2020 Durational online reading of Zong!

Zong! Global 2020 starts on November 30th and runs for 10 days


NourbeSe says:

Beginning in 2012, I have arranged and hosted durational readings of the entire text of Zong! on or about the anniversary of the massacre, November 29th.  These durational performances usually extend over several hours.  The ongoing COVID pandemic has made it impossible to hold such a reading while simultaneously opening the possibility, albeit forced, of realizing in a modest way my long-standing desire and intention to organize a global reading of Zong!.  Over a period of ten days, beginning on November 30th, 2020, readers from around the world will participate in reading the entire text of Zong!.  This year’s shared and collective reading grounds itself in the 2015 UN declaration of the International Decade for People of African Descent whose theme is “recognition, justice and development,” and commemorates those who lost their lives on board the Zong.  2020’s reading will take place within the still-present context of the worldwide uprising against anti-Black racism sparked by the lynching of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020.  While this act of remembrance resides in the particularity of anti-Black racism, it also embraces the words of Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer that until all are free none is free.  With that in mind the Zong! 2020 reading acknowledges and honours the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean—those who first walked this land in love, respect and wisdom and who continue to face the depredations of anti-Indigenous racism.  As such Zong! Global 2020 bears witness to the collective grief we bear and witness in the face of the ongoing destruction of the earth, our only home.