April 11 at Princeton University
April 12 at Park Avenue Armory, NYC

The past two decades have witnessed the success of a wide range of Black artists, whose work has been celebrated through their recognition by awards and at festivals including the Venice Biennale, the Hugo Boss Prize, the Turner Prize, the Whitney Biennial, as well as through exhibitions and acquisitions at leading art institutions across the globe. But these successes have been accompanied, and to a considerable extent enabled by, a parallel development within art institutions themselves: the ascent of a visionary group of Black curators and curators of color who have supplanted the role of traditional curatorial gatekeepers and expanded the capacity of arts institutions to recognize the work of an increasingly diverse group of artists.

While self-evident to some, the impact of this conjuncture frequently goes unacknowledged or unremarked upon, even among curators and art professionals. This convening aspires to instigate a candid and critical conversation that explores the different paths that have led us here, acknowledging the role of those who have enabled and supported this transition, and interrogating the stakes of what it means to do this crucial curatorial work both from a contemporary and historical perspective.

About The Radical Practice of Black Curation Symposium

The Radical Practice of Black Curation engages the past, present, and future of Black curation as a practice that exceeds the urgent but constraining question of making and exhibiting art in a time of “racial reckoning.” Because Black curatorial practice has increasingly been framed/bracketed by this conceptual language, our point of departure will be two overlapping prompts:

  • How have curators of color responded to the idea of “racial reckoning” in their curatorial practice? What are the potential impacts and constraints of the language of “racial reckoning” as both the template and temporality of contemporary Black curation?
  • What kinds of futures are possible for Black curatorial practice that are not tethered or beholden to the temporality of “racial reckoning”? How has your curatorial practice sought to navigate, engage, and exceed this conceptual template?

Hosted jointly by the Princeton Collaboratorium for Radical Aesthetics led by Tina Campt, Princeton’s Roger S. Berlind ‘52 Professor in the Humanities, and the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, and supported, in part, by the Terra Foundation for American Art, The Racial Reckoning in Art and Performance at Yale University, and Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies, the symposium will assemble an influential, emerging transnational group of curators of color to explore the significance of our current conjuncture by reflecting on their collaborative curatorial practice and the ways such collaborations are opening up vibrant new spaces in the contemporary art world.

The Symposium will take place over two afternoons at Princeton and the Armory. On April 11, Princeton will host an afternoon of public dialogues and panel presentations, followed on April 12 by an afternoon retreat of a group of invited participants who will engage more deeply with the topics and themes raised at the symposium in ways that probe the challenge and aspirations for the future of Black curation. The symposium will conclude with a public performance on April 12 at 8 p.m. at the Armory.

April 11 at Princeton University

In Wallace Theater, Lewis Arts complex

  • 12-1:15 p.m. — Panel 1: Tavia Nyong’o (William Lampson Professor of American Studies at Yale University) and Cameron Rowland (artist), moderators. Featured guests:
    • Bonaventure Ndikung (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin)
    • Gabi Ngcobo (Director, Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam)
    • Oluremi C. Onabanjo (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
    • Legacy Russell (The Kitchen, New York)
  • 1:15-1:30 p.m. — Break
  • 1:30-3:00 p.m. — Panel 2: Tina Campt (Princeton) and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (RISD), moderators. Featured guests:
    • Nana Adusei-Poku (Yale University)
    • Adrienne Edwards (The Whitney Museum, New York)
    • Ekow Eshun (Independent Curator, London)
    • Koyo Kouoh (Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cape Town)
    • Renee Mussai (Independent curator & scholar)
  • 3:00-3:15 p.m. — Break
  • 3:15-4:30 p.m.Thelma Golden (The Studio Museum in Harlem) in conversation with Helga Davis (actor/vocalist/performance artist)
  • 4:30-6 p.m. — Reception

April 12 at Park Avenue Armory, New York City

  • 12-5 p.m. — Symposium sessions (By invitation)
  • 8 p.m.Festive public performance at Park Avenue Armory: multidisciplinary artist Richard Kennedy presents a musical encapsulation of the African diaspora in the Armory’s historic rooms. Titled Guttural (Conducted Contact), this new work opens a portal of participatory gathering as truth emerges through song, dance, and a series of wordless conversations. Get tickets for Armory public performance


Tickets & Details

The symposium events are free and open to the public, but separate tickets are required to attend each day.

