Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

From December 2021 to December 2022

In The Wake. An experimental laboratory of black thought

Research group in residence led by Esther Mayoko

“In the Wake is a laboratory of experimentation; it is theory and it is method; it is the place we inhabit and from which we flee. If a slave ship is materiality and a metaphor for anti-negritude, what does it mean to stand “En la Estela/In the Wake”? To be in the wake is to produce, to share, to create, to resist on behalf of the African diaspora from a place that is neither that of the self, nor that of the “other”.

Creating and producing from “the wake” is one way we can produce a decentering of the sedimented ways in which black bodies have been thought about. To be “in the wake”, to experience from the wake, is to make black life, black existence, possible.

We are black bodies, maroon bodies escaping from the ship’s hold. Our escape is constant and expressed in the creation “In the Wake/En la Estela” of possible worlds that are able to resist the reified forms of the ship’s hold-plantation in the colonial metropolis. 

We will explore biomythographic forms through which to trace and imagine the Maroon genealogy of sex-gender dissidence that has settled or is located in Madrid, following in the footsteps of negritudes on the run from the laboratory-plantation in past linear times, in present temporality for a non-linear counting. We will also trace biomythographies of the transatlantic transit to other locations, not those of the paradigmatic space of the Caribbean, where Palenques and Cumbes, runaway slaves, created and maintain new geographies of negritude that are a source of healing.

What forms does time adopt in black Maroon communities? Time “In the Wake” adopts differential forms, non-sequential times; time in/of flight in itself articulated with forms of fugitivity from the cis-heterosexual norm. We will explore the construction of temporary micro-units of healing and escape, of black memories and bodily archives of black-Maroon bodies.

How can we approach Maroonage and fugitive black collectivity in territories that are historically anti-black, such as this metropolitan territory of the city of Madrid? We will make new readings of the metropolitan archive that will allow us to imagine communities of escape and Maroonage in the city of Madrid”.

Image: Iki Yos Piña