2021 Post-Grad Reporting Fellow Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu visits Stevie Thomas Hanley’s class "Queer Color" at the School of the Art Institute Chicago on Wednesday, November 2.
Asiedu will speak on his practices as a journalist and researcher, as well as speaking on recent articles regarding the rainbow flag to represent the LBTQ+ community and its reception in Ghana, his country of origin, the United Arab Emirates, and other Middle Eastern countries.
The rainbow flag was created in 1978 with the explicit intention to create a symbol of togetherness for various different groups impacted by oppression against gender and sexuality minorities. What are the complications of creating a singular symbol of unity?
Students will read work from Asiedu and attend his in-class lecture. Students will then make a flag to represent an aspect of unity or difference they have personally experienced. Students will research their chosen facet of unity or difference, possible associated colors, compositions, and other aesthetics linked to their topic to aid in the creation of a flag of their own making.
For this assignment, students investigate the questions: What purposes does a universal or global symbol for Queer equality serve? How might the rainbow flag be a form of colonialism? What is the participation of the rainbow flag to the local versus the global? More generally, how do flags function in the public sphere versus the private?
In this course, students explore color theory through independent projects with the aid of faculty and various research methods. Color theory is studied psychologically, spiritually, aesthetically, and politically. This course pulls from a diverse range of color theorists and methodologies such as: Josef Albers Interaction of Color, Coloraid, AfriCOBRA, Gilbert Baker, Betty Edwards, and more. Traditional color theory is unpacked and expanded to account for how color has been weaponized and venerated in participation to power, suppression, race, cultural difference, gender, sexuality, and queer peoples.