Jun 19 2016

The Body of War: Drones and Lone Wolves

anti-drone-burqa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An International Symposium on the future of war at Lancaster University

Keynote speaker:

Derek Gregory (Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia)

13 November 2015: three suicide bombers blew themselves up near the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, killing themselves and a bystander, and triggering a series of violent actions that caused 130 casualties.

15 November 2015: the President of France, François Hollande, after defying the attacks ‘an act of war’ by the Islamic State, launched a three-month state of emergency and ‘Opération Chammal’, a huge airstrike campaign against ISIL targets in Syria.

These two violent actions design a deformed and limitless theater of war, within which all distinctions and limitations elaborated by International Law seem to disappear. It is not merely the loss of the fundamental distinction between combatants and civilians, that both suicide bombers and airstrike bombings signal. In the current situation, all the fundamental principles that gave birth to the Laws of War seem to collapse: spatial and temporal limitations of hostilities, proportionality of military actions, discrimination of targets, weapons and just methods to use them. In this way, the ‘enemy’, from a juridical concept, is transformed into an ‘ideological object’; his figure, pushed to a climax from both these ‘invisible’ and ‘mobile’ fronts, becomes absolute and de-humanized. Hollande, Cameron and Obama’s unwillingness to use ground troops against the ‘uncivilized’ (Kerry 2015) is mirrored by the ISIL call to intensify suicide missions against the ‘cowards’ (Dābiq, 12: 2015).

But what lies behind the asymmetric confrontation between airstrikes and ‘humanstrikes’, behind the blurring of the distinction between the state of war and state of peace? What notion of humanity are the physical disengagement of the Western powers (with their tele-killing via drones and airstrikes) and the physical engagement of suicide bombers (ready to turn their bodies into a weapon) trying to convey? In other words, how and to what extent is there a connection between the automatization and biopoliticization of war operated by Western powers and the sacrificial nature of the conflict adopted by those who want to fight these powers?

In this symposium, our intention is to explore these questions in order to map the crucial transformations of warfare, of its ethical principles and methods of engagement. We invite potential participants to submit abstracts drawing upon, but not limited to, such issues as:

  • Theatres of War: The New Spatialities and Temporalities of Warfare
  • Mirror Images? Drones vs. Suicide Bombers
  • Phenomenology of Drones
  • New Perspectives on Ethics, Horror & Terror
  • The Ubiquity of the Enemy: Lone Wolves and Self-Representing Terror
  • The Collapse of International Law: What Enemy? Which Proportionality?
  • The Body as a Weapon: The Immanentization of Martyrdom
  • Phenomenology of Lone Wolves
  • The End of Law: Rethinking Limitation, Proportionality and Discrimination

Please send abstracts of 250 words by August 15th 2016 to bisagroup.cript@gmail.com. If accepted, participants will be expected to submit the full paper by October 15th 2016.

Lancaster University

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

24th-25th November, 2016

This conference is generously funded by the British Association of International Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Lancaster University) and the Institute of Social Futures (Lancaster University).

Image: Adam Harvey, Anti-Drone Burqa


Apr 13 2016

Risking the Future: Vulnerability, Risk, Hope

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An International Conference on the Risk Humanities

Keynote Speakers: 

Michaeline A. Crichlow (Duke University)

Simon During (University of Queensland)

Walter Mignolo (Duke University)

Risking the Future exposes a tension at the heart of contemporary thinking around risk and its effects, and in particular the role of risk in either blocking or facilitating access to possible futures. On the one hand, the phrase is cautionary, a reminder that the future is at risk and that risks have to be calculated and managed to avoid or learn to live within catastrophic circumstances. On the other hand, the phrase is hopeful, a recognition that a certain type of risk is necessary to generate a speculative opening to a future worth living. In this way, although risk manifests in complex historical and contemporary patterns across the economic, legal, ecological, social, cultural, aesthetic and political spheres, it is most urgently felt where the exercise and effects of power are tied to potential loss and gain, and where these losses and gains shape the lives of those least able to resist them.

