AXIS OF SOLIDARITY: Landmarks, Platforms, Futures

Februrary, 23, 2019 - Februrary, 25, 2019


Axis of Solidarities Africa Institute

STARR CINEMA, TATE MODERN


Introduction

This conference is a collaboration between Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Africa Institute, Sharjah. This conference bringstogether scholars, writers, curators, researchers and artists to reflect on the international solidarity movements that emerged in the second half of the twentiethcentury during processes of decolonisation in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These transnational solidarities expressed themselves in landmark events, historic conferences and festivals; in the formation of associations, magazines, and journals; and significantly, in the explosion of new creative manifestations in literary and visual artistic arenas, suchas novels, poetry, theatre, film and visual arts, and in the rise of postcolonial studies and critical theory.

The conference programme will be organised into three areas –historic landmarks, political and cultural platforms, and emancipatory futures. Landmarks will include the Cuban Revolution, the Algerian War for Independence, as well as liberation movements in Vietnam, South Africa, and Palestine, among others. Platforms will include Pan-African gatherings, the Bandung and Tricontinental Conferences, and publications such as Lotus, Souffles, and Black Phoenix. Emancipatory futures will be explored in the conference’s two keynotes, panel presentations, and aclosing panel on the future of solidarity scholarship.

Principle Organisers:
  • Hoor Al Qasimi
  • Salah M. Hassan
  • Clara Kim
  • Sook-Kyung Lee
  • Carina Ray
Co-convenors:
  • Iftikhar Dadi
  • Fouad Makki
  • Natalie Melas
  • Morad Montazami
  • Nada Raza

Schedule: Speakers and Abstracts

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY

09.00 –09.30 AM: Coffee and Registration
09.30 AM: Frances Morris  Hoor Al Qasimi Welcoming Remarks
09.45 AM: Salah M. Hassan Opening Remark

10.00–11.00 AM
KEYNOTE ONE
Tariq Ali
Solidarity in the 21st Century
Introduction and audience Q&A moderated by Fouad Makki

In the preceding century, newly decolonised nations and states attempted to unite and defend their common interests against their former colonial masters. The Bandung Conference in Indonesia in the mid-fifties was a symbol of this desire and laid the foundationsof what became known as the Non-Aligned Movement.From below there was an upsurge of support for the Algerian, Vietnamese and South African national liberation movements, including in the metropolises of the Western world.In the very different political world of the twenty-firstcentury,the meaning of solidarity appears to have changed. Empathy is a more apposite word to describe the support for migrants and refugees and victims of wars. Most of the citizens of Euro-America appear to be indifferent to the fate of the South. How and why has this change happened?

11.00 – 12.30

PANEL ONE

Landmarks I: Tricontinentalism and the Rise of the Global South

Moderated by Carina Ray

Anne Garland Mahler

Global Revolution from Harlem to Havana

This talk traces the history and intellectual legacy of the understudied global justice movement called the Tricontinental—an alliance of liberation struggles from eighty-two countries, founded in Havana in 1966. Focusing on racial violence and inequality, the Tricontinental’s critique of global capitalist exploitation has influenced historical radical thought, contemporary social movements such as the World Social Forum and Black Lives Matter, and a Global South political imaginary. The movement’s discourse, which circulated in four languages, also found its way into radical artistic practices, like Cuban revolutionary film and Nuyorican literature. This talk guides us through the Tricontinental’s geography of Cold War radicalism—from Harlem to Havana, Hanoi and Cape Town—sharing this movement’s innovative cultural production and reflecting on its relevance today.

Rafael Enriquez Vega

OSPAAAL, Posters and Publications of Tricontinetal Solidarity


The Organisation of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America’s (OSPAAAL) commitment to tricontinental solidarity produced a visually stunning, intellectually rich, and politically radical agenda in the face of grave obstacles. In this paper, Rafael Enriquez Vega draws on his experiences as the Artistic Director of OSPAAAL and one its original poster artists, to explore the organisation's anti-imperialist aesthetics.

