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(Hybrid) Beyond a Boundary: Christian Campbell and Claire Tancons on Black Movement

Thu June 27 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Visiting Fellow Christian Campbell and Curator Claire Tancons consider the poetics and politics of movement in the Black Diaspora through language, gesture, and migration.

American Library in Paris Visiting Fellow Christian Campbell is an acclaimed poet and author of poetry collection Running the Dusk. In these poems he moves between Caribbean past, present, and future, asking, “what are the tongues for these times?”  While completing his Visiting Fellowship at the Library, Campbell is working on several projects including work-in-progress on the late Sidney Poitier, the first Black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Campbell will appear in conversation with Paris-based curator and scholar Claire Tancons, who was the artistic director of Nuit Blanche 2024. Using the concept of C.L.R. James’ classic text Beyond a Boundary as a point of departure, they will consider the poetics and politics of movement in the Black Diaspora through language, gesture and migration.

About the speakers:

Christian Campbell is the author of the acclaimed poetry collection Running the Dusk (2010), which won the UK’s Aldeburgh Prize, among other awards. Campbell studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and his work has been featured and reviewed in the New York Times, the Guardian, Small Axe, the Financial Times and elsewhere. He has received awards and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, Arvon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and elsewhere, and delivered the annual Derek Walcott Lecture for the Nobel Laureate Festival in St. Lucia. Also a critic, he has written extensively about Jean-Michel Basquiat for major exhibits on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Barbican Centre, and recently edited a collection of Derek Walcott’s essays. He won the Art Writing Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries for his work on Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Claire Tancons is a curator and scholar invested in discursive and curatorial investigations of the postcolonial, including the exhibition and book “En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean” (with Krista Thompson, 2015). A graduate in art history and museum studies from the École du Louvre and The Courtauld Institute of Art and a former fellow of the Curatorial Studies program of the Whitney Independent Study Program, Tancons is the recipient of many grants and awards, including from the Warhol, Creative Capital, Emily Hall Tremaine, and Ford Foundations. Born in Guadeloupe, Tancons is currently based in Paris, where she is at work on “Van Lévé: Sovereign Visions from the Creole and Maroon Americas and Amazonia”, a transhistorical project centered on the relationship between artistic emergence and political sovereignty in the French Caribbean. She was the artistic director of Nuit Blanche 2024 and is the founder of EXTEMPORA, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the practice of diaspora.

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (the speaker(s) will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used by the American Library in Paris for marketing, promotional, pedagogical, or other purposes.

Evenings with an Author are free and open to the public (with a 10€ suggested donation)
thanks to the generous support of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of GRoW @ Annenberg.


Thu June 27
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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(Hybrid) Beyond a Boundary: Christian Campbell and Claire Tancons on Black Movement
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