SENKU seminar with Dr Laurence Douny
Textiles as meta-communication: towards an indigenous epistemology of silk material
Abstract: This talk explores the cultural significance of West African indigenous silk that is the main component of Marka-Dafing tuntun wrappers, which enact as a form of meta-communication in this community of the Mouhoun region of Burkina Faso. This cloth of prestige stands as a means by which Marka-Dafing women express messages woven in silk that include critiques and insults addressed to a co-wife or a husband and also act as reminders of the society’s moral values. Framed within an epistemology of materials, it highlights the properties of silk, such as its sheen or daoula, that is drawn out of cocoons through complex technical processes. It is suggested that the sheen of wild silk, a force that is inherent to the matter, not only serves to legitimate woven messages but, in the manner of an aura, confers charisma and allows women to display their social status and power.
The seminar will take place in the seminar room on the 3rd floor, Frederiks gate 2 (Entrance via back door on Kristian IVs gate - ring the doorbell for the third floor) . After the seminar there will be room for informal conversations and drinks.