Jihan El-Tahri

Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

In January 1966 in Havana, the leader of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Amilcar Cabral made a speech that lay some of the groundwork for the future of Tricontinentalism.  He underlined that national liberation movements are “essentially formed by the historical reality of each people” and that no revolution is successful without a revolutionary ideology. At the end of the six-day gathering, the 500 delegates from 82 countries authored a General Declaration quoting Franz Fanon: “Decolonisation is always a violent phenomenon”, thus emphasising the legitimacy of armed struggle. This talk examines how the historical reality of the 1960s led to a form of solidarity dramatically different in ideology from the “solidarity” that appeared towards the end of the following decade. The year 1979 was a turning point. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the ousting of the Shah of Iran, combined with the signing of the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel mobilised many youths around religion as an ideological basis of solidarity. Nelson Mandela once said that when yesterday’s terrorists win the battle they are hailed as Freedom Fighters. In what way did the legacy of the Tricontinental impact other forms of ideological struggles against different forms of imperialism?

12.30 – 13.00

ARTIST PRESENTATION ONE

Naeem Mohaiemen

The Shortest Speech

Introduced by Clara Kim

Singapore Minister S. Rajaratnam’s speech is scheduled for the fifth day; by then, the crowd has thinned and attention faded. He begins with a reference to the prepared speech he already provided to the interpretation team in advance. Everyone has already received a printed copy: this is his rationale to skip the officially approved text and deliver extempo remarks. You will get two speeches for the price of one plane ticket. And it will be the shortest speech of this conference. The comments come after days of dramatic, denunciatory speeches, and could be read as a veiled dig at the record-breaking speeches of Castro and Tito (both over one hour). A break in protocol, followed by sharp remarks on trade, economic cooperation, birth control, and oil dependence. But as TV cameras pan the audience, you notice that many world leaders’ (translation) headphones are sitting on their table. Two Meetings and Funeral (2017) inverts the allocation— Castro and Tito are seen briefly, while Rajaratnam’s voice guided both the New York and Algiers chapter. The pivot moment in third world solidarity came not only in a fatal dependence on carbon power by 1974, but in a failure to comprehend Rajaratnam’s provocation: we all agree on what we are against, but what exactly are we for?

13:00 – 14.30  Lunch break

14.30 – 16.00
PANEL TWO

Platforms I: From Bamako to Bandung and Beyond

Moderated by Fouad Makki

Manthia Diawara

Meet Me in Bamako: The Birth of the Movement of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA 1946)

This presentation features a short video screening about the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), a historic meeting of emergent African independence leaders that took place in Bamako, the capital of the former French Sudan, in 1946. The inspiration for the RDA was sparked in Paris, right after World War II, with a manifesto signed by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Fily Dabo Sissoko, Lamine Guèye, Gabriel d’Arboussier, Sourou Migan Apithy, Yacine Diallo, Jean-Félix Tchicaya and Léopold Sédar Senghor. The French Government viewed this group of communists, socialists and independence-inclined African politicians as a threat and labelled their proposed assembly as seditious with insurrectionist ideas and, therefore, gave orders to ban it. Some of the signatories had no choice but to remove their names from the RDA Manifesto. But delegates came from Europe and all over the French African colonies to attend the meeting in Bamako, where the RDA was born.

Lydia H. Liu 

After Tashkent: The Geopolitics of Translation in the Global South

When African and Asian writers from 36 countries gathered in Tashkent in October 1958 for the first time, they hailed the meeting as “a step towards the reunification of the disrupted soul of mankind.” This extraordinary claim was rooted in the shared struggles of decolonisation and emancipation after World War II. Afro-Asian intellectuals looked upon literature and the arts as a source of power to fight violence, divisiveness and injustice as they sought to transform the world. After six decades, what can we learn from their experiences of solidarity? Will the idea of the Global South recuperate their moral vision? This presentation reopens that history and asks some new questions about geopolitics, temporality and competing universals.

Christopher J. Lee

Bandung and Beyond: Afro-Asianism and its Global Itineraries

This presentation traces the rise, fall, and rise again of Afro-Asianism as a global ideology since the mid-twentieth century. Starting with the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, this talk will trace how this foundational moment led to later political and cultural developments such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the Afro-Asian Writers Association. The presentation concludes by highlighting how this earlier history forms a backdrop to the emergence of China-Africa relations in the present day.

