Archive Project: Tomorrow

Tomorrow, is a meditation on Blackness as a creative, generative force from which everything is born; an exploration of what Blackness is and what it might become. It’s a publication about writing, memory, and identity that draws on the extensive archive of 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning that questions notions of memory and Blackness, both as lived experience and abstract concept.

Working with a group of young women from Norwood School, Tomorrow has been created within the context of the collection and constitution of the archive of 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning. With the intention of exposing young people to archives and the different ways an archive can be used for research and creative work, this publication draws inspiration from the work of artists BARKA, Reggie Pedro, Joy Yamusangie, Thandie Loewenson, Rabz Lansiquot, Tabita Rezaire, and Sana Badri; and exhibitions such as Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca, Futura Free and People Signs and Resistance all curated by long time 198 associate Barby Asante with collaborators Amal Alhaag, Teresa Cisneros, Chandra Frank and Mutiny Arts. Using these works and projects as a jumping off point to inspire this collection of writing, Tomorrow looks at the way in which artists draw on the concept of ‘memory’ to create meaningful works that both capture and engage with speculative ideas about the past, present and the future.

Tomorrow was brought together in a series of workshops convened by Barby Asante in collaboration with artist and writer Ronnie McGrath, with the support of Project Coordinator Paula Pinho Martens Nacif and Jessica Nicholas from Norwood School. Alongside the writing presented in this publication are the exercises we created, our collective poems, some of the visual inspiration we used in workshops and our workshop playlist. We hope that you are inspired by our process and use this publication not just as something to read but also as a resource to inspire your own use of archives and practices of remembering to speculate and imagine your own tomorrows.