Princeton Tickets

Tickets currently sold out; all sessions held on April 11 will be livestreamed.

Watch the Livestream

Armory Tickets

To attend on April 12 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City:

Get tickets through the Armory for April 12



Get directions to Wallace Theater, located on the Forum level of the Lewis Arts complex at 122 Alexander Street in Princeton, NJ.

Get directions to the Park Avenue Armory, located at 643 Park Avenue in New York City.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityaccess symbol for amplified sound or hearing devicesThe Wallace Theater is an accessible venue with an assistive listening system. Guests in need of access accommodations for the Princeton events on April 11 are asked to contact the Lewis Center at at least one week prior to the event date.


Featured Guests

vocalist and performance artist Helga Davis

Photo courtesy Helga Davis

Helga Davis is a vocalist and performance artist and was principal actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. She is artist in residence at National Sawdust and is a teaching artist with Youth Corps at the Park Avenue Armory. She is host of the eponymous podcast Helga on WQXR, and she was the winner of the 2019 Greenfield Prize in composition, a finalist for the 2019 Alpert Award, and the 2018-21 visiting curator for the performing arts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Her new artistic venture is the study and application of Conduction, a method of spontaneous composition developed by Lawrence Douglas “Butch” Morris.


Curator and educator Adrienne Edwards

Photo courtesy Adrienne Edwards

Dr. Adrienne Edwards is Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. She co-curated the 2022 Whitney Biennial and was President of the International Jury of the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, as well as a jury member for the 40th anniversary edition of Videobrasil in 2023. She is currently organizing an exhibition and catalogue on the choreographer Alvin Ailey, which opens at the Whitney in September 2024. Previously, she served as curator of Performa in New York City and as Curator at large for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Edwards’s curatorial projects have also included the thematic intergenerational and interdisciplinary exhibition and catalogue ‘Blackness in Abstraction” presented at Pace Gallery (2016); the traveling exhibition and catalogue ‘Jason Moran’ at Walker Art Center, ICA Boston, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2018-2019); ‘Moved by the Motion: Sudden Rise’ (2020), a series of performances based on a text co-written by Wu Tsang, boychild, and Fred Moten at the Whitney; Dave McKenzie’s first solo museum exhibition in New York City The Story I Tell Myself and its pendant performance commission Disturbing the View (2021) at the Whitney; and the performance collective My Barbarian’s twenty anniversary exhibition and catalogue (2021-2022) at the Whitney and ICA LA. She was part of the Whitney’s core team for David Hammons’s public art monument Day’s End.

For Performa, Edwards realized new boundary-defying commissions, as well as pathfinding conferences and film programs with a wide range of over forty international artists. While at the Walker, she co-led the institution-wide Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Initiative, an effort to expand ways of commissioning, studying, collecting, documenting, and conserving cross-disciplinary works. She also organized Frieze’s Artist Award andLive program in New York in 2018, and chaired the Curatorial Leadership Summit Tendency: Wagering a Lexicon for the Morning at The Armory Show in 2023.

Edwards has taught art history, performance, and visual studies at The Graduate Center CUNY, New York University, and the New School, and she has contributed essays to academic journals, artist monographs, group exhibition catalogues, and art magazines as well as other publications.


Ekow Eshun stands in a navy blazer with arms folded at his waist, looking off in the distance.

