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Notes on Silence


In commemoration of the dead.

Audre Lorde tells us, your silence will not protect you”. 

iniva will no longer remain silent.

In this moment, looking towards Gaza we take a collective breath to consider how to act as a cultural organisation that believes in art, social justice and dialogue, questioning global legacies of imperialism and colonialism.  

We are in grief, witnessing so much loss.  

But beyond statements and petitions, how do we act? What is our way of being?

“Art is where and how we speak to each other in tongues audible when official language fails. It is not where we escape worlds ills but rather one place we come to – to make sense of them.”

Elizabeth Alexander, The Black Interior

iniva supports art that builds on the work of so many who have been critical in developing emancipatory practices. We need to stand in solidarity with you, the artists, cultural workers and communities who are looking to iniva to break the cultural silence.  

We join our voices to those calling for an unconditional and permanent ceasefire for Gaza, for the right to freedoms, self-determination and life. We are witnessing the deaths of so many people and we must ‘mark our resistance’ – we cannot remain silent.  

We offer the Stuart Hall Library and our resources to everyone who wants to come together with others in dialogue, to develop pedagogies, for read-ins and teach-ins, in line with all of the work iniva has supported over the past 30 years, and to counter the continual misinformation we see in the media. 

How do we collectively rethink the world? And what does cultural action look like?

“…the new dramatic spectacle of the popular, forces on the streets in motion demanding reinvention of the world, reinventing for themselves – a counter imaginary.”

Sylvia Wynter, Black Metamorphosis 

Transformation of Silence into Words & Action is the title of an essay by poet, feminist, activist & educator Audre Lorde. Under this banner we will come together for collective study, scanning, zine making and research on Palestine and Israel, to transform our silences into language and take action in making audible demands, for collective freedoms, self-determination and joy. 

Over the next few weeks iniva will: 

  • Reflect on Stuart Hall’s tribute to Edward Said at the opening of the Veil Exhibition in November 2003 found in iniva’s archive. 
  • Share a reading list of selected publications from our collection relevant to the ongoing conflict and available at Stuart Hall Library.
  • Publish an ongoing blog, discussing the work of artists, writers and activists found in the iniva collections. 
  • Host a read-in session at Stuart Hall Library, open to the public for all to join. 
  • Provide a free collated resource of texts and images to pick up from Stuart Hall Library. 

We invite you to join us.