Speculative Archives and Black Histories: Screening and Conversation with Arthur Jafa and Tourmaline

Event Details

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries is thrilled to welcome filmmakers Tourmaline and Arthur Jafa to USC for a screening and conversation about speculative reconstruction, archival collage on film, and black histories and futures, moderated by cultural historian Uri McMillan. This event is free and open to the public; no RSVP or tickets necessary!

Tourmaline makes film and installed video that highlights the capacity of black queer/trans social life to impact the world while living what is simultaneously an invisible-and hypervisible-existence. The throughline of her filmmaking focuses on everyday people and their mundane creative acts that blur the lines and liens of what constitutes public. Her work includes Salacia, Mary of Ill Fame, Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, The Personal Things, Lost in the Music, and Happy Birthday, Marsha! She is also an editor of TRAP DOOR, an anthology on trans cultural production published by the New Museum & MIT Press.

Arthur Jafa is an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer. Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artefacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of Black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa's practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent "power, beauty and alienation" embedded within forms of Black music?

Uri McMillan is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and Department of English at UCLA. He is a cultural historian who researches and writes in the interstices between black cultural studies, performance studies, queer theory, and contemporary art. His first book, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance (NYU, 2015) is on black performance art, objecthood, and avatars staged by black women artists. He has published articles on performance art, digital media, hip-hop, photography, and nineteenth-century performance cultures in varied arenas such as Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and e-misferica.


Image: Photo by Tourmaline. Salacia, 2019 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre
108 USC University Park Campus USC School of Cinematic Arts
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States