Anna Bernard

Fighting Form: Solidarity and the Revolutionary Memoir

This paper revisits internationally circulated memoirs by well-known combatants in national liberation struggles: Leila Khaled’s My People Shall Live (1973, Palestine) and Omar Cabezas’s La montaña es algo más que una inmensa estepa verde (1982, Nicaragua). Both memoirs can be read as examples of the narración guerrillera form inaugurated by Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s 1963 memoir Pasajes de la guerra revolucionaria. These works trouble the association of testimony with the humanitarian turn that we have come to take for granted. They are confessional, intimate, and idiosyncratic narratives that are at the same time expressly committed to armed liberation struggle, the overthrow of the colonial regime, and the establishment of a new egalitarian social order. When these texts circulate internationally (as Khaled’s and Cabezas’s were intended to do), their formal and rhetorical choices constitute an act of political translation for a broad non-national readership, an approach that insists on grounding cross-border solidarity in common ideological commitments. By exploring the forms of solidarity-across-distance that Khaled and Cabezas advocated at this time, this presentation seeks to historicise our understanding of the uses of literature in international solidarity movements, and to develop our critical vocabulary for interpreting works that are overtly partisan and oppositional.

16.00 – 18.00

PANEL THREE

Platforms II: Serialising Solidarities - The Role of Journals, Magazines, and Related Publications

Moderated by Devika Singh

Eva Bentcheva
Framing the Birth of
Black Phoenix (1978-79)

This paper delves into the discursive space from which the short-lived periodical Black Phoenix: Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture (1978-79) was born. Often regarded as the amateur precursor to the influential journal Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture founded by Rasheed Araeen in 1987, Black Phoenix’s conversational, experimental and critical nature is due to be revisited. Conceived by Araeen in editorial collaboration with Mahmood Jamal in 1977, Black Phoenix evolved into a platform for voicing alternative views on the notion of “Third World” perspectives. This paper maps this self-reflexive turn within two developments; the first locates Black Phoenix as part of a lineage of artist-led publications in Britain which tackled the parameters of “internationalism” during the 1960s and 1970s, most notably Signalz: Newsbulletin of the Centre for Advanced Creative Study, edited by David Medalla between 1964-66. The second considers how Black Phoenix drew on the oral and discursive spirit of artist-activist alliances in London during the 1970s, particularly through Araeen’s participation in the politico-creative platform Artists for Democracy (1974-77). Witnessing the allegiances and differences between participants in this group, Black Phoenix evolved not only to voice idealism, but also to engage with the contradictions, challenges and failures at stake in the formation of “Third World” alliances.

Sanjukta Sunderason

Drawing Lines: Visual Rhetoric of Freedom in Lotus

Twentieth-century decolonisation, in its multi-sited, multi-polar formations, carried a double movement around (post-colonial) freedoms: the retreat of colonial empires and simultaneous forgings of new post-colonial political futures. At the interfaces of retreat and progress, grew new cultural imaginaries and artistic forms that captured both the horizons and the contradictory energies of such freedoms. This paper concentrates on one such site and genre: Lotus, the tri-lingual mouthpiece journal of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association, started in 1968, and published from Cairo and the German Democratic Republic. Attempting to forge conversations across a newly morphing “Third World”, Lotus not only grappled with tensions of plural languages, affiliations and visualisations, but carried emotive and intellectual negotiations around the idea and limits of freedom across Asian and African contexts and peoples. Instead of assuming “solidarity” as a mode of Third World identifications, this presentation explores how illustrations in Lotus drew lines between thought and image, writings and drawings, as well as histories and imaginations, thereby generating new visual rhetorics of freedom. Illustrations in a primarily textual periodical like Lotus allow for new dialectical readings of both visual art and political agendas, as well as of modernism and freedom.

