Watch our online-discussion with Jeannette Ehlers, Paul Gilroy, A.L. Kennedy, Lizzie Collingham and our host Priya Basil – a conversation about art, hospitality, Europe, power relations and togetherness in the present time.
Jeannette Ehlers is a Danish-Trinidadian artist based in Copenhagen. Her work often addresses themes and questions around memory, race, colonialism and colonialty. She is well-known for co-creating the public art project, a monumental public sculpture, I Am Queen Mary, with La Vaughn Belle in 2018. It is the first public sculpture of a Black woman in Denmark paying tribute to resistance and to Mary Thomas, leader of the 1878 "Fireburn" labor revolt on St. Croix- a former Danish colony. Experimental nature generally characterizes Jeannette Ehlers's work. On these changeable terms meaning and identity are explored, in both a sophisticated and immediate way. Her pieces revolve around big questions and difficult issues, such as Denmark's role as a slave nation - part of the Danish cultural heritage, which often gets overlooked in the general historiography.