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The Liquid Club #5 – Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis

The Liquid Club is a monthly discussion group which invites collective thinking and drives the development of Liverpool Biennial 2020.

Building on our previous discussion about how to escape from Western patriarchal and colonialist ideas surrounding the body and the conception of the human, this month’s Liquid Club focuses on an extract from Sylvia Wynter’s interview with Katherine McKittrick in On Being Human as Praxis (2015). 

In the interview, Jamaican writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter explains how Western man came to be considered the epitome of humanity by powerful knowledge systems and origin stories that explain who and what we are. Wynter then attempts to deconstruct the biocentric premise of the human as a purely natural organism in Western modernity. She explores a different possibility of reconceptualising humans as hybrid beings in relation to blackness, the Caribbean and migratory politics.


Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (p.9-24) 


Sylvia Wynter (b. 1928) is one of the most influential anglophone Caribbean intellectuals. Her diverse writings explore race, the legacy of colonialism and representations of humanness. Major essays and publications include The Hills of Hebron: A Jamaican Novel (1962) and “The Pope Must Have Been Drunk, the King of Castile a Madman: Culture as Actuality and the Caribbean Rethinking of Modernity” in Reordering of Culture: Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada (1995). Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (2015) is a critical genealogy of Wynter’s work, highlighting her insights on how race, location and time together inform what it means to be human.


Held on the first Wednesday of every month, The Liquid Club is a mobile platform activated at different venues across Liverpool. On each occasion, reading material including texts, films and music are distributed in advance online. It is free and open to all.

Please note spaces are limited and advance booking is essential. 


05 June 2019, 6.30–8pm


Open Eye Gallery
19 Mann Island
L3 1BP

Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm, Free

TicketsFree, booking essential