Elizabeth Harney

Penning the Promises of Bandung

This paper discusses the cultural impact of Afrique-Asie, a political-cultural journal founded in 1969 by Egyptian journalist Simon Malley. Malley was well known for his acerbic pen, with

which he supported the visions of fledgling leaders and ceaselessly advocated for longstanding

struggles of emancipation. Indeed, at its height, his journal had distribution in 50 countries (throughout Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East). Afrique-Asie, aimed to be the voice of the voiceless, advocating for Tricontinentalism, Thirdworldism and Non-Alignment. Unlike the polished commentaries published in better known cultural journals like Présence Africaine or Souffles, the texts and images gathered in Afrique-Asie bristled with the rawness of quotidian bids to combat imperialist aggression. This was reporting “on the ground”—passionate, at times impulsive, often too radical for the French state and its Cold War allies. The journal is not only a key archival artefact of its time but was also fertile ground for crafting liberating south-south alliances, the urgency of which was bolstered by the boisterous interplay of image and text. Working with access to unpublished materials and interviews with its co-founder, Barbara Malley, this presentation places Afrique-Asie within the larger pantheon of anti-colonial cultural platforms.

Holiday Powers

Local Modernism, Transnational Solidarity: Souffles and the Cultural Politics of Liberation

The cultural and literary journal Souffles, founded in 1966 in Rabat, originally focused on the role of art and national culture in newly independent Morocco, helping to define the outlines of the nascent movement of Moroccan modernism. From this starting point, though, the journal quickly expanded to highlight theorists, artists, activists, and events from across the Third World. Souffles did not just reflect the larger trend towards transnational anticolonial solidarity, it played an active role in creating this constellation of liberation movements. Connecting African independence to the civil rights movement in the United States, structuring solidarity with Palestine simultaneously as solidarity with Vietnam through the lens of anticolonialism, Souffles created a cultural map that was not drawn along lines decided by geography, region, race or culture, but by the liberatory activism of its participants. This paper contends that by virtue of creating this anticolonial network with Morocco at its heart, Souffles makes an argument not just for transnational solidarity but for seeing the actions within Morocco as part of this transnational solidarity, playing a decisive role in shaping the movement of Moroccan modernism.

18.00 – 18.30

ARTIST PRESENTATION TWO

Cecilia Vicuña

Our mobilisation was the art

Introduced by Clara Kim

In this presentation Cecilia Vicuña reflects on her work in London, from September l972 - September l975. Vicuña came to London from Chile, which was then at the height of the Chilean Democratic Revolution of Salvador Allende. Once in London she became a spokesperson for the Solidarity movement, both before and after the military coup of September 11, 1973. Cecilia will revisit her first lecture Art & Revolution in Chile, at the London ICA (1973), a radical expression of decolonised thought, which led to her co-founding of Artists for Democracy (AFD), a loose coalition of artists from around the world that joined together to create the Arts Festival for Democracy in Chile, RCA (1974). She will also reflect on her exhibitions Pain Things & Explanations at the ICA (1973), and a Journal of Objects for the Chilean Resistance at Arts Meeting Place (1974). Vicuña’s stories revisit the powerful spirit of collective solidarity from which her early work emerged in the mid-sixties in Chile. Looking at these powerful mobilisations in the Southern tip of the Americas and the creative explosion they brought about from today's perspective is a crucial step in the transformation of world consciousness.

SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY

09:30 – 10.00      Registration/ Coffee

10.00 – 11.30

PANEL FOUR

Landmarks II: Revolutionary Capital - Algiers and its Global Reverberations

Moderated by Natalie Melas

Anneka Lenssen

Feeling Algerian? Burhan Karkutli’s Art of Solidarity

This paper explores a late-1950s formulation of solidarity emphasising dynamics of activated “feeling” as an impetus for expanded artistic practices in the Arab world. To do so, it examines the career of Burhan Karkutli, a young Syrian painter studying in Cairo at the height of pan-Arab sentiment, 1952 to 1959. Karkutli participated in the first conference organised by the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO), in Cairo—including, importantly, making work to support the Algerian independence struggle. He then travelled to Morocco to work as a designer for the student labour movement. As the paper traces, the Cairo conference’s Day of Solidarity with the Algerian people, held on March 30, 1958 (the first of what became a long-running AAPSO programme of solidarity days), impacted Karkutli’s generation of engaged student-artists in significant ways, expanding horizons beyond the Mashriq. As the Egyptian magazine al-Musawwar reported, the day’s solidarity events aimed to help “every Arab to feel that he is Algerian”—a formulation that challenged participants to reckon with solidarity not just as an abstract cause but also as immediate experience. In the case of Karkutli, this paper argues that the political possibility of “feeling Algerian” sparked an important reconceptualisation of the emotional terrain for activist practice and its visual manifestations.

