Tuesday 11 September 2007

Papers online

The papers of the Encuentro II Migratory Politics are online at Mieke Bal's university website.

Monday 10 September 2007

Announcement ASCA newsletter

Second Encountro Murcia–Amsterdam on Migratory Aesthetics, September 19-21, 2007. Convenors: Mieke Bal & Miguel-Angel Hernandez-Navarro

This Encuentro, to which everyone is welcome, is the fourth in a series of N.W.O.-sponsored workshops on the combination of a keyword in the arts, “aesthetics,” and another keyword, describing the social makeup of the contemporary world, “migration.” Putting the two words together, a changing group of international scholars explores in an ongoing collaborative effort what can be defined and analyzed beyond the thematic link. The resulting term, “migratory aesthetics” explores the current cultural and artistic moment in view of the merging of cultures.
The project began with two workshops, organized in collaboration with the CentreCath at the University of Leeds, in 2004 and 2005, and continued with a focus on Spain. In this second set of workshops, a video exhibition accompanies the academic discussions – or the other way around. In March 2006, the exhibition 2MOVE opened in Murcia, in the South of Spain, and on September 19th, the exhibition opens in the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen, with the support of, among others, the Mondrian Foundation. (www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl)
The Encuentro is titled “Migratory Politics” and continues the examination of migratory aesthetics with special attention to the ”micro-politics” of art: art’s agency to make small interventions in the social world and the politics that inform it; mostly on the barely visible level of person-to-person interaction, but also the ways information streams are organized and cinematic and televisual presentations “image” participants of the plural society of today, for example.
Four of the working sessions take place at the beautiful location of the Lloyd Hotel, Oostelijke Handelskade 34, Amsterdam. The first session, in the morning of Wednesday September 19th, takes place in the old Bakery of the Zuiderzeemuseum. Participants will be collected at the station by a boat that sails over the IJsselmeer to the museum. After the session, lunch is provided and followed by a short introduction to the exhibition by Mieke Bal. This is followed by the official opening of the exhibition.
On Thursday and Friday a public lecture will be given by Miguel-Ángel Hernandez Navarro, co-organizer of the workshop and co-curator of the exhibition, in the Lloyd hotel at 4.00 p.m. on Thursday 20th and by Salah Hassan in the Bungehuis 1.01, also at 4.00 p.m.

Those who wish to participate in the entire workshop are asked to read the papers ahead of time. A Reader with all the papers will be provided. This is free of charge but engages the taker to participate fully.

Schedule Encuentro II Migratory Politics

Wednesday September 19th Enkhuizen
9.05 Departure Amsterdam central station
10.08 Arrival Enkhuizen station
10.15 Boat ride and coffee at Zuiderzeemuseum (Bakery)
11.15 Opening Encuentro
11.30 - 13.30 First session of Encuentro “Politics of the Migratory”
13.30 - 14.30 Lunch
14.30 - 15.00 Walk to the exhibition area
15.00 - 15.30 Introduction to the exhibition

Exhibition opening

15.30 Reception in the Atrium of the Zuiderzee Museum
16.00 Word of welcome by Erik Schilp, director of the Zuiderzee Museum
16.15 Narration by Rodaan Al Galidi, poet and writer music by Jan Pieter van der Giessen
16.30 Viewing of 2MOVE migration + video
17.00 Reception
19.00 End of the programme

Thursday September 20th Amsterdam
Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam
9.30 - 12.30 Second session “Technologies of Migratory Culture”
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch at Lloyd Hotel
13.30 - 16.00 Third session “Migratory Temporalities”
16.15 Plenary lecture Miguel Ángel Hernández-Navarro
19.00 Dinner at restaurant Plancius

Friday September 21st Amsterdam
Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam
9.30 – 12.30 Fourth session “Art in Interculturality”
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch at Lloyd Hotel
13.30 - 16.00 Fifth session “Doing It: Performance and Performativity”
17.00 Plenary lecture Salah Hassan, Bungehuis, Spuistraat 210, room 1.01
19.00 Dinner at the home of Mieke Bal and Ernst van Alphen

Wednesday September 19th
11.30 – 13.00 First session “Politics of the Migratory”
This first session is devoted to the politics – often called micro-politics or even nano-politics – of culture itself: the small gestures, facial expressions, imaginations and inventions that can do one of two things. Either it can stifle, oppress, separate people by interpellating them into separate categories. Or, it can change a segregated, allegedly “multi-cultural” society into a truly intercultural one. Papers explore strategies and raise questions concerning the political efficacy of art.

  • Pedro A. Cruz Sánchez “Ob-scenes. The Political Re-definition of Art”

  • Begüm Özden Firat “The Seventh Man: Migration, Politics and Aesthetics”

  • Sudeep Dasgupta ”Relational Thinking: Subjective Displacements and the Politics of Social Space”

  • Mireille Rosello “Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Le Grand Voyage: Successful Rudimentary Transactions and the Failure of Globalized Languages”

  • Thursday September 20th
    9.30 – 11.45 Second session “Technologies of Migratory Culture”
    Several contributors have noticed the use if (citations of) older technologies as part of the aesthetics of the migratory. These usages and references contain a vindication of the ideology of development and progress, and promise new (rather than old!) forms of empowerment through a kind of technological hospitality.

