Professor of Africana Studies Donald Carter recently presented a paper titled “Navigating Diasporic Invisibility: The Perilous Worlds of the Unseen” during the International Interdisciplinary Conference at Germany’s University of Konstanz. The theme of the conference was “Traveling Forms: Practices, Politics, Potentialities.”
As part of a session on “Political For(u)ms – Publics, Communities, Cultures,” his presentaion explored the power to establish or manifest a state of invisibility for specific categories of persons in a given space, location, time or positionality.
Carter said that although often invoked in periods of transition, invisibility can have indeterminate temporal elasticity relegating persons or groups to varied forms of social and cultural erasure. The paper considers the Murid prayer circle as a traveling form not unlike the historic potentials contained in the cruciform Kongo cosmogram.