Riots: Dissent and Spectres, Control and Ruptures

Lectures, Artist Talks, Screenings and Performance

PublicProgramme

Santiago Álvarez, NOW! (Filmstill),1965, courtesy: Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.

26.1.–27.1.2018, 3–9 pm
Acud Macht Neu (Studio), Veteranenstraße 21, 10119 Berlin

With Zena Edwards, Nadine El-Enany, Vaginal Davis, Dilip Gaonkar, Natasha Ginwala, Gal Kirn, Dariouche Kechavarzi-Tehrani, Thomas Seibert, Benedict Seymour, Niloufar Tajeri, Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Ala Younis

A certain darkness and negativity remains concealed in the phenomenon of the riot. As a political event and social form, riots have remained a condemned and criminalised structure within progressive and conservative political discourse. How may the revolutionary potential of rioters’ demands be read within the circuits of recent history and contemporary society? And, how are we to understand the transgressive matrices of public rebellion, since riots frequently unfold into larger revolts, insurgencies, and systemic transformation?


As a state of exception, riots stand in as proof of failed negotiation, and as that space outside of regulated forms of civic order. As riots shape new modes of dissent, they tend to undermine the central pillars of modern democracy: respect for order and protection of life, property, and capitalist circulation. Hence, all too often there is no recourse to justice in their wake. The symptomatic response of dominant powers can be detected in the naming of the agents of riots—such as “unruly mob”, “undemocratic crowd”, or “looters”.

As a fear of the masses heightens amid communal divides, this public programme rethinks and reframes riots through a series of conversations, performances, and film screenings. We will ask how riots inhabit and renegotiate the status quo within global metropoles, while also becoming the testing grounds of militarised urbanism targeting vulnerable and racialised groups.

Co-curated by: Natasha Ginwala, Gal Kirn and Niloufar Tajeri
Assistant Curator: Krisztina Hunya

Natasha Ginwala is a curator, researcher, and writer. Ginwala writes on contemporary art and visual culture in various periodicals and has contributed to numerous publications. She curatedContour Biennale 8 Polyphonic Worlds: Justice as Medium and was curatorial advisor for documenta 14 (2017). Recent projects include Arrival, Incision. Indian Modernism as Peripatetic Itinerary in the framework of "Hello World. Revisioning a Collection" at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2018; My East Is Your West featuring Shilpa Gupta and Rashid Rana at the 56th Venice Biennale; Still Against the Sky at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Corruption: Everybody Knows... with e-flux, New York within the framework of the SUPERCOMMUNITY project. Ginwala was a member of the artistic team for the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2014, and has co-curated The Museum of Rhythm, at Taipei Biennial 2012 and at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016–17. From 2013–15, in collaboration with Vivian Ziherl, she led the multi-part curatorial project Landings presented at various partner organisations.

Gal Kirn works at the TU Dresden as an open topic fellow. He holds a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Nova Gorica (2012). Kirn was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (2008-2010), and a research fellow at ICI Berlin (2010-2012) and at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (2015). He worked as publisher, co-editor and also editor of Postfordism and its discontents (JvE Academie, B-Books and Mirovni Inštitut, 2010) and several other publications.He has been teaching courses in film, philosophy, and contemporary political theory at the Freie Universität Berlin and at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. At the moment he is writing a manuscript for Brill Publisher on the topic of partisan counter-archive.

Niloufar Tajeri teaches at the department of History and Theory of Architecture and City at the University of Braunschweig. She taught and researched at the Institute of Architectural Design, Art and Theory (EKUT) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2013-2016) and was a research fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2016. She worked as an editor and project manager for the Berlin based architecture magazine ARCH+ (2013) and for the Amsterdam based Volume Magazine (207-2008). She carried out several projects in the realm of publishing and exhibition design in collaboration with the graphic design agency onlab (2010–2015) and worked as a project assistant on several international cultural projects at the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, United Arab Emirates.

