Tropes of Polarity: Diasporic Conversations by Icaro January 14, 2023 0 News, Research

HANGAR – Centro de Investigação Artística Research Program
First Edition – January 26, 6 p.m. – 8p.m. 2023
By Dzifa Peters

Installation shot as part of the project Being a guest (2015-ongoing), by Dzifa Peters in collaboration with Josef Zky, Artspace: Container, Duesseldorf, 2016.


The HANGAR – Centro de Investigação Artística Research Program is launching the research event titled Tropes of Polarity: Diasporic Conversations. This event compounds the artistic practice of German-Ghanaian visual artist and researcher Dzifa Peters with her doctoral research, which focuses on Afrodiasporic identities and representations in visual culture, media, and literary studies, and investigates alternations of coexisting cultural identities and perspectives. As a host at HANGAR, Dzifa Peters invites artists and scholars to join in rotating presentations and a dialogical exchange.

Artists and scholars for the first edition

Gloria Adu-Kankam is a Ghanaian FCT Scholar and a Ph.D. student in Culture Studies of the Lisbon Consortium at the Catholic University of Portugal. She holds a B.A. degree in Land Economy from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and an M.A. in International Affairs with African Studies major from the Ohio University, USA. Her Ph.D. research concerns Afrofuturism and science fiction with particular focus on African technological culture.

Brenda Bikoko is a Ph.D. student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She investigates the re-appropriation of the colonial photographic archive in contemporary art with an intersectional approach. The artists she focuses on are women who are connected to Europe in one way or another. She is involved in Troubled Archives, a collective of artists and researchers with Rokia Bamba, Loes Jacob, Michael Murtaugh, Peggy Pierrot, and Antje Van Wichelen, who critically engage with – colonial – archiving practises, including in relation to contemporary surveillance techniques such as facial recognition software. For them, it is important to find a place of dignity from which to confront the violence and indifference towards photographs in colonial archives.

Alice Marcelino is a Portuguese-Angolan artist based in London and works between London, Lisbon, and Luanda. The artist graduated from East London University with a B.A. (Hons) in Photography and is attending a M.A. in Digital Media at Goldsmiths University in London. Her visual work explores notions of belonging by analysing culture, tradition, migration, and identity and reflecting on their significance in our ever- changing complex global world.

Helena Vicente is Portuguese and was born in Angola. She has a M.A. degree in Communication and Culture. She focused her thesis on the (in)visibility of Black professionals in Portuguese television. She is interested in developing projects on the Black Portuguese population, colonialism, racism, gender disparities and equality and media studies. She has been involved as promoter (and co-founder) of some informal groups such as Together2Change, Grupo EducAR and Mulheres Negras Escurecidas. During the pandemic period she worked as a social researcher at ICS- ULisboa. She wants to build a country, an identity, and a future in which people like her are not Other – Women, Black, (I)migrants.

Dzifa Peters (Host) is a Lisbon based German-Ghanaian visual artist and Ph.D. candidate at the The Lisbon Consortium/ Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC) at Universidade Católica Portuguesa. She is a Visiting Doctoral Researcher at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) and in Cotutelle with Justus-Liebig- Universität Giessen, as well as working internationally as a freelance artist and on curatorial projects. Her research project is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and analyses colonial, postcolonial, Afrodiasporic, and contemporary identities through the medium of photography, investigating alternations of coexisting cultural identities and perspectives, while also incorporating Arts-based research, reflecting on her own artistic practice as a means of knowledge production.