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Talk Recording: T.J. Demos

T.J. Demos – Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity and Worlds-to-Come
A talk programmed by NEPN held on Zoom on 24 June 2021.



T.J. Demos Talk, 24 June 2021. Programmed by NEPN from NEPN on Vimeo.

With reference to three international examples of contemporary art—those of Thirza Jean Cuthand, The Otolith Group, and Black Quantum Futurism—this short talk discusses current modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come that refuse surrender to capitalist realism. Where radical imagination meets radical praxis is in the material forces of solidarity, the political form of belonging, more than ever necessary today in the collective battle against international fascisms and global neoliberalisms. While acknowledging the bankruptcy of Eurocentric universalisms, this presentation defends approaches to insurgent political formations beyond identitarian fragmentation, including a political aesthetics of abolition—ultimately of racial and colonial capitalism.

T.J. Demos is the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of numerous books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) – winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award – and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in January 2015, and organized Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 2014. During 2019–21, with the Center for Creative Ecologies, and as a Getty research institute scholar, he’s working on a Mellon-funded research project, art exhibition, and book project dedicated to the questions: what comes after the end of the world, and how can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins? His new book, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing was recently released by Duke University Press.

Talk Recordings: Photography, Environment, Action Symposium

You can now view the talks from our symposium ‘Photography, Environment, Action’ held on 25 June 2021 which aimed to explore the role of photography in communicating the environmental crisis and approaches to sustainable practice, stimulating discussions about photography, radicalism and activism, including its relationship to aesthetics, sustainability and ecology, impact and reach, collectivism and voice.

Produced by NEPN with photographic artist and researcher Marjolaine Ryley.

Speakers: Shahidul Alam, Michele Allen, Edd Carr, Hannah Fletcher, Sabina Sallis.

NEPN Summer Social

Tuesday 3 August, 6-7pm, on Zoom.

Join us with a cold one to catch up with fellow photographers in the North East. NEPN will share plans for the new website which will offer photographer profiles, and a new bursary scheme, as well as inviting discussion around your needs and space for informal chat. If anyone would like to share work (up to 10mins) then please email: 

Please let us know if you will be joining us by emailing and we will send you the meeting link. If you have access requirements, please let us know too.

SHIFTS: Photography in the 21st Century Museum

Image credit: Panos Kokkinias, Yiannis (2016), Archival inkjet, 80 x 122 cm © Panos Kokkinias, courtesy of the artist and Xippas Gallery, Paris, Geneva, Montevideo.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021, 13:00 (British Summer Time)

This short discussion, convened on Zoom, will examine the shifts affecting the programming, commissioning and collection of photography by art and photography museums, in the UK and internationally.
On the occasion of the publication of Alexandra Moschovi’s monograph A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum and in the context of NEPN’s SHIFTS project, invited curators will explore how their institutions address current developments in photographic and curatorial practice and the ways museums can engage diverse publics and support photographers.

Confirmed speakers:

Matteo Balduzzi, Curator, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Alexandra Moschovi, Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media, University of Sunderland, UK.

Thomas Seelig, Head Curator and Director of Photography, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.

Marta Weiss, Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

The event is supported by the University of Sunderland and Arts Council England.

We are delighted to announce that Leuven University Press and Lieven Gevaert Series will be offering a generous discount off the publication ‘A Gust of Photo-Philia’ to those attending this event.


Please let us know if you have any access requirements by emailing: