Episode 118

Archives, Art and Freedom Dreams with Nydia Swaby


March 29th, 2022

57 mins 18 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Greetings Glocal Citizens!
This week in our final #herstory in our 2022 March series, I'm happy to welcome Black feminist researcher, writer, and curator Nydia Swaby. Nydia is a Jamaican-American and have called London home for the past decade. She has a PhD in Gender Studies (SOAS), an MA in Women’s History [Sarah Lawrence College], and a BA in Anthropology and African American Studies [Rollins College]. Her practice builds on theories of racial, gendered, diasporic, and queer formation, Black feminism, Black studies, and my previous experience working at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

In her creative approach to knowledge production, she uses archives, ethnography, photography, film, and the imagination to curate programs and visual narratives, write essays and performance pieces exploring the gendered and diasporic dimensions of Black being and becoming. She also creates ancestral altars using family pictures and memorabilia, found photographs and archival images, West African textiles and wood carvings, crystals, fossils, stones, shells, and other curios. These practices converge in her forthcoming monograph, Amy Ashwood Garvey and the Future of Back Feminist Archives (Lawrence Wishart, Summer 2022) and Caird Research Fellowship at The National Maritime Museum, ‘Curating Archives of Affect: Black Feminist Pasts, Presents, and Futures’ (December 2021 - September 2020), and my ongoing visual series, ‘Becoming with Archive: Blackness, Gender, Diaspora’ (2010 - Present).

Alongside her practice-based research, Nydia work as the Curator of Learning at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, where she collaborates with academics, curators, artists, and writers to develop a multi-disciplinary, practice-based research and learning program. She is also a member of Feminist Review’s Editorial Collective and the Curator of Programmes, and co-edited a recent issue on queer, feminist, diasporic, and decolonial archives.

Please read on and explore the topics of interest below for a thoughtfully curated account of the many individuals discussed in the episode.

Where to find Nydia?
On LinkedIn

What's Nydia reading?
The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
Dear Science and Other Stories by Katherine McKittrick

What's Nydia watching?
Daughters of the Dust

Other topics of interest:
Amy Ashwood Garvey
Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Pan African Movement
Jamaica Kincaid
On Code Switching
Double Consciousness
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Ifeanyi Awachie
Imani Perry
Lorraine Hansberry
Barby Asante
S. Pearl Sharp
Akosua Adoma Owusu
Rita Gayle
Joan Morgan
Brittney Cooper
The Politics of Pleasure