Photo credit: Zeinab Batchelor

Ekow Eshun is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth, overseeing the foremost public art program in the UK, and the former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He is the curator of exhibitions including, most recently, In the Black Fantastic at the Hayward Gallery, London, awarded the Curatorial Prize 2023 by the Association for Art History. Eshun’s publications include Black Gold of the Sun, shortlisted for the Orwell prize, and Africa State of Mind, nominated for the Lucie Photo Book Prize. Described by The Guardian as a ‘cultural polymath,’ he is the writer and presenter of documentaries including the BBC film Dark Matter: A History of the Afrofuture and the BBC Radio 4 series White Mischief. He has contributed to books on artists including Mark Bradford, Kehinde Wiley, Chris Ofili, John Akomfrah and Wangechi Mutu, and his writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Esquire, Wired and L’uomo Vogue. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Liquid Blackness: Journal of Aesthetics and Black Studies and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from London Metropolitan University.



Thelma Golden smiles, wearing a black and white print dress and standing in front of a brightly colored painting.

Photo credit: Julie Skarratt

Thelma Golden is the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual arts by artists of African descent. She began her career in 1987 as an intern at the Studio Museum, then joined the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1988. Golden returned to the Studio Museum in 2000 as the deputy director for exhibitions and programs and was named the director and chief curator in 2005. Under her leadership, the Studio Museum has gained renown as a global leader in the exhibition of contemporary art and a cultural anchor in the Harlem community. In 2015, the museum announced plans to create a new facility designed by Adjaye Associates with Cooper Robertson. The new building will be the Studio Museum’s first purpose-built facility since its founding in 1968.

Golden serves on the board of directors for the Barack Obama Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Crystal Bridges Museum. She holds a B.A. in Art History and African American Studies from Smith College. She has received honorary degrees from Barnard College, the City College of New York, Columbia University, Moore College of Art and Design, San Francisco Art Institute, and Smith College. Golden was appointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by President Obama in 2010. She is a recognized authority on contemporary art by artists of African descent and an active lecturer and panelist who speaks about art and culture at national and international institutions.


multidisciplinary artist Richard Kennedy

Photo courtesy Richard Kennedy

Richard Kennedy’s multidisciplinary practice is interested in relationships and navigating sexuality as it occurs at the intersection of class, race and gender. Considering opera through a language of African American experience—drawing on the oral histories told through spirituals and chain gang songs—Kennedy disrupts the tradition of Western theater in order to generate new participatory modes of viewership. Through creating costumes and set design for opera, Kennedy was drawn to painting, sculpture and video—drawing on a process of layering, obfuscation and temporality (slowness) that contradicts his practice in live performance. Kennedy’s recent solo shows include Acey-Deucey (Jeonnam Museum of Art), Libretto Accidentale (Peres Projects Milan), and Awake in a Nightmare (Kunsthalle Winterthur). His recent performances include Black Swan’s Song (Creative Director, Performance Space New York Gala 2023), Zeferina (The Industry LA), Reverence, and Ever (Palais De Tokyo). Kennedy is a graduate of The Milton Avery Institute at Bard College (MFA).



Koyo Kouoh stands with hands on her hips, wearing an orange patterned gown.

Photo credit: Andile Buka

Koyo Kouoh is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, where her curatorial work focuses on in-depth solo exhibitions by African and African-descent artists. As such, she has organized exhibitions with Otobong Nkanga, Johannes Phokela, Senzeni Marasela, Abdoulaye Konaté, Tracey Rose, and Mary Evans. Prior to this appointment in 2019, she was the founding Artistic Director of RAW Material Company, a center for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, Senegal. She has organized meaningful and timely exhibitions such as Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Works of Six African Women Artists, first shown at Wiels in Brussels, Belgium, in 2015. She curated Still (the) Barbarians, 37th EVA International, the Ireland Biennal in Limerick in 2016, and she participated in the 57th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the deeply researched exhibition project Dig Where You Stand (2018), a show within a show, drawn from the collections of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. She was the initiator of the research project Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, co-curated with Rasha Salti at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany (2015-2018). Active in the critical field of the arts community in a pan-African and international scope, Kouoh’s publications include When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting (2022), which accompanied the show by the same title that opened at Zeitz MOCAA in November 2022; Shooting Down Babylon (2022), the first monograph of the work of South African artist Tracey Rose; Breathing Out of School: RAW Académie (2021); Condition Report on Art History in Africa (2020); Word!Word?Word! Issa Samb and The Undecipherable Form (2013); and Condition Report on Building Art Institutions in Africa (2012), to name a few. She has served as Curator of the Educational and Artistic Programme of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York from 2013 to 2017 as well as on the curatorial teams for documenta 12 (2007) and documenta 13 (2012). Kouoh is the recipient of the Grand Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020, the Swiss Grand Award for Art that honors achievements in the fields of art, architecture, critique, and exhibitions. She lives and works alternately in Cape Town, South Africa; Dakar, Senegal; and Basel, Switzerland.


