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After Migration: In Defense of Using Beauty to Illustrate the Journeys of Those Who Have Suffered

Walé Oyéjidé. Photo: Marko Metzinger. Courtesy of Ikiré Jones.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Join us for a film screening of After Migration: Calabria (2020) and discussion with Walé Oyéjidé, who produced and co-directed the film, and Harvard professor Teju Cole.

Walé Oyéjidé, Esq., is a fashion designer whose work featured prominently in the Marvel studios blockbuster Black Panther and was recently included in the Gender Bending Fashion exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is a writer, speaker, filmmaker, musician, and lawyer who combats bias with creative storytelling. As founder of the brand Ikiré Jones, he employs fashion design as a vehicle to celebrate the perspectives of marginalized populations.

In conversation with Teju Cole, the Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard, Oyéjidé will argue that migrants are owed more artful depictions of their cross-border experiences and that our creative pursuits should always be founded in fostering a more equitable society.

Analyzing Oyéjidé’s ongoing After Migration project, which beautifully celebrates the lives of refugees through fashion design, filmmaking, and photography, the two will discuss the impacts that transcendent storytelling can have on the lives of those who are commonly shown as victims. They will further address the influence that artists can have on society at large when they focus on making works that are honest, rather than prioritizing the desire to make a profit.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts, ArtLab, and the Harvard Art Museums. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art, on view at the Harvard Art Museums through January 5, 2020.

The film After Migration: Calabria (2020) is produced by Walé Oyéjidé and co-directed by Walé Oyéjidé and Jake Saner, with support from the Open Society Foundations and National Geographic Society; it features Alieu Kebbeh, Favor Joseph, and Wealth Joseph.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 5:30pm.

Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.

Before the lecture, guests are invited to view the Crossing Lines, Constructing Home exhibition on Level 3, from 5:30 to 6:30pm.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund at the Harvard Art Museums. The Crossing Lines exhibition is made possible by the Rosenblatt Fund for Postwar American Art, the Agnes Gund Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, and the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Fund for Photography. Exhibition-related programming is supported by the M. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund, the Nancy S. Nichols Memorial Lecture Fund, and the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. In addition, modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.