Art | Alliances | Social Justice, a Public Talk with Regents’ Lecturer Beatriz Lemos and Professor Kyle T. Mays

Art | Alliances | Social Justice, a Public Talk with Regents’ Lecturer Beatriz Lemos and Professor Kyle T. Mays
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023 • 1:00 PM

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 1–2:30 p.m.
Kaufman Hall (room 200)

Admission is free.


The UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance presents Art | Alliances | Social Justice: Afro-Indigenous Artistic Practice Across the Americas, a public talk with Beatriz Lemos, UCLA Regents’ Lecturer and chief curator of Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art (MAM-Rio).


The talk will be led by Kyle T. Mays, associate professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at UCLA, and takes as its starting point the groundbreaking exhibition Nakoada: Strategies for Modern Art, recently held at MAM-Rio, jointly curated by Lemos and Indigenous artist Denilson Baniwa. The exhibition discusses questions of appropriation and representation with reference to the Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian artists that constitute the exhibition within a framework that understands Black and Indigenous peoples' histories as tied not only to enslavement and dispossession but also to a struggle for justice across the Americas.


Drawing on these complex trajectories, the talk proposes encounters between black, mestizo, and Indigenous artists throughout the history of Brazilian art as a lens through which to glimpse possible intersectional relationships and alliances in a hemispheric sense.


About Beatriz Lemos


Beatriz Lemos is a curator and researcher whose practice focuses on contemporary art in the Global South. They hold a B.A. in Art History from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and an M.A. in Social History of Culture from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Lemos’ work emphasizes anti-coloniality, gender, race, and questions they have explored through pedagogy, collaboration, and curatorial interventions. Lemos is the founder and director of the Lastro - Free Exchanges in Art platform. From counter-hegemonic perspectives, Lastro foments and promotes the articulation and realization of networked and transdisciplinary processes of creation and learning.


Lemos has been curating since 2003 and comprises a vast curriculum of exhibitions, residencies, network management, educational practices, coordination of residency programs, conferences, and research processes, as well as organization, cataloging, and mediation of collections.


Most recent featured work: Between 2015/2016 they were Visiting Curator at Escola de Artes Visuais (EAV) do Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro, where they instigated and developed the EAV’s Library|Documentation and Research Center. In 2015, they led the residency program Lastro CentroAmérica, with Brazilian artists and curators, based between Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico. This intensive period resulted in the exhibition Lastro em campo: percursos ancestrais e cotidianos, at São Paulo’s Sesc Consolação in 2016. Lemos was part of the curatorial commission of the 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc Videobrasil (2017) and the Pampulha Grant (2018/2019), and coordinated the artist residency Travessias Ocultas - Lastro Bolívia, which led to an exhibition at São Paulo’s Sesc Bom Retiro in 2016-17. From 2019-21, Lemos was the co-curator of the 3rd edition of Frestas – Trienal de Artes in São Paulo.


Lemos is currently the Chief Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro.


About Kyle T. Mays


Kyle T. Mays is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) writer and scholar of US history, urban studies, race relations, and contemporary popular culture. He is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America (SUNY Press, 2018), An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2021), and City of Dispossessions: Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, and the Creation of Modern Detroit (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). He contributed a chapter, “Blackness and Indigeneity'' to the New York Times bestseller, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, Keisha Blain and Ibram Kendi (eds.), (New York: Random House, 2021).


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