Elaine Mokhtefi

Algiers: Third World Capital

Algerians have been involved in international activity to end colonialism, racism, and imperialism since the early twentieth century. They participated in international gatherings and understood their own political agenda as one to be shared in every way possible with movements, states, and individuals on all continents. During the liberation war (1954-62), the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) pursued a two-pronged policy: guerrilla struggle inside Algeria and political intervention outside. Once Algeria became independent in 1962, the country lent a strong hand to struggling peoples and individuals, providing military training, political support and a media platform. The 1969 Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers is one of the most illustrious examples of Algerian policy at the time. This paper revisits Algiers’ history as a Third World capital, while also discussing the limits of Algerian internationalism today.

Yasmina Reggad

We dreamt of utopia and we woke up screaming

We dreamt of utopia and we woke up screaming (named after R. Bolaño’s First Infrarealist Manifesto) is a polyphonic and polyglot durational performance that intends to explore new ways of “exhibiting” or of presenting and activating research and archival material. Against the backdrop of the Cold War’s bi-polar tensions of the 1960s and 1970s, Algeria was at the epicentre of utopias emerging from the “peripheries.” Inspired by their own experiences of finding havens in Cairo, Tunis or Damascus, the Algerian government offered national liberation movements airtime on the newly established Algerian radio (RTA). These broadcasts were intended to direct the liberation struggles from exile, communicate with protest movements at home as well as mobilise international support. This paper explores what radio broadcasting in exile can tell us about political activities, the relationship with the host country and notions of legitimacy, loyalty outside the nation-state, hospitality, soft power and moral guidance? To what extent did it contribute to the development of new ideas, the changing of policy and the dissemination of information? How did it shape the writing of contemporary “transnational and un-national histories”? Finally, how did it inform us of listenership, and of the politics of solidarity manufactured in the acts of listening? 

11.30 – 13.30

PANEL FIVE

Platforms III: Exhibiting/Performing Solidarities

Moderated by Iftikhar Dadi

Anthony Gardner

Curating Solidarity

It is tempting to see the Mednarodni Grafični Bienale, (Ljubljana Graphics Biennial), as a landmark exhibition from the Non-Aligned world, with its explicit—and, to our eyes, very contemporary—interest in rethinking art’s international relations. Yet the Bienale was not an isolated example of large-scale international exhibitions on either side of the Iron Curtain seeking new forms of regionalism and cultural connection amid, and despite, Cold War hostilities. From 1955 onwards, a “second wave” of biennials emerged that was based outside the hegemons of the North Atlantic and Soviet Russia and very different in scope and intent from the first wave of Venice, São Paulo and documenta. Rather than emphasise landmark institutions, however, this presentation considers the landmark protagonists behind them, for it was their capacity to manoeuvre between international ambition and local politicking, official cultural relations and informal social connection, that was the real driving force behind these exhibitions. In particular, this presentation focuses on the Director of Ljubljana’s Moderna galerija, and for three decades the Director of the city’s biennale, Zoran Kržišnik. His visions of global connectedness, in both his exhibitions and his unprecedented itineraries and networks across Latin America, Asia and Western and Eastern Europe, anticipate some of the foundational developments in postwar art and curatorial histories (such as the notion of the “global curator”). They also reveal complicated and sometimes contradictory politics underpinning the emergence of new internationalist exhibitions during the period.

