It has been announced that the groundbreaking event series Prime Meridian Unconference will take place at The New School from April 15-18. The force-of-nature community activist, lawyer and author Rasheedah Phillips, who is also the co-founder of Black Quantum Futurism, has developed the exhibition “Time Zone Protocols” through their research for their 2020-2022 Vera List Center Fellowship project to accompany the explorations of the conference.
Prime Meridian Unconference will examine the “Protocol Proceedings” which were developed at the International Prime Meridian Conference (IPMC) of 1884 to establish universal time standards for navigation, railroad timetables, etc. “They trace the creation of written and unwritten political and social agreements, protocols, and rules that underlie Westernized time constructs,” states the event’s press release. “Phillips’ Time Zone Protocols aims to illuminate the impacts that oppressive time protocols and policies have on marginalized Black communities in the U.S., and how they help to catalyze and perpetuate systems of oppression that deny Black communities access to and agency over the temporal domains of the past and present while proposing protocols for new, equitable futures.”
This three-day conference has attracted a wide breadth of specialists including several physics scholars, musicians, artists, African American studies professors, and others who will participate in panels, interactive talks, workshops and performances to discover and present new ways of “understanding our relationship to space-time, utilizing specific Black social, geographical, and cultural frameworks that seek to unmap Black temporalities from the Greenwich Mean timeline.”
Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother), Asia Dorsey, Walter Greason, Joy Tabernacle-KMT, Kendra Krueger, Ingrid LaFleur, V. Mitch McEwen, Katherine McKittrick, Danielle M. Purifoy, Ingrid Raphaël, Thomas Stanley, Ujijji Davis Williams, and Celeste Winston will all present at this interesting gathering of minds.
Many do not believe or understand that modern Black and African American people are as interested or adept in regard to the convergence of physics, science, geography and time. Black science is usually tucked away and quietly explored at universities or labs, but Phillip’s Time Zone Protocol exhibition at the Prime Meridian Unconference will work to tear down these walls and give people the access to learn more about Black people, time and quantum physics.
It is encouraged that Black people educate themselves on topics and ways of looking at the world that have been largely left unexplored in day-to-day life. This conference is a wonderful opportunity to expand our knowledge and search for the truth of the deep history and struggles of Black life. “The Unconference will produce alternative principles, protocols, or values that relate to the possibilities of reshaping, remapping, or dismantling and creating new time zones or protocols of time to be more equitable and less oppressive to Black people and communities, enabling them to survive, thrive, and access their futures and pasts, and more expansive, healthier presents.”
For the conference’s full schedule and more information, visit: www.veralistcenter.org/events/prime-meridian-unconference