Creating Joy

Art, Refusal and the Worlding of Black Lives

‘Creating Joy: Art, Refusal and the Worlding of Black Lives’ is a radical, digital space that explores Black diasporic life through artmaking. It will create a digital platform for visual artists and filmmakers to exhibit their work. We are interested in films and digital visual stories and narratives that push back against the hollowed-out images of Black life which are traditionally associated with violence. Framed by a deliberate refusal of the use of images of Blackness as abjection and pathology which reinforce racist, contemporary visual culture, the project explores the creation of spaces of care that normalise Black practices of refusal (Brand, 2020).

The ‘Creating Joy: Art, Refusal and the Worlding of Black Lives’ project will equip artists, community workers, activists, and scholars with additional tools and skills to reflect on and undo some of the built-up, negative effects of Black visual abjection in circulation. The project arises in part from the global ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020 and anti-Black policing in places like Nigeria.
At its core, ‘Creating Joy: Art, Refusal and the Worlding of Black Lives’ is interested in how Black diasporic artists and communities centre Black livingness through joy. Our aim is to show how, despite ongoing cycles of mediated and real violence, Black communities survive and find beauty amongst and for themselves. Our goal is to disrupt and unsettle the visual circulation of images of Black trauma through and across news and social media.

This work is supported by a ‘Right to the Discipline grant from the Antipode Foundation’


Creating Joy Film Festival Trailer

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