Dina A. Ramadan

Reimagining the Mediterranean: The Alexandria Biennale, an Exhibition of Third Worldism

On July 26 1955, President Gamal Abdel Nasser inaugurated the Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries, as part of the extended celebrations of the 1952 Revolution. At first glance an international exhibition organised around the Mediterranean basin appears reminiscent of Egypt’s ancien régime and its pre-revolution intellectual and cultural politics. However, a closer look reveals how the event—which took place just months after the Bandung Conference—was shaped by a Nasserism and Third Worldism that reimagined and reinscribed the Mediterranean as a much more polyvalent space, a transnational rather than regional one. Neither definitively European nor Arab, these 1950s and 1960s articulations of the Mediterranean transcended East and West and bridged three continents at once. By drawing on materials produced in the early decades of the biennale as well as mainstream Egyptian press coverage of the event, this paper explores the role of the Mediterranean in the wider cultural politics of post-independence Egypt, and demonstrates how the event shaped a fluid geographical space, imbuing it with changing meanings and malleable boundaries. Through an increased participation of artists from recently decolonised countries and Non-Aligned Movement member-states, the biennale becomes a platform for new possibilities of artistic exchange and political solidarities.

Nada Shabout

Palestine: “Because Politics is the Bread of the Third World”

“Artists against Racism” was the title of Mahammed al-Jazairi’s introduction to the report following The Eighth General Assembly of the International Association of Art (IAA) that convened in Baghdad in May 17-27, 1976. The title was also shared by the exhibition organised on the occasion. Noticeable in the posters designed to promote the assembly and exhibition, as well as in the text of the report, is the dominance of the Palestinian struggle and cause. This paper explores how engaging Palestine (both as a discourse and people) caused a shift in aesthetics as well as subject matter and format in modern Iraqi art. For a moment, Palestine caused an alignment between the Iraqi Baathist government and Iraqi artists who were more leftist than the Baath party would like and would later become the reason for their diversion. This forgotten convening in Baghdad of the IAA and Iraq’s membership in the association will be discussed, as will the assembly’s inclusion of interventions by Iraqi artists, and two exhibitions. Both exhibitions, under the theme of assembly, highlighted the UN’s 1975 declaration that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."

Greg Thomas

“My Views Correspond with Those of All the Third World Revolutionaries”: George Jackson – at the tip of Africa – in the Sun of Palestine

What does it mean to “curate” under settler-colonial occupation? What should happen to the notion of “art-space” after Black or Third World Revolutions proposed to depose the bourgeois conception of “art” as well as “space” for Black and World Revolution?  And what might be the afterlife of an “exhibit” on the Immortal ones?  This presentation explores these lines of thought with regard to the history of a particular project, “George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine,” which opened in the West Bank (on October 20, 2015) and would manage to move across Historic Palestine before continuing its ongoing travels abroad. The presentation reflects upon this act of “curation” as the initiation of a personal learning project rather than its simple culmination and as the instigation of a collective research agenda of global solidarity praxis—or “intercommunalism”—indeed, a “call and response” politics of outlaw memory and guerrilla imagination against colonialism, neo-slavery and imperialism in all forms. Finally, since the Black Panther, George Jackson, wrote in Blood in My Eye, “My views correspond with those of all the Third World Revolutionaries,” it is important to reassert the substance of this specific, revolutionary mode of solidarity against its latter-day, electronic superficialisations.  

13:30– 14.30 - Lunch break

14.30 – 15.15

KEYNOTE TWO

Russell Rickford

“Declaring blackness is easy”, the work of solidarity is not: African American Solidarities from Angola to Palestine 

Introduction and audience Q&A moderated by Carina Ray


In the 1970s an array of African American progressives launched grassroots campaigns to demonstrate solidarity with armed liberation struggles against European colonialism and white minority rule in Southern Africa.  But violent internal divisions within the Angolan struggle complicated African American attempts to serve as comrades to Third World revolutionaries. Debates over which of Angola's rival guerrilla movements deserved African American support led to bitter feuds on the black left.  This keynote address explores how the Angolan affair exposed critical questions about the nature of revolution, the intersection of race and class, and the relationship of black Americans to other oppressed people around the worldThe rise of Black Lives Matter gives these questions renewed urgency at a moment when the need for resurgent global solidarities is especially apparent.

