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The Black Opera Research Network (BORN) is pleased to announce two online panel discussions in June 2021.

Panel 1, ‘Charting “Black Opera”’ (17 June, 12pm EST / 5pm BST / 6pm CAT / 9am PDT):

In the second of its series of inaugural panels, BORN grapples with the parameters of its own terms of reference. Taking as a starting point the ‘Black Opera Database’ created by BORN affiliates Allison Lewis and Nicholas Newton, the conversation interrogates the politics of racial categorization and generic classification.

Naomi André (USA)

Allison Lewis (USA)
Genevieve Arkle (UK)
Mandla Langa (South Africa)

Panel 2, ‘Opera, Commemoration, and the Racialized Politics of Place’ (23 June, 12pm EST / 5pm BST / 6pm CAT / 9am PDT):

16 June 1976: the Soweto Massacre, South Africa. 19 June 1865: the official announcement of emancipation is made to enslaved people in Texas, USA. 22 June 1948: the disembarkation of 1,027 West Indian passengers from HMT Empire Windrush in Tilbury, England.

Commemorating three events that happened in June, BORN draws together an international panel of scholars and practitioners to discuss how Blackness across the Atlantic has been articulated through protest and forced relocation. Shirley Thompson, composer of Memories in Mind: Women of the Windrush, Sipumzo Lucwaba, creator of Imivumba Yamaqhawe: The Scars of Our Heroes, and Nicole Cabell, co-curator of Opera Theatre St. Louis’s I Dream a World Juneteenth celebration, reflect on the individual and shared legacies of Youth Day in South Africa, Juneteenth in the US, and Windrush Day in the UK. Drawing on their own projects, the panellists ask what it means to commemorate racialized oppression and liberation on the operatic stage—a place that carries its own histories of segregation and exclusion.

Juliana M. Pistorius (South Africa/UK)

Nicole Cabell (USA)
Sipumzo Lucwaba (South Africa)
Shirley Thompson (UK)

Find further information, including participant bios and registration details, on the BORN website: We look forward to welcoming you to these exciting events! 

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