  • Miguel Á. Hernández Navarro “2nd Hand Technologies: Migratory Time, Politics of Resistance”

  • Sonja Neef “Starhouse Enterprise: On Interstellar Hospitality”

  • Deborah Cherry ”Sweet Memories”

  • Isabel Hoving “Circumventing Openness: Creating New Senses of Dutchness”

  • 13.30 – 16.00 Third session “Migratory Temporalities”Time is experienced differently according to where one is in the world. Hence, in migratory culture, temporal experiences are inevitably heterogeneous, conflicting, and productive of new forms of co-existence. The study of such subtle phenomena allows insight into time’s function in and through history.

  • Mieke Bal “Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time”

  • Patricia Pisters “The Mosaic Film: An Affair of Everyone? Migratory Aesthetics and Becoming-Minoritarian in Transnational Media Culture”

  • Astrid van Weyenberg “Rewriting the Ancient Ends: From the House of Atreus to the Home of South Africa”

  • Salah Hassan

  • Friday September 21st
    9.30 – 12.30 Fourth session “Art in Interculturality”The arts are a domain of experimentation and heightened sensitivity. Traditionally, art is considered politically indifferent, a position of “disinterested” distance from the turmoil of the political world. Much contemporary art belies this distancing. The discussions of this session focus on practices of art that are strongly and explicitly political, intervening in the ills of cultural defensiveness in the face of migration.

  • Noa Roei “Moulding Resistance: Aesthetics and Politics in the Struggle of Bil’in Against the Wall”

  • Jesús Carrillo “On this side of Bollywood: the politics of cinema in the global arena”

  • Maaike Bleeker “Limitied Visibility”

  • Joaquín Barriendos Rodríguez “Global Art and Politics of Mobility”

  • 13.30 – 16.00 Fifth session “Doing It: Performance and Performativity”Cultural practices of a different kind are those that seek to influence culture without explicitly addressing politics. A catalogue of such strategies is not the outcome of the papers. Rather, the close look at some strategies stimulates creative thinking about ways of acting in the world; indeed, of making our performances effective, hence, performative.

  • Paulina Aroch Fugellie “The Place of metaphor in a Metonymic World: Of Homi Bhabha’s De-realizing Politics and Other Academic Events”

  • Cornelia Gräbner “Immigrants and Castaways: Smuggling Discourses in Manuel Rivas’ La mano del emigrante”

  • Niamh Ann Kelly “Transgressing Time and the Familiar Anonymous: Performance in the Work of Alanna O’Kelly and Phil Collins”

  • Jill Bennett “Migratory Aesthetics: Contemporaneity in Art and Politics After Identity”

  • Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen

    Grotere kaart weergeven

    Lloyd hotel, Amsterdam

    Grotere kaart weergeven

    Bungehuis, UvA, Amsterdam

    Grotere kaart weergeven

    Wednesday 1 August 2007

    Convocation II Encuentro

    Re: Encuentro on Migratory Politics

    Dear participant,
    Here is some more information regarding the second Encuentro, to be held in Amsterdam and Enkhuizen from September 19 to 21, 2007.

    As you remember from our first message, the subject of the first Encuentro was to reflect in general on what a “migratory aesthetics” could be; in other words, a reflection not on migration per se, but on the culture of mobility that the current state of the world has foregrounded, even if migration is of all times. For this second Encuentro we want to make area of interest more specific. Four topics that came out of the discussions in Murcia - time, technology, metaphor and theatricality - would offer good starting points for such ongoing focusing. An overall consideration that could be the general concept for this workshop would be art and politics in mobility. Hence, we propose to title this second workshop “Migratory Politics”.
    Time: questions related with asynchrony, perception and experience of time in situations where not only time zones but paces, life styles and transport, moods and urgencies differ sometimes dramatically from person to person and from moment to moment. Questions of delay, translation, miscomprehension, different receptions have temporal consequences.
    Metaphor. The latter are also issues of language, the impossibility of literal language, the indispensable contribution of metaphor, and the need to understand where – from which domain of experience and which material culture – metaphors come from; by which metaphors do we live, to quote Lakoff and Johnson, in times of mobility.
    One often-quoted element of the culture of mobility is the mobile phone – which raises the next set of questions, around technology. How to use technology in a world of inequality, and what ideologies do technologies shape, solicit, or impose?
    All cultural appearing has a theatrical aspect; and this is even more important in a situation where the traditions and potentials for performance and performativity differ dramatically (to use a word) without the cultural agents necessarily being aware of that aspect. Politics, street life, and commerce all have theatrical aspects and hence, in intercultural situations, can easily generate misconceptions among people.
    Because these four topics are clearly related, we do not expect each of you to choose among them. We do hope, instead, that papers will address and frame their reflections in terms of these four areas that characterize migratory culture.

    Practical information
    All practical details such as travel, accommodation, and equipment will be addressed in a soon-to-follow next message. For now, the most important issues are deadlines.
    · Written texts of up to 6000 words in English need to be in our (electronic) hands by August 10 at the latest. Only if you all respect that deadline can we get you a copy of the Reader in time for preparing your short intervention (on which more below).
    Please format your text according to the following format:
    short references in text (last name, date: page number)
    full references separately at the end, including publisher for books, journal year and number for articles; full page span, in the following form: Last name, First name, year title italic for books or artworks, “Title of Article in Quotation Marks with Capitals for Primary Words”, place: publisher for books; year: page span for articles.
    Footnotes only for arguments, not references
    Do not use endnotes

    · Abstract: please send us a 150 words abstract and a title as soon as possible, at the latest by July 25.
    Those who come for the second time can recycle their first contribution, focusing it a bit more according to the four topics listed above

    Format of the Encuentro
    As last time, we will NOT have papers read during the session. Instead, everyone reads all the papers before arrival, and during the sessions, each participant will frame her or his paper in about 15 minutes in relation to the other papers in the session. This way we have a good amount of time for serious and productive discussion.
    The first day takes place in ASCA, in a room of the Faculty of Humanities. The second day we will all go to Enkhuizen and have a session in the Zuiderzeemuseum. That day the exhibition 2move will be opened. The third day is again in Amsterdam.

    Publication plans
    We intend to publish soon after the Encuentro two volumes in Spanish and in English, one on Migratory Aesthetics and one on Migratory Politics. These papers can be longer than the texts for the Reader. More precise instructions and deadlines will be given during the Encuentro. We hope to publish these in 2008.

    Please send all e-mail correspondence to both of us.

    We look forward to a great event and wish you a productive and relaxing summer.

    Miguel Ángel Hernandez Navarro mahernandez@ono.com
    Mieke Bal M.G.Bal@uva.nl

    Thursday 3 May 2007


    Bringing together the work of international artists from different generations and origins, 2move explores the connections between video, mobility, migratory culture and our contemporary world. Today, the encounter with the traces of migration gives way to a plurality of sensory experiences which both transform and modify our everyday life, experiences that are themeselves ‘aesthetic’. The medium of video not only records these experiences, but also contribute to both imagine and construct them.

    Migration is a timely and urgent subject for reflection. It is widely being studied as one of the main concerns of our contemporary society and of socio-cultural and artistic thought, although usually holding a pessimistic point of view. People movements and displacement, either voluntary or not, are drawing complex social realities and relationships. These are frequently controversial, and always challenging to received ideas and notions on which the effective basis for coexistence in our new mixed societies rests. Composing new cognitive maps that enable ways to an understanding of this multifaceted phenomenon can help us to approach and look into it far from prejudice. Thus, we think it is time to acknowledge, even celebrate, the benefits of migration for the so-called host societies. The mixed societies that have emerged as the result of migration have benefited enormously from the arrival of people from many different cultures. This project is committed with the need to perform a positive turn, so as to strike an attention in which the absorption of the memories of the countries and communities of departure is fully integrated. This is what the qualifier ‘migratory’ denotes in this project.

    The aesthetic dimension of 2move develops in two different directions: the influence of immigrants in the culture of host countries, especially in the public space; and the influence of these countries on the subjective relationships of immigrants with their homelands, whether they have personal memories of that homeland or not; whether this homeland is imaginary or the product of “post-memory.” These relationships, in turn, also impact on the countries of residence, where they circulate among migrants and their interlocutors, like ghosts.

    We approach video as a privileged medium to think and put the two parts of the sentence together - the aesthetic and the migratory. However, we do not consider video as a one-to-one medium, but as a plurality: from intimate video to performative documentary, also including "docufiction", the tradition of aesthetic video art, animation, installation or video-essay.

    Thus, the works in the exhibition are taken as material carriers, reflections and re-elaborations of the experiences of what we can call our contemporary ‘migratory culture’. Together, they display different ways to visually articulate some themes that go through it, like the ordinary, banal, and sometimes abject ‘look’ and monotonous normality of the urban everyday; the hetero-temporality of a world that likes to think in progression, thus considering cultures which are less obsessed with this narrowly linear temporality as well as the 'asynchronicity' and clash of timings and technologies belonging to different worlds and socio-cultural structures; the surface or “skin” that prevents us from seeing, as both racism and the opaqueness of the seemingly transparent medium of video elaborate together; distance and proximity, what could be called ‘the facing’: the bond between speech - not just as 'giving voice' but also as listening, and answering - and the face, thus turning the classical 'window of the soul' into an 'inter-face'; the cut, or severance, between mobility and sedentariness, as embodied in the disagreement between the dubious visibility of immigrants in the West and the absence of those they have left behind; the transformation of both intimacy and the way of inhabiting your home and your community; the contemporary social construction of stereotypes and narrations, in the border between reality and fiction, or even the nostalgia of lost modes of production; and the presence, finally, of the metaphor of water as a place of 'double movement' and of a place of transit, halfway between things, between past and future.

    The website www.doublemovement.org sets up an extension of the project through which providing access to interested users and wider audiences, documenting its development, gathering parallel activities and encouraging an ongoing debate.

    - Mieke Bal & Miguel A. Hernández-Navarro