In this light, rethinking the relation of risk and futurity suggests a tension between the calculation, management and adoption of risk on one hand, and what it actually means to live a life at risk on the other. For those living in fragile circumstances – situations in which race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and poverty intersect in ways that render existence itself radically vulnerable; situations in which it is increasingly difficult to avoid or resist political instability, conflict, economic precarity, health crises, and ecological catastrophe – the question of risk exists at a very different intensity, and has very different implications than it does for individuals, groups and even whole societies who regard risk principally in terms of its calculation, distribution and management undertaken to guarantee continued flourishing, often in the very systems that place the vulnerable  at risk.

 We seek to bring these two paradigms of risk – of calculation and precarity – into conversation, perhaps necessarily into conflict, in order to challenge existing discourses regarding risk and its relation to the future. We seek to explore the ways in which thought might take risks in order to realign itself with those most at risk. We seek to open new and risky avenues for speculative, interdisciplinary research, reimagining the way in which risk thinking might turn an increasingly threatening vision of the future towards a politics of hope.

 We warmly invite you to submit a title and abstract of 300 words for papers of 20 minutes rethinking risk and its relation to the future from the perspective of the critical humanities and humanistic social sciences. Please include a brief biographical note of up to 200 words outlining your broader research interests.

 The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 18 April 2016 and should be emailed to fragile.futures@gmail.com.

 Suggested topics:

  • Risk and futurity: uncertainty, contingency, irreversibility, possibility
  • Fragility, vulnerability, precarity and the precariat
  • Hope, resistance, commitment
  • Kinopolitics: displacement, migration, perilous crossings, border thinking
  • Spaces of risk: thresholds, boundaries, containment, camps
  • Decolonial aesthetics and politics
  • Aesthetics of risk: representing, mediating and performing the future
  • Freedom and unfreedom: open futures, blocked futures
  • Existential risk: threat, conflict, poverty, disposability
  • Accumulation by dispossession: capitalism and risk, risking capitalism
  • Markets: distribution, flow, asymmetry, crisis
  • Sexualities, genders, queer ecologies, queer futures
  • Systemic edges: peripheries of/at risk, belonging and non-belonging, inclusion and exclusion
  • Ecologies of/at risk: environmental anxiety, slow violence, ruination, catastrophe
  • Histories and futures of risk: opportunity, intervention, invention, reinvention

St John’s College

Durham University

12th-13th July 2016


Jan 19 2016

Isaac Julien’s KAPITAL

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A screening of Isaac Julien’s installation KAPITAL followed by a discussion with Isaac Julien and Mark Nash (Royal College of Art), chaired by Jackie Stacey (University of Manchester) at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester.

KAPITAL is a two-screen work centering around a conversation at the Hayward Gallery, London between Isaac Julien and renowned Marxist academic David Harvey (author of the book The Enigma of Capital). Julien opens the film by asking why capital is so difficult to depict, to which Harvey deftly replies: “in the same way you can only really intuit gravity exists by its effects, you can really only intuit that capital exists by its effects.” Staged as part of a seminar entitled Choreographing Capital organised by the artist at the Hayward Gallery in 2012, the event saw notable interventions from theorists, critics and curators such as the late Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Irit Rogoff and Colin MacCabe. Julien has always made work in collaboration, conversation and exchange but this is the first time he has opened up the complex and rigorous research processes that lie behind his working methods.

