Workshops & Education

Camille Turner: The Afronautic Research Lab

February 15, 2019

The Afronautic Research Lab uses performance and social practice art to bring participants into contact with archival and documentary evidence revealing the roots of anti-Blackness in and beyond Canada. The Afronauts are inspired by the stories of the Dogon people of Mali. These space travellers left earth 10,000 years ago and have returned to their home planet to save it. They invite citizen researchers into their Afronautic Research Lab, a dark reading room where primary archival materials such as 18th century Canadian newspapers containing ads posted by Canadian slave owners can be contemplated using flash lights and magnifying glasses. An audio loop provides a sonic guide to the social history in which this evidence emerges. The lab enables a reflection on how the past has shaped the present and point to the future.

Convened by: Denise Ryner

Participants: Karen Turner

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch Alma Van Dusen Room

350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC


Participant Bios

Camille Turner (born in 1960, Kingston, Jamaica; lives in Los Angeles, USA) is an explorer of race, space, home and belonging. Her work combines Afrofuturism and historical research. Most recently, she has been unsilencing the entanglement of what is now Canada in transatlantic slavery. Her interventions, installations and public engagements have been presented throughout Canada and internationally. Camille graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University’s Master in Environmental Studies program, both Toronto, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate.