February 22, 2021 - Monsoon Assemblages - Monsoonal Multiplicities
e-flux Architecture
February 22, 2021
February 22, 2021

Monsoon Assemblages

Bede Calendar, Porabari, Bangladesh, 2018. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages.

The Ayeyarwady River, Bagan, Myanmar, 2019. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages.

Brick Factory, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2019. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages.

Burmese Python, Snake Pagoda, Twante, Myanmar, 2019. Photo: Beth Cullen. 

Hilsa fish catch, Chandpur, Bangladesh, 2018. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages.

Western embankment, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2017. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages.

Globe skimmer dragonfly, Sri Lanka, 2017. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages.

Lung Ta prayer flags, Ladakh, India, 2018. Photo: Harshavardhan Bhat for Monsoon Assemblages.

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India, 2016. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages. 

Karasangal Lake, Tamil Nadu, India, 2017. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages. 

Made ground, Madani Avenue, Dhaka, Bangaldesh, 2018. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages.

Mount Popa, Myanmar, 2019. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages.

Narayanapuram, Chennia, India, 2016. Photo: Beth Cullen for Monsoon Assemblages. 

Hnnin Ye Pottery, Twante, Myanmar, 2018. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages. 

40th Street facade, Yangon, Myanmar, 2019. Photo: Lindsay Bremner for Monsoon Assemblages. 

Monsoonal Multiplicities
An online exhibition and program of events
March 4–29, 2021

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In March 2021, the European Research Council funded project, Monsoon Assemblages will host a program of online events and an artists’ residency in London. The program will coincide with the opening of the online exhibition Monsoonal Multiplicities, a platform that presents the project’s five-year long research engagement with the monsoon in Bangladesh, India, London and Myanmar. The exhibition offers visitors a virtual experience of this work, inviting them to follow the stories of entangled beings, energies, infrastructures, life-worlds, matters, technologies, knowledge practices and their encounters with colonial and neo-colonial agendas.

The monsoon is an atmospheric force that organises territory and seeps into almost every aspect of life in South and Southeast Asia—its politics, economics, cultural rituals and daily life. Colonial science mobilised it as a resource by casting its temporalities as risk, by radically reorganising its territories for profit and by projecting colonial authority and racialised discourse across its life-worlds. London was the nerve centre of this colonial project and its legacies are still palpable—in the India Office Records in the British Library, in the edifices of empire on Exhibition Road, in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the Palm House in Kew Gardens, in the city’s cuisine, in the clothes its citizens wear, in financialized commodity markets, in the rise of India’s elites to positions of power in British politics, in the south Asian communities living across London’s boroughs. And, not to forget, as the UK’s leaders renew their interest in South and Southeast Asia, Brexit too is a monsoonal affair. 

Behind the program of events lies the question, "What does it mean to research the monsoon from the nerve centre of this ongoing, racialised colonial project?" It was a question that troubled Monsoon Assemblages from the start, pointing to the project’s unavoidable complicity in the colonial encounter, while underscoring its attempts to undermine its complicity from within. As we come to the end of the project, audiences are invited to debate the questions the project raises with us, and to think through its implications for future architectural, artistic, ethnographic and spatial research practice.

Monsoonal Multiplicities exhibition (opens on March 4, 2021)
Monsoonal Multiplicities exhibition opening
March 4, 1-2pm UTC (8-9am EST, 6:30-7:30pm IST)
Speakers: Sunil Amrith, Dilip da Cunha
Chair: Lindsay Bremner
Practicing Architecture Otherwise
March 11, 1-3pm UTC (8-10am EST, 6:30-8:30pm IST)
Speakers: Alison Killing, killingarchitects
Alfredo Ramirez, GroundLab 
Evelyn Choy, Architects Climate Action Network UK 
Jonathan Cane, University of Pretoria, Rufus Maculuve, Kaleidoscopio and Ben Pollock, 4d Island
Chair: Lindsay Bremner
East India Company Walking Tour
March 13, 1-2pm UTC (8-9am EST, 6:30-8:30pm IST)
Tour by: Leila Redpath 
How is London a Monsoonal City?
March 18, 1-3pm UTC (9-11am EST, 6:30-8:30pm IST)
Participants: Hydar Dewachi 
Naiza Khan 
Sheila Ghelani 
Feedback Theatre (Nina Feldman, Debora Mina, Mita Pujara)
Chair: Corinna Dean
Cultures of Climate Change Workshop
March 25, 1-3pm UTC (9-11am EST, 6:30-8:30pm IST)  
Collaborators: Bengal Institute of Architecture Landscapes and Settlements, Dhaka 
Blue Temple, Yangon 
Care Earth Trust, Chennai 
Research Initiatives Bangladesh 
Urban Design Collective, Chennai 
Chairs: Lindsay Bremner and Beth Cullen
Monsoonal Multiplicities Online Exhibition Closure
March 29 1-2pm UTC +1 (8-9am EST, 5:30-6:30pm IST)  
Speaker: Harry Charrington
Chair: Lindsay Bremner
For the full event programme and bookings, click here.
*Attendance is free, but requires booking*

Monsoon Assemblages is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 679873)

Monsoon Assemblages
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