Sónia Vaz Borges, "Building Archives and Writing Histories through Walking"

Thursday, December 15, 2022, 7 - 8:30pm

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Mangrove School still

Still from Mangrove School

If you walk with straight feet in Guinea Bissau’s rice fields, like you are marching on your way to the mangrove, you will slip and fall and maybe even get stuck in the slippery mud paths. Since 2013 I have been researching the Liberation struggle of Guinea Bissau, walking the different terrains where the struggle took place – from the city to the countryside, from the asphalt to the mangrove crossing the rice fields and the forest.”

How to translate the diverse information collected in these spaces into an archive? In what ways can one speculate about it? How to write, film, and fabulate history from experiences lived on a path of research? These are some of the questions Sónia Vaz Borges will engage with as part of her Fall 2022 IDS Lecture, which will be preceded by a screening of her latest film, co-directed with Filipa César: Mangrove School (35’, 2022).

Vaz BorgesSónia Vaz Borges is an interdisciplinary militant historian and social-political organizer. Her book Militant  Education, Liberation Struggle, Consciousness: The PAIGC education in Guinea Bissau 1963-1978 (Peter Lang, 2019) focuses on liberation schools and the concept and praxis developed by the PAIGC. She was also the editor of the booklets Cadernos Consciência e Resistência Negra (2007-2011) and author of the book Na Pó di Spéra. Percursos nos Bairros da Estrada Militar, Santa Filomena e Encosta Nascente (2014). Vaz Borges co-authored two short films Navigating the Pilot School (2016) and Mangrove School (2022). She is currently teaching at Drexel University in Philadelphia and developing a new project focused on her concept of the walking archive and the processes of memory and imagination.

Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster is required. The use of a face mask is encouraged while indoors. 

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

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