Isaac Julien was born in 1960 in London, where he currently lives and works. Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his films The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999), made in collaboration with Javier de Frutos and Vagabondia (2000), choreographed by Javier de Frutos. Earlier works include Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996), Young Soul Rebels (1991) which was awarded the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the same year, and the acclaimed poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989), which also won several international awards. Julien was visiting lecturer at Harvard University’s Schools of Afro-American and Visual Environmental Studies between 1998 and 2002. He was also a research fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London (2000-2005), and is currently both faculty member at the Whitney Museum of American Arts and Professor of Media Art at Staatliche Hoscschule fur Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany. He was the recipient of the Performa Award (2008), the prestigious MIT Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts (2001) and the Frameline Lifetime Achievement Award (2002). His work Paradise Omeros was presented as part of Documenta XI in Kassel (2002). In 2003 he won the Grand Jury Prize at the Kunstfilm Biennale in Cologne for his single screen version of Baltimore; in 2008, he received a Special Teddy for his film that he collaborated on with Tilda Swinton, on Derek Jarman, called Derek, at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Mark Nash is an independent curator and writer, until recently Professor and Head of Department, Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art London. He collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on the Arena Programme for the 2015 Venice Biennale, The Short Century exhibition and Documenta11, both 2002 and Ute Meta Bauer on the 3rd Berlin Biennial 2004. He has written extensively on artists’ work with the moving image – both in his Experiments with Truth (Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philaelphia 2004-5 and his One Sixth of the Earth, ecologies of image at ZKM, Karlsruhe and MUSAC, León. This latter exhibition focused on the artistic legacy of the formerly socialist countries, previously explored in Reimagining October at Calvert 22 2009 (curated with Isaac Julien). Most recently, Mark Nash was also co-director with Isaac Julien of a series of live readings of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital as part of the 56th edition of La Bienniale di Venezia in 2015 and is currently curating Things Fall Apart, opening at Calvert 22 in February 2016. He is currently working on two exhibitions: Things Fall Apart for Calvert22, London and Iwalewa House, Bayreuth in 2016 and The Shadow Never Lies (with Joshua Jiang) for Minsheng2, Shanghai in 2016. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Nanyang Technological University and Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore as well as a visiting lecturer on the Film Curating MA at Birkbeck University of London, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

7-9 pm, Thursday, 25th February 2016 

The Whitworth Gallery

Manchester

This event is free and no tickets are needed, but arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Presented by CIDRAL and The Whitworth Art Gallery

For further information: see:http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/cidral/events/

 


Oct 2 2015

Writing, Drawing and Roland Barthes

Incontro con Italo Calvino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Writing and Drawing:

Theorizing and Practicing Creativity with Roland Barthes

A One-day Symposium at Lancaster University

This interdisciplinary symposium places Roland Barthes’s theoretical writings on forms of creativity alongside his lesser known, but substantial, archive of drawings. Although, or perhaps precisely because, Barthes did not consider his drawings to be ‘art’, they can be viewed through the lens of his work on the neutral, textual pleasure, and authorship, and may even be seen to throw their own light on these theories. Assessing the role of such alternative texts in the oeuvre of one influential thinker also encourages us to think more broadly about how creative processes can both unfold within and shift across multiple media. Our presentations explore the work of further writers and artists who employ multiple media, as well as considering the theoretical and practical shifts that have occurred in our understanding of the underlying concepts of ‘text’ and ‘author’ since the advent of digital media and platforms.

2015 is the centenary year of Barthes’s birth and this event takes place on the date of his birth. The symposium is a collaboration between Insight, a creative research centre based at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University and Authors and the World, an AHRC-funded collaboration between researchers in the departments of European Languages & Culture, English & Creative Writing, Linguistics and Contemporary Arts at Lancaster University.

Speakers:

Charlie Gere (Lancaster University), Delphine Grass (Lancaster University), Beth Harland (Lancaster University), Sunil Manghani (University of Southampton), Eric Robertson (Royal Holloway University). Chair: Rebecca Braun (Lancaster University)

Artworks exhibited by Jean Arp (works from the Peter Scott collection), Sally Morfill (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Ana Čavić.

12 November 2015, 11.00 – 18.00

Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The event is free but you need to book a place at: https://www.lancasterarts.org/whats-on/on-writing-and-drawing-roland-barthes-symposium