15.15 – 16.45

PANEL SIX

Platforms IV: Museums as Spaces of Solidarity 

Moderated by Achim Borchardt-Hume

Isabel García Pérez de Arce

Between archive and event. Ephemeral works from the Museum of Solidarity, 1971-1973

The Museo de la Solidaridad (Santiago, Chile, 1971–73), or Museum of Solidarity, is a singular attempt to reconcile the conflicting couple of art and politics. The Museum of Solidarity was the materialisation of president Salvador Allende’s Unidad Popular Government’s ideas on artistic visibility, in relation to the shared agendas of two projects: the cultural change of Socialism in Chile and the new experimental model of the Museum. Renowned artists, curators and critics such as Harald Szeemann, Sol Lewitt, Hélio Oiticica and others participated in the inception of this Museum. This was possible thanks to the social and ethical commitment of Mário Pedrosa’s experimental museological proposal, which involved participating in this unique museum based on the word "Solidarity". Allende’s and Pedrosa’s experimental museum project was left unfinished, as a consequence of the military coup of 11 September 1973. The documents kept from this period are footprints left from an interrupted conversation. Non-objectual works of art, which are now in the archive, raise relevant questions related to their activation that this presentation explores: how can we confront these artistic works that were created under specific motivations and contexts, without disrupting the poetic and political memory contained in their original proposal?

Kristine Khouri

Ties that Bind: Solidarity Museums in the 1970s

This presentation focuses on the links between four solidarity museums and museums in exile, all formed in the period of the mid-1970s to early 1980s. Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende serves as a starting point which inspired three other solidarity museums: for Palestine (International Art Exhibition for Palestine), Nicaragua (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano en Solidaridad con Nicaragua) and for the people of South Africa/Against Apartheid (Art against Apartheid collection). Initiated with a call to artists and through exhibitions showcasing the donations, these four museums were ambitious projects meant as political acts, to fight occupation, apartheid or dictatorship, or in support of a successful revolution. They were imagined primarily as museums in exile, without walls, and as collections that would tour as museums, until they could “return” to an unoccupied or democratic land. These museums-cum-collections were unknowingly bound together, through a shared idea of a donation-based museum in solidarity with a political cause, overlapping artist lists and interlocutors imagining these projects, a testament to the transnational networks of solidarity linking struggles around the world, and those that fought for them.

Alexia Tala

Museum of Solidarity: A Paradigm of Transnational Resistance and Solidarity in Art. 

This presentation explores the conception and execution of the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende in Chile and its resistance period in Chile and abroad in the context of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. It also exposes the case of its dismantling and recovery from the point of view of society, culture and the artistic field in particular. Inaugurated in 1972, this museum was an institution created on the basis of solidarity through donations from artists of the world as a sign of support to the first elected socialist government in Latin America. The museum’s abrupt interruption left some artworks spread throughout different Chilean embassies in Europe– these works were gathered together as the Museums of Resistance. This was a real paradigm in the history of Chile and a reflection of the spirit of solidarity of the international artistic world that was able to mobilise and resist the hardest times in Latin America.

Doreen Mende

Exhibiting a Knowledge of Struggle (a burdening paradox)

This paper is an actualized report from a collective effort to discuss an updated exhibition design at the Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoner Movement (Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem). It originates from an intense work-meeting with former political prisoners, artists, theorists, architects, students and/or curators from the Occupied Territories in the West Bank, as well as from abroad at the International Art Academy Palestine in Ramallah. The report is built on three layers engaging with (a) the violent limits of museum practices to exhibit the lived experience of political imprisonment as a knowledge of ongoing struggle, as researched by historian and curator Baha Jubeh; (b) the necessity to include the analysis of the psychological consequences of political imprisonment in Palestine under the conditions of Occupation, as proposed by psychologist and counsellor Suhair Jubeh, as part of a public debate about imprisonment and society; and (c) the archive of the prisoner letters at the Abu Jihad Museum as a possible way to conceptualize a form of curatorial (geo-)politics which opens itself towards a “solidarity of strangers” (Jodi Dean) across geographies and time-zones in the post-1989 world.

