown at Belmont Filmhouse. Due to its closure in October 2022, a significant loss within the cultural ecology of the North East of Scotland, the George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture have kindly offered to provide a venue for the event.
‘Lagareh’ – which translates from the Mandinka language as ‘The Last Born’ – is a work anchored around theories of abolition, rebellion, ancestral knowledge and love. Shot in Scotland, England, Barbados, Sierra Leone and Italy, the film melds a collection of scenes that give focus to the strength of contemporary Black womxn, whose individual acts of resistance are bound together through the artist’s conceptual storytelling. The artist situates Black love in proximity with historical sites of trauma, re-inscribed with rage, hope and exhaustion. Gestures, rituals and moments of intimacy are poignantly underpinned by a deep reflection on grief, loss and mourning, a resolute reminder of the trauma inflicted upon the Black body and of white privilege and power.
The screening will be followed by a conversation between dancer and choreographer Divine Tasinda, who features in ‘Lagareh – The Last Born’, and curator Eoin Dara. This discussion will focus upon ‘movement’ as an interpretive framework for discussion, to weave connections between the artist’s specific aesthetic decisions, anti-racist and pro-black advocacy, and Scotland’s historic connections to the Transatlantic slave trade.
Content warning: this film contains references to grief, racism, chattel slavery, and police brutality, which may also feature in the discussion.
This event is free to attend, but ticketed through Eventbrite.
The film is captioned and the discussion will be live captioned.
Room MR051 is located on the ground floor within the MacRobert Building at the University of Aberdeen. This venue is wheelchair accessible, and more information about venue access can be found here.
Image description: A film still from ‘Lagareh – The Last Born’. We see a Black womxn wearing a white sweater, a multi-coloured kilt and white and black boots. She is standing in a grassy field: her shoulders are raised and holding two machetes. In the background, there is an eighteenth-century folly and a simple fence with timber posts and metal netting. The sky is blue and there are no clouds.
Alberta Whittle (she/her) b. 1980 Bridgetown, Barbados. She lives and works in Glasgow. Alberta has been based in Scotland since moving here to study firstly at Edinburgh College of Art and later on the Master of Fine Arts programme at The Glasgow School of Art. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg.
Alberta was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. She was the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018/19. Her work has been acquired by major public collections including the National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Museums Collections and the Contemporary Art Research Collection at Edinburgh College of Art, as well as by other private collections.
Selected solo exhibitions and presentations include: The British Art Show 9 (2021 – 22), Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2021), Liverpool Biennale (2021), Art Night London (2021), Glasgow International (2021), Grand Union, Birmingham (2020) and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (2019). Selected group exhibitions include: Life Between Islands Caribbean: British Art 1950s to Now, Tate Britain (2021 – 22), and those held at Hessel Museum of Art, New York (2021), Fotografiska, New York (2021), Kunstal Trondheim, Norway (2021), Gothenburg Biennale (2021), The Lisson Gallery, London (2021), MIMA Middlesborough (2021), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2021), Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2020), Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh (2019) and the 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2019).
The full presentation of‘deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory’ at La Biennale di Venezia will return to Scotland and be exhibited with other works by Alberta at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, opening in spring 2023.
Divine Tasinda is a Glasgow-based Artist. Her specialty is dancer/choreographer trained in Hip hop, Afro, Dancehall, Commercial and Experimental. She also works in fashion and modelling and is one of the owners of Three60 street dance company, the creators of Ako and House of Kungi. Recent projects include Netflix Dance100 2022 (release January/February 2023), Wings solo-piece Breakin Convention (2022), World’s Evolution DIG Tramway 2022, Three60 Director/choreographer Merchant City Festival (2022). She is a performer in the film ‘Lagareh – The Last Born; by Alberta Whittle (2022) and in ‘Grin’ for Battersea Theater (2022).
Eoin Dara is an Irish curator living on the east coast of Scotland.
He works as Head of Exhibitions at Dundee Contemporary Arts and in recent years has been collaborating with and learning from artists like Emma Talbot, Alberta Whittle, Tako Taal and Rae-Yen Song and writers like CAConrad, Quinn Latimer, Christina Sharpe and Isabel Waidner. In previous work at the MAC in Belfast, Dara curated major exhibition projects such as ‘Felix Gonzalez-Torres: This Place’, alongside working on new commissions by artists such as Mariah Garnett, Barbara Knezevic, Kara Walker and Johanna Billing.
He cites the artists, poets and writers above not to align himself with a particular curatorial position, but to name and honour some of the many co-conspirators who have nurtured his thinking and growth over the past decade.
He is a trustee of Outburst Queer Arts Festival and Art Night, and sits on the Acquisitions Committee for the Arts Council of Ireland. He teaches and lectures at institutions such as the University of Dundee and Glasgow School of Art, and has been part of recent juries and selection committees for Glasgow International and the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
The George Washington Wilson Centre at the University of Aberdeen brings together researchers from a wide range of disciplines with an interest in art and visual culture. The Centre has three strategic strands of research activity that inform our event programming, networking activities, and programme development: the visual culture of scientific and medical research, the theory of art and visual culture, and the heritage and future of North-East Visual Culture. The Centre is named after George Washington Wilson, one of Scotland’s most important nineteenth-century photographers.
LUX Scotland and Scotland + Venice tour of Alberta Whittle’s ‘Lagareh – The Last Born’ to six venues across Scotland.