independent London-based curator, writer and scholar Renai Mussai

Photo by Christa Holka

Renée Mussai is an independent London-based curator, writer and scholar with a special interest in lens-based Black feminist and queer visual arts practices. As senior curator and head of curatorial and collections at Autograph for more than two decades, Mussai has organized many critically acclaimed solo and group exhibitions internationally and was responsible for a diverse range of artist commissions, publications, and research initiatives, including Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, Phoebe Boswell’s The Space Between Things, and the multi-faceted archive programme Black Chronicles—The Missing Chapter programs (2014 –18). Mussai is research associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg; associate lecturer at University of the Arts, London; and from 2009-2020 was guest curator and non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. In 2023, she was co-curator for R/evolutions, the 14th edition of the PhotoIreland festival, and was artistic director and chief curator at The Walther Collection, New York, and Neu-UIm, Germany. Mussai serves on the advisory committee of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Fast Forward: Women in Photography and Getty Images’ Black History & Culture Collection, as well as the board of trustees of the Centre for British Photography. Her publications include the award-winning monograph Lina Iris Viktor—Some Are Born to Endless Night (Autograph, 2020); and the co-edited volumes Care, Contagion, Community—Self & Other (Autograph, 2021) and Ecologies of Care: Speculative Photographies, Curatorial Re-Positionings (Routledge, 2020), a special edition of Critical Arts. Her current book projects, Eyes That Commit—A Visual Gathering will be published by Prestel in 2024, and Black Chronicles—Photography, Race, and Difference in Victorian Britain by Autograph is forthcoming in 2025.


curator, author and biotechnologist Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Photo by Alexander Steffens

Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon), is a curator, author and biotechnologist, currently serving as director and chief curator of Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin, Germany. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and the artistic director of sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany, in 2017; a guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal; and the artistic director of the 12th and 13th Bamako Encounters photography biennial in Mali in 2019 and 2022. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and was a guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA program at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin and, in 2020, was a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency Fellowship in Toronto. His published works include The Delusions of Care (2021), An Ongoing-Offcoming Tale: Ruminations on Art, Culture, Politics and Us/Others (2022) and Pidginization as Curatorial Method (2023).


Gabi Ngcobo smiles wearing sunglasses and a patterned jacket in earth tones.

Photo courtesy Gabi Ngcobo

Gabi Ngcobo began her tenure as Director of Kunstinstituut Melly in January 2024. Between 2021 and 2023 she was Curatorial Director at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP), where she organized the exhibitions Handle with Care and SCENORAMA. Ngcobo was critical in positioning the Art Centre as a ‘living school’ and initiated collective learning (class) rooms focusing on works from collections and bringing to South Africa Frequencies, a project by Oscar Murillo. Since 2021 Ngcobo has been a member of the Hartwig Art Foundation Commissioning Committee working on new commissions with artists Nolan Oswald Dennis, Luana Vitra, and Jabu Arnell. In 2022 Ngcobo curated The Show is Over at the South London Gallery and co-curated The ‘t’ is Silent at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenes in Deurle, Belgium. Between 2011 and 2020 Ngcobo was a lecturer at the Wits School of the Arts in Johannesburg. In 2018 she curated the 10th Berlin Biennale titled We Don’t Need Another Hero and was one of the co-curators of the 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal titled Incenteza Viva. She is a founding member of the Johannesburg based independent collaborative platforms NGO – Nothing Gets Organised (2016-) and the Center for Historical Reenactments (2010–14). Through these platforms Ngcobo has collaborated with various institutions in Africa, Europe, and the United States. She served in the Finding Commission of Documenta 15 and has served as an advisor at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten since 2016.

