converse (1)


to engage in conversation

converse (2)


a situation, object, or statement that is the reverse of another or corresponds to it but with certain terms transposed.

From November 2015 to February 2016, we invite scholars from the academic field and renowned artists for academic conversations with young researchers and future “thought leaders”. These tandems of discussants are invited to question and to elaborate on the topic of the specific questions of our research project “Revolution 3.0” – the future lives of images of past drastic change and utopia in the African and diasporas’ context– and the larger concepts of the “Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies”. These are, in particular: Time, Future, and Visions.

In the proposed constellation of our dialogues, two different layers of ‘converse’ come together: Firstly, its signification as exchange: to engage in a conversation, to talk with each other, to speak to another’s research and concepts. Beyond this, a second layer is of importance: the ‘converse’ as a different way to look at things - as a ‘reverse’ of the conventional discussion of images as illustrations for debates and strands of thought. Opposing this, we put the image first: Looking at our topics not coming from linguistic and semiological perspectives; but taking the image as the starting point. The icon becomes its subject: its ways of speaking, its filiations, its context — after the “iconic turn”, right in its digital lives. This is radical, in the sense of an up-rooting of conventions.

Our “Icon Lab”, which likewise puts the image in the centre of questions around revolution, will feature in these conversations. Much as expressed in the understanding of a ‘conversation’ as exchange, something new — a thought, an idea, the beginning of a theory on the impact and lives of images — arises. Our conversations start before the actual encounter of the conversational partners to which we welcome you to in Bayreuth. You are invited to browse through our image tank, guided by the young researcher or artist we asked to join you as “conversation partner” to guide you through the material.

Conversations as actual meetings will take place in the context of the exhibition we present at Iwalewahaus from November 2015 till February 2016. This exhibition brings together research findings and artistic interventions around the key concepts of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies: “Future Africa: Visions in Time”.