Teju Cole

Black Listening
Run time: Approx 1hr

Performa 17 Biennial Hub
427 Broadway
New York, NY 10013


Teju Cole’s DJ lecture is an exploration of the way music, over the past 25 years, played an essential role in his personal notion of Africanness. Through a rejection of national or ethnic boundaries, he developed a sense of common cause with other Africans, in a way that had not been available to him as a Yoruba boy growing up in Lagos. African music, in all its diversity, and the way it recenters acoustic experience, has been a highly subjective locus of understanding how the past can be narrated and how the borderless future can be imagined. The talk is accompanied by musical examples from the beginning of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st, from Senegal all the way to South Africa and the diaspora.

Image credit: Teju Cole, "Black Paper" (detail), 2017


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