Sommet Septembre

Toward an Institute of Black Studies

Literature and debate

Musée du Quai Branly
37 quai Branly
75007 Paris


These forums are organised within the framework of the September Summit.

On the occasion of the Africa2020 Season in France, The musée Quai Branly will launch the "September Summit" program with three-days online seminar of lectures, roundtables and live music sessions. The summit is an occasion for leading artists and scholars to come together in dialogues that contribute to Black Studies in critical thought, architecture and in art.

Originally imagined in Saint Louis, Senegal, the summit shares a former future with The Institute of Black Studies, a necessary if imaginary framework for Saison Africa2020 that allows us to rethink Africanity through Blackness as “strategic abstraction” (Margo Natalie Crawford), a “concatenation of symbols and narratives” (Achille Mbembe), and a “particular embraced affinity of veering” (Fred Moten).

The program features lectures Frieda Ekotto, Achille Mbembe, and Maboula Soumahoro; a roundtable on abstraction within African and Black diaspora art Darby English, Kodwo Eshun, Julie Mehretu, Nontobeko Ntombela, and Nolan Oswald Dennis; a roundtable on Black urban practices and spatial imaginaries with Emanuel Admassu, Ola Hassanain, Ola Uduku, and Sumayya Vally; DJ sets by Christelle Oyiri (aka Crystallmess) and Bamao Yendé, in collaboration with Rinse France; and a listening session by Chimurenga.

The September Summit is taking place from February 26-28, 2021 and hosted on Zoom/Youtube by the Musée Quai Branly in Paris. This summit is convened by Sarah Rifky and Edwin Nasr, and serves as a heuristic platform for the Saison Africa2020, directed by N’Goné Fall, and the musée quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. ";

Participants: Sarah Rifky (Egypt), Edwin Nasr (Egypt), Achille Mbembe (Cameroon), Bamao Yendé (France), Maboula Soumahoro (Ivory Coast), Kodwo Eshun (Ghana/United Kingdom), Julie Mehretu (Ethiopia), Nolan Dennis Oswald (South Africa), Darby English (United States), Nontobeko Ntombela (South Africa), Christelle Oyiri (France), Frieda Ekotto (Cameroon), Ola Uduku (United Kingdom), Sumayya Vally (South Africa), Emanuel Admassu (Ethiopia), Ola Hassanain (Sudan)

On the programme:

Friday, February 26th

6PM - 7.30PM : Inaugural lecture
Achille Mbembe - The Becoming Black of the World! (45 min) - (ENG)
Online questions of the audience (45 min)

8PM – 9PM : DJ set hosted by Rinse, France Bamao Yendé


Saturday, February 27th

4PM – 5.30PM : Lecture
Maboula Soumahoro - Speaking Black in French (45 min) - (FR)
Online questions of the audience (45 min)

6PM – 7.30PM: Round-table
Blackness and Aesthetics of Abstraction
With Julie Mehretu, Nolan Dennis Oswald, Nontobeko Ntombela, and Darby English, and a response by Kodwo Eshun- (ENG)
Moderated by Edwin Nasr

8PM – 9PM DJ set by Christelle Oyiri (aka Crystallmess) hosted by Rinse, France



Sunday, February 28th


4PM – 5.30 PM: Lecture
Frieda Ekotto - Aimé Césaire in the Era of Black Lives Matter (45min) - (ENG)
Online questions of the audience (45min)

6PM – 7.30PM: Roundtable
Imagining Infrastructures for Black Architecture - (ENG)
With Sumayya Vally, Emanuel Admassu, Ola Uduku and Ola Hassanain (ENG)
Moderated by Sarah Rifky

8PM – 9.30PM: Listening session Chimurenga - FESTAC ‘77


The three days of debates and live DJ sets will be available on the musée du quai Branly's YouTube channel.

Sponsored by

  • République Française
  • Institut Français
  • Agence Française de développement
  • Conseil présidentiel pour l'Afrique