Onyeka Igwe, film still from Specialised Technique, 2018. Courtesy the artist/BFI National Archive

Nora Heidorn & Onyeka Igwe: How to work?

Feminist Duration Reading Group at Mimosa House

28 July 2022

For this meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group, curator and researcher Nora Heidorn has invited the artist Onyeka Igwe to lead a session together thinking about questions of how to work (with each other, with other's stories, with images, documents, complex histories, etc.). The reading group meeting is kindly hosted by Mimosa House.

We will read out loud together from Igwe's article ‘being close to, with or amongst’ (Feminist Review, 2020) and watch her film Specialised Technique (2018). The article elaborates Igwe's working method of "critical proximity": a way of interrogating, getting close to, and manipulating colonial films shot in West Africa that she encountered in British archives. The article and film will serve as a starting point to explore together questions of how to work: the process of developing creative, critical methodologies and feminist approaches to one's projects, practices and concerns.

Nora and Onyeka recently worked together on Onyeka's first solo exhibition in Germany, Dancing with the Archive at Uferstudios in Berlin (2022).

Feminist Duration

This workshop is part of the Feminist Duration series which explores under-known texts, ideas, and movements associated with earlier periods of feminist activity in the UK. Originally designed as part of a year-long residency at the South London Gallery, and rescheduled online in the wake of the COVID pandemic, the programme juxtaposes earlier moments of feminist with current urgencies and struggles.

By restoring material texture to overlooked political and cultural movements, it seeks to resist versions of the past that reduce feminist struggle to one-dimensional stereotypes. Looking to the past to activate its nascent potential, the programme aims to identify tools that can inspire and enrich further collective action, promoting the intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience. While honouring earlier feminisms, the series also highlights how collaboration, difference, and dissent have characterised previous feminist movements, and how feminists have both negotiated, and failed to significantly attend to, differences between themselves.

Feminist Duration is generously supported by the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.