Field as Patchy, Violence as Temporality
Speakers: Macarena Gomez-Barris, Helene Kazan, Ola Hassanian, Shourideh C.Molavi, Ram Bhat, Yaminay Chaudhry, Lorenzo Pezzani, , Saad Amira, Elizabeth Povinelli.
Our research and practices are located within contested zones and border areas that are subject to militarised violence, occupation, surveillance and colonial extraction. In such areas the hard strata of spatial violence – infrastructural, extractive, territorial – often become overexposed. How do we work within such conditions, recognising the implications of violence, but resisting the urge to think violence as the sole spatial analytic? Considering violence beyond the spectacular and within a slower temporality might require modes of research that go beyond the investigative or evidentiary. We might instead work with multiple narratives and temporalities and consider violence as a form of seepage, of exhaustion or dispersion. Thinking through the material, affective and atmospheric qualities of conflict zones might also require other forms of thinking and doing that make room for the faint web of sedimenting relationalities that endure in place and produce a form of worlding within and in-between the hard strata of territorial forces?
We understand the field as a thick surface with a depth and texture that can only be apprehended as patchy and partial. Referring to anthropologist Anna Tsing and her colleagues’ concept of ‘patchy anthropocene’ we are interested in how the uneven distribution of the effects of transforming territories are intensified within contested zones whose opacity narrows our field of vision and reduces our capacities to listen. How can engaged and aesthetic practices enable other modes of seeing and listening across landscapes that are often constructed as out-of-bounds by state and other actors? To discuss the entanglements of violence, the environment and what Alexander Weheliye calls ‘racializing assemblages’, we are particularly interested in thinking through the implications of decolonial theory and black studies for these geographies and their historical and social specificities, including the legacies of colonialism, historical complicities within the slave trade, social organisation across lines gender, caste and tribe. We hope to discuss what could be the contemporary decolonial practices in extractive infrastructures and controlled zones.
This seminar series invites academics and practitioners across disciplines of architecture, social sciences and contemporary art whose research is placed in the trans-local South.
The seminar series is organized as part of an ongoing collaboration between Arazi Assembly (Mardin) and Topological Atlas (London & Rotterdam).
Moderators: Nishat Awan, Pelin Tan, Ishita Sharma & Ruken Aydogdu
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