Day 1

Friday, 26 January 2018
Riots: Dissent and Spectres, Control and Ruptures

6 pm Introduction: Natasha Ginwala, Gal Kirn, Niloufar Tajeri Screening: Alex Johnston, "NOW! AGAIN!", 2014, 4:37 min.

6.15 pm Lecture: Dilip Gaonkar, "Demos Noir: Coveting Crowds and Fearing Riots“   

7.15 pm Artist Talk: Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Ala Younis, Moderator: Natasha Ginwala „Against Forgetting: Re-enactments and Dis/Assembling of the Multitude“ 

8.30 pm Screening and Talk: Benedict Seymour: „Dead the Ends: Reading the Text of the 2011 Riots“ 

9.30 pm Performance: Zena Edwards

Dilip Gaonkar is Professor in Rhetoric and Public Culture and the Director of Center for Global Culture and Communication at Northwestern University. He is also the Director of Center for Transcultural Studies, an independent scholarly research network concerned with global issues. He was closely associated with the journal, Public Culture, serving as the Executive Editor has two sets of scholarly interests: rhetoric as an intellectual tradition, both its ancient roots and its contemporary mutations; and, global modernities and their impact on the political.  He has published numerous(2000-2009) and as Editor (2009-2011). Gaonkar essays on rhetoric, including “The Idea of Rhetoric in the Rhetoric of Science” that was published along with ten critical responses to the essay in a book, Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in ernities (2001), and Disciplinarity and Dissent in Cultural Studies (1995).

Zena Edwards
is a poet and performer who uses song, movement and global influences as a jump-off for her words. She defines the fusion of poetry and music by including traditional African-instrumentation (the Kalimba and Kora) and new technology, to create her own sound tracks for her poems and stories, producing a body of work that reaches culturally and generationally diverse audiences on an international level. She fuses Jazzy Hip-Hop grooves, heavily influenced by her world music collaborations, with South African musicians including Pops Mohamed, one of her most important mentors. She was recently Resident Poet at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, and shortlisted for the first Arts Foundation Award for Performance Poetry. She has also produced two CDs, entitled Healing Pool and Mine 4 Life.

Ben Seymour is a Lecturer in Fine Art at the Goldsmiths University. His principle areas of research are the relationship between urban regeneration, gentrification and culture which he has explored in films, articles and visual essays. He has done research in the culture and politics of contemporary capitalism from social precariousness and creative economy ideology, to art and financialisation. In addition to teaching, Ben is a writer and deputy editor of Mute magazine. His most recent film Dead the Ends tackles with the topic of riots.

Chandraguptha Thenuwara
is an artist and a senior lecturer at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts Colombo. He is also the Director of the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts which he founded in 1993. He acquired his education in visual arts at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and Surikov State Art Institute, Moscow, Russia. Thenuwara has exhibited widely both in Sri Lanka and abroad. His works are also included in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery Australia, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Japan, John Moore's University Art Collection Liverpool and Fine Arts Museum of Udmurtia, Izhevsk, Russia. His public monuments include the Seeduwa monument to the Disappeared and Monument to Neelan Thiruchelvam at Kinsey Terrace Colombo. Thenuwara is a leading Sri Lankan Artist whose work focuses on issues surrounding the impact of war in Sri Lanka. In response to overwhelming crisis he has devised his own stylistic formulation, which he has called "Barrelism".


Ala Younis
is an artist with curatorial, film and publishing projects. She graduated as an architect, and hold a masters of research in visual cultures from Goldsmiths College. Among her projects is Enactment (2017) shown at Marta Herford, This land first speaks to you in signs(2017) at Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015) shown at the 56th Venice Biennale, An Index of Tensional and Unintentional Love of Land (2014) at New Museum, and Tin Soldiers at Home Works 5, 12th Istanbul Biennial, and 9th Gwangju Biennial. She curated Kuwait’s first national pavilion at 55th Venice Biennale, and theMuseum of Manufactured Response to Absence. Younis co-founded publishing initiative Kayfa ta, and among her editorial work is "The Time Is Out of Joint", a 1100 bilingual two volume book published by Sharjah Art Foundation. She is on the Advisory Board of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded.

