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Material Threads: A Conversation with Billie Zangewa and Acaye Kerunen

Unravel Public Programme

Billie Zangewa Midnight Aura

Join us for a conversation exploring the ways Billie Zangewa and Acaye Kerunen harness the political potential of material including Vlisco fabric, raffia and palm leaves in their artwork. 

Embedded in a thread are histories of labour, race, gender, class, resilience and oppression. In their textile practice, Billie Zangewa and Acaye Kerunen employ materials such as Vlisco fabric, raffia and palm leaves to trace colonial histories, resist structures of power and engage with ancestral knowledge. 

The artists will give short presentations about their artworks on display in Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art with a specific focus on the material they are comprised of and their histories.

A moderated conversation with the designer, curator and art historian Christine Checinska and the two artists will follow, as well as questions from the public.

Content note

Please be advised that some works in this exhibition contain nudity, some works contain references to forms of systemic violence including police brutality, sexual violence, colonialism, racism and the transatlantic slave trade. Please ask at the ticket desk for more information.

Update: works on display

Several works have been withdrawn as an act of solidarity with Palestine in response to the Barbican’s decision not to host the London Review of Books (LRB) Winter Lecture Series. We respect the decisions of the artists and lenders involved and you can read our statement on this here. The below list of participating artists shows the artists whose works have been withdrawn.

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Frobisher Auditorium 2