Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought and Amistad Research Center Present: A Film Screening and Conversation with Yto Barrada and Omar Berrada
April 21, 2023 6:00 pm–8:30 pm

Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought & the Amistad Research Center proudly invite you to join us for a film screening and evening of conversation with Yto Barrada, our 3rd Amistad-Rivers Research Resident, and writer and curator Omar Berrada in New Orleans.

On Friday, April 21st, we will screen Yto Barrada’s 2017 film ‘Tree Identification for Beginners.’ Originally commissioned by PERFORMA 17, ‘Tree Identification for Beginners’ revisits Barrada’s mother’s 1966 trip to the U.S. on a State Department-sponsored program, Operation Crossroads Africa, aimed to convince African students that “the U.S. is a vital society worthy of sympathetic or at least serious consideration.” The film combines a stop-motion animation of Montessori toys and grammar symbols with the organizer’s perspectives on the Africans’ attitudes and behavior, and her mother’s account of the trip. She will then join writer and curator Omar Berrada for a conversation about the archival materials from the Amistad Research Center used in the film, and the resonance of this work in diasporic discourse. We hope you will join us to learn more about artists’ practices, our program, and the art that collaboration makes possible.

Doors open at 6pm, conversation begins at 6:30pm. A cash bar will be available.

The Chapel at Hotel Peter and Paul
2317 Burgundy St
New Orleans, LA 70117

Seating at the venue is first-come, first serve, so capacity for this event is limited. Attendance is free and open to the public, but we strongly encourage you to RSVP on our Eventbrite link, and to arrive early to secure your seats.

Yto Barrada is a Moroccan-French artist recognized for her multidisciplinary investigations into cultural phenomena and historical narratives. Engaging with archival practices and public interventions, Barrada’s installations uncover lesser-known histories, reveal the prevalence of fiction in institutionalized narratives and celebrate everyday forms of reclaiming autonomy. She is the founder of Cinémathèque de Tanger, a cultural center that has become a landmark institution bringing the Moroccan community together to celebrate local and international cinema. Barrada’s work has won multiple awards, including the Roy R. Neuberger Prize (2019); the Tiger Award for Best Short Film at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2016); the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2015); the Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography (2013); and the Deutsche Guggenheim Artist of the Year (2011). Barrada has held numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including those at the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, USA (2019); LMCC’s Arts Center at Governor’s Island, New York, USA (2019); Casa Luis Barragan, Mexico City, Mexico (2019); Barbican, London, UK (2018); American Academy in Rome, Italy (2018); Secession Vienna, Austria (2016); The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2016); Carré d’Art, Nîmes, France (2015); The Serralves Foundation, Porto, Portugal (2015); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2013). Her work is held in the collections of, and has been exhibited at, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Tate Modern, London, UK; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; the Deutsche Bank Collection Berlin, Germany; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany and New York, USA; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria; and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada, among others.

Omar Berrada is a writer and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He is the author of the poetry collection Clonal Hum (2020), and the editor or co-editor of several books, including Album: Cinémathèque de Tanger, about film in Tangier and Tangier on film (2012); The Africans, on racial dynamics in North Africa (2016); and La Septième Porte, a posthumously published history of Moroccan cinema by Ahmed Bouanani (2020). Berrada’s writing was included in numerous exhibition catalogs, magazines and anthologies, including Frieze, Bidoun, Asymptote, The University of California Book of North African Literature, and Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry. Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union where he and Leslie Hewitt co-organize the IDS Lecture Series.