Sonya Dyer is an artist, writer and occasional curator based in London. sonyadyerprojects.wordpress.com www.andbeyondinstitute.com
London-based artist Onyeka Igwe has mined colonial-era archives for three new films inspired by all-women protests against British rule in west Africa, currently showing together in the solo exhibition ‘No Dance, No Palaver’, in Hawick, Scotland. She discusses the spectre of the ‘colonial gaze’ and the ethics of archive research with Sonya Dyer.
Lubaina Himid has approached the fanfare surrounding her Turner Prize win with characteristic low-key charm and generosity. Sonya Dyer hails her influence and achievements and hopes she will now be properly recognised as a contemporary artist making vital work today.
The recent ‘What Should White Culture Do? Art, Politics, Race’ brought academics and artists together for a day-long symposium at the Royal College of Art. Sonya Dyer contends that, judging by the approach of some of those talking at the event, the answer to the question is, ‘Much more than this’.
To coincide with Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern, US writer Claudia Rankine presented a reading from her new play, which explores racism in the art world and beyond. Sonya Dyer found it a powerful vehicle for exploring the intersections of capitalism, race, empathy and resistance – particularly in light of the Dana Schutz Whitney Biennial controversy and a renewed focus on depictions of the Black body.
As Washington DC prepares for the 20 January presidential inauguration and the rest of the world is gripped/appalled by the latest predictably narcissistic Donald Trump Twitter outburst, London-based artist Sonya Dyer – who was on a residency in Nebraska during the election – reflects on her US experience and considers what the new era means for art and artists.