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Introduction by Natasha Ginwala, Gal Kirn, Niloufar Tajeri

Introduction

Dilip Gaonkar „Demos Noir: Coveting Crowds and Fearing Riots“

Lecture

Benedict Seymour: „Dead the Ends: Reading the Text of the 2011 Riots“

Screening and Talk

Day 2

Saturday, 27 January 2018
Riots: Dissent and Spectres, Control and Ruptures

3 pm Lecture: Thomas Seibert „Revolts, Resentment, Resignation. Negative Dialectics and Post-Marxist Socialism“ 

4 pm Lecture: Dariouche Kechavarzi-Tehrani „12 Years After the 2005 Revolts in French Banlieues: Decolonial Reflections on the Concept of ‚Riots‘“ 

5.30 pm Lecture: Gal Kirn and Niloufar Tajeri „Riots: On Surplus Population/Housing/Monuments“ 

6.30 pm Lecture: Nadine El-Enany „The Colonial Logic of Grenfell“
Excerpts from "Trouble Every Day: Los Angeles 1965/1992" - sound mix by Josh Kun, originally commissioned by the California African American Museum (5 min.) 

8 pm Artist Talk: Vaginal Davis, Moderator: Natasha Ginwala „No One Leaves Delilah-A (W)rap on Riots“
Screening: Santiago Álvarez, "NOW!", 1965, 6 min., courtesy: Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.

8 pm Artist Talk: Vaginal Davis, Moderator: Natasha Ginwala „No One Leaves Delilah-A (W)rap on Riots“

Vaginal Davis is the internationally revered intersexed doyenne of intermedia arts and sciences. Born in Los Angeles she has been based in Berlin since 2005 where she has worked with kollektiv CHEAP since 2001. She has hosted and curated Rising Stars, Falling Stars a performative film event through Arsenal Institut für Film und Video Kunst for the last ten years. As a guest professor she has taught at Malmö Art Academy, Lund University Sweden, Kunst Universitaet Linz, NYU, and the Institute of Applied Theater Studies, Justus-Liebig University Giessen.

Nadine El-Enany joined Birkbeck as Lecturer in Law in 2013. Between 2010 and 2013 she lectured at Brunel University, London where she also co-directed the Brunel Human Rights Centre. After graduating with an LLB in 2006 from the London School of Economics, she completed her doctoral thesis in the field of EU and UK refugee law at the European University Institute, Florence. She has taught EU law at the London School of Economics, where she is presently a research fellow in the Migration Studies Unit. She was Guest Lecturer in European and Public Law on the London School of Economics Executive Education programme in May 2010. Nadine is currently Recent Developments Editor for the International Human Rights Law Review.

Dariouche Kechavarzi-Tehrani earned a Philosophy Licence from the Sorbonne and a B.A in Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where he concentrated on decolonial theory and Middle Eastern Studies. He follows movements against police violence in Paris banlieues. He is interested in the link between secularism, colonialism and Christianity and the way in which this link frames modern state institutions.

Thomas Seibert is philosopher and activist, Frankfurt. *1957. Working for medico international as human rights advisor. Member of the Scientific Board of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, board member of the Institut of Solidary Modernity. Activist of Interventionist Left (IL). Recent publications: Zur Ökologie der Existenz. Freiheit, Gleichheit, Umwelt (Hamburg 2017). Kritik und Aktualität der Revolution (Wien 2017, Co-Editor Martin Birkner).

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Thomas Seibert „Revolts, Resentment, Resignation. Negative Dialectics and Post-Marxist Socialism“

Lecture

Dariouche Kechavarzi-Tehrani „12 Years After the 2005 Revolts in French Banlieues: Decolonial Reflections on the Concept of ‚Riots‘“

Lecture

Gal Kirn and Niloufar Tajeri „Riots: On Surplus Population/Housing/Monuments“

Lecture

Nadine El-Enany „The Colonial Logic of Grenfell“

Lecture