By Nelson Santana
August 14, 2019
Decolonial scholar, curator, author, and journalist Alanna Lockward passed away earlier this year on January 7, 2019. Soon after, a group of fellow scholars, activists, and friends put out a call for a video tribute of Lockward. The video memorial collage made its YouTube debut on Tuesday, July 2. As noted in the call:
With her passing, the world has lost a dedicated trailblazer in the fight against anti-Haitian, anti-black racism in the Dominican Republic and an ally to decolonial movements throughout the world.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Alanna Lockward explained her identity as being Caribbean first, then Dominican and Haitian, and afterward transnational. An author, curator, filmmaker, activist, thinker, Lockward spent her time challenging the status quo. As founding director of Art Labour Archives, she helped to create a space for political activism and art. She also helped to conceptualize BE.BOP (Black Europe Body Politics; 2012-2016), “the first international screening program and transdisciplinary roundtable centered on Black European citizenship in connection to recent moving image and performative practices.”
Lockward’s family lineage includes several artists and intellectuals. Puerto Plata-born composer, singer and musician Juan Lockward was Alanna’s great uncle. Her grandfather was George Augustus Lockward Stamers, a historian, university professor, philologist, and writer.
Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Lockward’s passing, some took the opportunity to advance their own agenda, as several media outlets falsely reported that Lockward had passed in Haiti, when in reality, she died in the Dominican Republic. Subsequently, ESENDOM contacted Nathalia Romero from Listín Diario about the error. As a true professional, Romero noted our concern and revised/retracted the statement regarding Lockward’s death. Even in the aftermath of her passing, the activist legacy of Lockward still resonates loud and clear, debunking the myth of her passing.
The video homage is sponsored by the Haiti-DR Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Saudi García and Dylan Roth edited the video. Christina C. Davidson, Sophie Maríñez, and Joiri Minaya produced the video tribute.
Below, some words from Alanna Lockward’s friends and colleagues:
List of people who spoke in the video (in alphabetical order):
Manuela Boataca (artist and Be.Bop organizer)
Christina Davidson (historian and postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University)
Susanna Delmonte (friend)
Nicolás Dumit Estévez (visual artist)
Beba Finke (art curator and historian)
Jeannette Ehlers (artist and Be.Bop affiliate)
Mónica Ferreras (visual artist)
Miguel Gómez (photographer)
Judy Justo Anderson (AME Mother Bethel Member Samaná, Dominican Republic)
Quisqueya Lora (historian, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo)
Patricia Kaersenhout (artist)
Sophie Maríñez (Professor of Modern Languages, City University of New York)
Pablo Mella (Jesuit priest, scholar, and professor)
Joiri Minaya (artist)
Walter Mignolo (semiotician and William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature Duke University)
Maribel Núñez (activist, Acción Afro-Dominicana)
Elena Quintarelli (researcher, curator, BE.Bop organizer)
Rubén Silié (Dominican Republic Ambassaor to Haiti)
John Thomas III (editor of Christian Recorder)
Biographical Sketch of Alanna Lockward
As per biographical sketches of Lockward in Transart Institute and https://alannalockward.wordpress.com/, Lockward received a Licentiate degree in Communication Science from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico City. Afterward, she received a masters in Art in Context from the Universität der Künste in Berlin. In addition, Lockward received a diploma in Dance Education from the Royal Academy of Dance, performing with the Ballet Clásico Nacional (Dominican Republica), Ballet de Cámara de Jalisco (Mexico), Neubert Ballet (United States) and the Australian Opera (Australia).
Lockward held several positions in the Dominican Republic including that of Director of International Affairs at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo and adjunct professor of audiovisual theory and investigative journalism at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in Santiago. As an accomplished journalist and editor, she worked at Listín Diario as a cultural editor, conducted research at Rumbo magazine, and served as columnist for the Miami Herald. In addition, Lockward’s writings also appeared in other prestigious publications including Afrikadaa, Atlántica, Art Nexus, Camera Austria, and Savvy Journal, among many others. She also held academic positions at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, the University of Warwkic, Dutch Art Institute, and Goldsmiths University of London, among others.
In addition, due to her distinguished career, Lockward has been honored with several awards including the production prize FONPROCINE 2013 for the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); she has also been honored by the Allianz Cultural Foundation, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Danish Arts Council.
Alanna Lockward Biographical Sketches
Alanna Lockward Video Interviews
Alanna Lockward in Action (Videos)