ONE WORK | Ashanti Harris, 'A Séance: A Call and Response'

Part of ONE WORK

8 July 2020


Ashanti Harris in collaboration with Jen Martin, A Seance A Call and Response, 2019. Image courtesy of the artists.

For the next event in the One Artist | One Work series, Ashanti Harris will discuss her recent work A Séance: A Call and Response, made in collaboration with Jen Martin, that was commissioned by V/​DA for Sonic Seance: The Gathering exhibition at the Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, 2019.

Séances grew popular with the founding of the religion of spiritualism in the mid-19th century. They stem from the belief that the spirits are able to communicate with the living, mediated through spirit channelling, visions, trance lectures and automatic writing.The practice of channelling the voices of others become popular among black women, who in the mid 19th century, were voiceless in society. Through séances, black women could speak. The gift of oration empowered them to express anger and outrage at the civil and social injustices they experienced and observed. Many Black Spiritualists used their abilities of communication to challenge racism and sexism and campaign for a reformation of society. A Séance: A Call and Response is a personal response to this history and how it finds a presence in the present. Taking inspiration from the writing of Audre Lorde, the film uses language and speaking to articulate selfhood.

A link to view A Séance: A Call and Response (7 mins) will be provided in advance of the event. The event will be live captioned.

Over the coming months LUX Scotland is holding a series of online events led by artists. Each fortnight a Scotland-based artist will present a recent work and talk through how the work came into being. They will be joined by one of the LUX Scotland team and up to 30 online participants.

How it works

Our online events will take place on Zoom. The event will be live captioned. We will also use the chat space to post questions /​comments being raised by the guest artist so they can be referred back to.

We ask that all participants are respectful and listen to the facilitators and other participants. An attendee list will be circulated to all participants in advance of each event. At the beginning of events we will introduce the guest artist and invite participants to briefly introduce themselves and their reason for joining. During the event discussion, we ask that one person speaks at a time and that you type hi’ in the chat to indicate you want to contribute. A member of the LUX Scotland team will keep a track of who wishes to contribute and will direct the conversation to you. You may also wish to use the chat space to type your question or comment, should this be preferable for you. We ask that you keep your microphones on mute until you are going to speak to ensure everyone can hear clearly. We invite you to have your cameras on, where possible, as this maintains a feeling of being together in the space.

If you require support to participate in our online events, or have any questions, please let us know by contacting us on email hidden; JavaScript is required or by phoning or texting 0739 4042 450, and we will be happy to assist.

LUX Scotland is dedicated to providing a welcoming online environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, or religion or belief. Participants who do not adhere to this code of conduct and the participation guidelines will be asked to leave the event.

We welcome feedback on how these online events have been organised and facilitated in order to improve them as we go forward, in acknowledgment that this is a learning curve and adjustment period for us all. An evaluation form will be circulated at the end of the event along with any references, links or materials brought up during the discussion.

Ashanti Harris

Ashanti Harris is a multi-disciplinary visual artist and researcher working with dance, performance, film and sculpture. With a focus on recontextualusing historical narratives, Ashanti’s work dissects epistemologies of mobilities – the movement of people, ideas and things and the wider social implications of these movements.

As part of her creative practice, she is co-director for Project X – a creative education programme, platforming dance and performance from the African and Caribbean diaspora; and works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating experimental movement workshops and research groups.

Part of ONE WORK

ONE WORK is a series of online events that focus closely on a single work. These generous discussions provide an opportunity for an artist to present a recent work and talk through how the work came into being. Each work is available as a month-long online screening, followed by a specially commissioned written response that serves as documentation of both the work and the discussion.

Learn more