May 21, 2016 - Onassis Culture - Symposium: “Art at the borders: spatial politics and post-colonial strategies in the Middle East”
May 21, 2016

Onassis Culture / Athens Biennale

Khaled Jarrar, Infiltrators (still), 2012. Video. Courtesy of the artist.

Symposium: “Art at the borders: spatial politics and post-colonial strategies in the Middle East”
May 27–28, 2016, 1pm

www.sgt.gr

May 27: Onassis Cultural Centre / May 28: Bageion (Οmonoia Sq.) 

Co-organized by the Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens & the Athens Biennale, within the frame of the 3rd Fast Forward Festival

With: Nadje Al-Ali, Brett Bailey, Eric Baudelaire, Tania El Khoury, Amin Husain, Khaled Jarrar, Lamia Joreige, Lara Khaldi, Yazan Khalili, Sophie Nield, Sandra Noeth, Marwan Rechmaoui, Andrew Ross, Nato Thompson, Christine Tohmé, Jalal Toufic

Curated by: Katia Arfara (Artistic Director of the Fast Forward Festival) & Massimiliano Mollona (Programme Director of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017 OMONOIA)

 

Over the last years, following the militarization and the radicalization of Syria’s conflict, the notion of the border, in its expanded definition as both external and internal, physical and mental, has become a major preoccupation in the social, political and artistic fields. The ongoing violent changes in the geopolitical map of the Middle East and the subsequent refugee crisis uncover the deep political implications of territorial interventions while at the same time revealing the xenophobic stance of Europe which in its large majority defends the return from the “open borders” condition to the nation-state-territory model. Rather than a threshold or a transit zone waiting to be crossed, the border is more than ever today a limit, a margin, a checkpoint, a wall, a fence, a barrier which separates the “insiders” from the “outsiders” bisecting cities and villages, altering landscapes, immobilizing refugees in "no man’s land" areas while creating “special economic zones” in the Gulf region.
 
This two-day symposium—with artist’ talks, screenings, keynote lectures and panels—focuses on the artistic, activist, curatorial and academic practices that reflect the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and investigate alternative models of social and political geography. Can cultural spatial practices subvert national politics and oppressing strategies of sovereignty? Can radical art provoke a shift in the dominant territorial attitudes? Can art imagine a post-national condition that goes beyond territorial thinking? Can cultural activism challenge the labour and internal migration issues inherited from colonial and postcolonial era? Does art have the power to propose counter narratives and new possibilities for critical analysis? 


Click here for the detailed program.

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