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

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

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.

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

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 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“