Ngcobo’s writings have appeared in various publications including Shooting Down Babylon: The Tracey Rose Retrospective at Zeitz MoCCA, Cape Town, (2022); Uneven Bodies, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa New Zealand (2021); The Stronger We Become, the catalogue of the South African Pavilion, Venice (2019); We Are Many: Art, the Political and Multiple Truths, Verbier Art Summit (2019); and Texte Zur Kunst (September 2017).


curator and scholar Oluremi C. Onabanjo

Photo credit: S*AN D. HENRY-SMITH

Oluremi C. Onabanjo is a curator and scholar who works at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as the Peter Schub Associate Curator in the Department of Photography. There she serves as co-chair of the Early Modern Working Group and has organized the recent exhibitions Projects: Ming Smith and New Photography 2023 and collections galleries Visual Vernaculars (2023–24) and Ernest Cole’s House of Bondage (2023–24). Prior to working at MoMA, Onabanjo was the Director of Exhibitions and Collections for The Walther Collection and a member of the curatorial team for the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg (2022). A 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grantee, Onabanjo is the editor of Marilyn Nance: Last Day in Lagos (2022) and author of Ming Smith: Invisible Man, Somewhere, Everywhere (2023). She lectures internationally on photography and curatorial practice, and her writing appears in Aperture, The New Yorker, Revista ZUM, and Tate Etc, as well as publications by The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, RISD Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.


Cameron Rowland is an artist whose work focuses on making visible the institutions, systems, and policies that perpetuate systemic racism and economic inequality. Their research-intensive practice centers the display of objects and documents whose provenance and operations expose the legacies of racial capitalism and underscore the forms of exploitation that permeate many aspects of our daily lives. Rowland is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow whose work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne; Établissement d’en face, Brussels; Artists Space, New York, and Essex Street, New York. They have participated in group exhibitions at the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; 33rd Bienal de São Paulo; Secession, Vienna; Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and elsewhere.


curator and writer Legacy Russell

Photo credit: Andreas Laszlo Konrath

Legacy Russell is a curator and writer. Born and raised in New York City, she is the Executive Director & Chief Curator of the experimental new media, art, and performance institution The Kitchen. Formerly she was the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Russell holds an MRes with Distinction in Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London with a focus in Visual Culture. Her academic, curatorial, and creative work focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new media ritual. Russell’s written work, interviews, and essays have been published internationally.

Recent exhibitions include Matthew Lutz-Kinoy: Filling Station at The Kitchen (2023); The Condition of Being Addressable at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2022); The New Bend (2022); Sadie Barnette: The New Eagle Creek Saloon at The Kitchen (2022); Projects: Kahlil Robert Irving (2021) with The Studio Museum in Harlem in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art; (Never) As I Was, This Longing Vessel, and MOOD with Studio Museum in partnership with MoMA PS1; Thomas J Price: Witness (2021); Dozie Kanu: Function (2019), Chloë Bass: Wayfinding (2019), and Radical Reading Room (2019) at The Studio Museum in Harlem; LEAN with Performa’s Radical Broadcast online (2020) and in physical space at Kunsthall Stavanger (2021).

Russell is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art and the 2021 Creative Capital Award, and she was named a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow, a 2022 Pompeii Commitment Digital Fellow, and a 2023 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow. Her first book is Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (2020). Her second book, Black Meme, is forthcoming via Verso Books.


Stanley Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa seen from behind, tilting his head towards sunlight and wearing an earbud in his left ear.

Photo courtesy Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (British/Ugandan) is a photographer and writer based in the United States.





Presented By

  • The Collaboratorium
  • Program in Visual Arts