Beyond Parochialism: Telling Tales about Black Activism and Conceptual Art. Book chapter in Towards an African-Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance, Charmaine Nelson editor. (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, Inc., forthcoming 2017).

Childhood Undone: Four Contemporary Art Projects with Children. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 4, 2, 2012: 87-106. 

The girl who fixes the camera with an even gaze is about nine (figure 1). On the ribbed edge of her white hat two-appliqué tongues, the size and colour of pink erasers, sit askew above her brow. Colour saturates the screen. A deep red-orange flattens the picture plane behind her and frames her with two ample swathes. The contrast between her fuzzy hat and her pensive expression and almost reverent cradling of the object between her hands gives force to the way she looks out from the screen toward us. Midway between her throat and raised hands, the word “Simone” appears in block letters. The word fades. A man’s voice off screen says, “Action.”

artscanada’s Black Issue: 1960s Contemporary Art and African Liberation Movements. Canadian Journal of Communication 36 (4) 2011: 539-558.

In August 1967, as the slogan Black Power burst the confines of African American subcultures and global anti-colonial movements began to circulate prominently within mainstream mass media, seven men from two countries met via a transnational telephone connection to talk about the colour black. Their conversation, and its subsequent publication in the arts journal artscanada's October 1967 issue titled "Black," provides this article's focus.

Verrall, K. 2011. The Aesthetics of Transcultural Revolution: Freedom Songs in Halifax and Toronto 1965 to 1967. Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 25 (Spring): 51-75. Refereed, 24 pages, 8 illustrations.

The story of the 1960s civil rights movement is conventionally viewed as a distinctly American phenomenon arising from that nation’s longer history of slavery, civil war, segregation, and racial violence. The following paper challenges this convention by looking at the dynamic relationship between black activists in Halifax and Toronto and the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a radical organization based in southern states from 1965 to 1967. By 1966 SNCC’s internal transformations had adverse repercussions on its Canadian support base. At the same time, singing’s place as the dominant realization of culture with revolutionary praxis also changed in ways that would privilege the visual over the aural.

Art & Urban Renewal: MoMA’s New City Exhibition and Halifax’s Uniacke Square. Book chapter in The Sixties: Passion, Politics, and Style, edited by Dimitry Anastakis. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.

Between the late 1950s and the 1960s all along the Trans-Canada Highway the worn-down Negro towns outside every white town in Nova Scotia vanished. A sudden cut in the map and they were quickly gone. Africville, on the north end of Halifx, remains a particular and vivid instance of municipal violence. On a 1969 city map, the name Africville is bracketed by Negro Point on one side and the city prison on the other. This essay opens with the artificial juxtaposition of urban-rural renewal in one country alongside black cultural activism in another. By what means can we concatenate these spatially distinct historical moments that gather momentum along parallel timelines? And how, by that figuring, can we map art with politics or with the social world? This essay is two stories about how transnational discourses stitched these spheres together in specific ways.   

Verrall, K. 2001. Fine Points on Memory and Escape. In Money, Value, Art: State Funding, Free Market, Big Pictures, edited by Sally McKay and Andrew Patterson. Toronto: YYZ Books, 246-275. Refereed, 29 pages, 2 illustrations, 11 images by Bill Burns..

Verrall, K. and Tegan Smith. 2006. Small Cascade for a Large City. In Sally McKay’s Wade 2006. Art catalogue for Wade 2006 July 7, 8 + 9. Public art exhibition in Toronto wading pools curated by Christie Pearson and Sandra Rechio. Toronto: YYZ Artists’ Outlet. 43. Contributing review essayist. Invited.

 

  The Sixties: Passion, Politics, and Style  , edited by Dimitry Anastakis

The Sixties: Passion, Politics, and Style, edited by Dimitry Anastakis