16.45 – 17.00 – Comfort break

17.00 – 19.00

PANEL SEVEN

Landmarks III: Anti-Apartheid Solidarities - From South/ern Africa to Palestine

Moderated by Carina Ray

Kassahun Checole

In Solidarity, From Eritrea to Palestine: Pan-Africanist Activism and International Solidarity with People’s Struggles

This presentation provides a brief historical narrative of activist work in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada in support of people’s anti-colonial, anti-imperial struggles, for peace and national liberation. Based on Checole’s own experiences, the presentation Illustrates the life journey of an activist directly engaged in struggles for social change and the fight to end colonial and imperial rule in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Special attention will be paid to independence struggle of Eritrea, global anti-apartheid movements and the anti-colonial fight against Portuguese colonialism in East Timor and Africa. Significantly it revisits advocacy work conducted through pamphleteering, publishing and regular teach-in and sit-in activities, all forms of social activism which ought to be revived. 

Gavin Jantjes

Solidarity Practised: Seven Tales of Solidarity

Arguing for solidarity to be understood as a form of action and human interaction, this presentation reflects on numerous personal and public experiences of solidarity with the anti-apartheid struggle that reveal different interpretations of the word. The presentation reveals some unknown events that highlight the complexity of solidarity and points to mechanisms through which individuals and organisations could practise it. If contemporary art is the translation of image into meaning, how was this encountered at the time of apartheid and in the years following its downfall? The role of international artists and South African artists in solidarity with the anti-apartheid struggle provide a degree of insight into how artists can today act in solidarity with current and popular movements for human rights and justice.

Nakajima Izumi and Ming Tiampo

From Post-Bandung to Post-Fukushima: Building “Human-Scale” Worlds through Solidarity Movements in Japan

This collaborative paper historicises and theorises a series of artistic projects organised in Japan by art critic Haryu Ichiro (1925-2010) and art organiser Kitagawa Fram (1946–). It narrates their efforts to establish solidarity platforms in Japan through art, which articulate alternatives to West-centric neoliberal global capitalism and the Anthropocene, as well as decolonising Japan’s own imperialist history. This paper begins with Haryu’s role as a pioneer, who defined a vision of Third World solidarity in Japan through his formation of the Japan, Asian, African and Latin American Artists’ Association (JAALA) and organisation of the 1978 exhibition The Third World and US: The Restoration of Human Beings and Nature. It then considers the impact of Haryu’s thinking on Kitagawa, who popularised Haryu’s vision, pushing ideas about solidarity and environmental activism into widely accepted and artistically successful “human scale”[1] public events, most notably the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale. (Fram, 2015). By examining the work of figures from two different generations, this paper seeks to demonstrate the sustained history and significance of how these two Japanese critics sought to define a third way of creating transnational artistic networks, what Haryu described as “opening a window for artistic exchange and solidarity with the Third World, running against the tendencies of Japanese art to follow European and American trends.” (Ichiro, 1994).

Omar Barghouti

BDS: Nonviolent, Globalised Palestinian Resistance to Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid in the Trump Era 

Stephen Biko wrote, “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” From apartheid South Africa to the Jim Crow South in the US to Palestine, Biko’s insight has proven to be precise and prescient. The Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine has persistently sought to colonise not just the land of the indigenous Palestinians but our minds as well, by searing into our consciousness the imperative of submission to Israel’s injustices as fate and the futility of hope in resisting its hegemony. Projecting invincibility and impunity, guaranteed by the US administration and the EU, Israel’s regime of oppression aims at eradicating our very will to resist or to exist with rights and dignity. Consequently, the struggle for Palestinian justice has always been conditioned upon liberating our minds from the deeply-seated powerlessness that inhibits us and embarking on a radical process of hope-powered transformation and emancipation. This paper argues that the global, Palestinian-led BDS movement offers a particularly potent form of rooted, contemporary and context-sensitive nonviolent resistance in this regard.

19.00 – 20.00   Reception

MONDAY 25 FEBRUARY

09.00 – 09.30 Registration/ Coffee

09.30 – 10.15

ARTIST PRESENTATION THREE

Ala Younis

Enactment

Introduced by Clara Kim

Artist Ibrahim Zayer shot himself in 1972, following the opening of a three-artist exhibition in Beirut. The reporting on this historical event overlooks the relationship between the timing of the exhibition and the artist’s act; it has always centred on the artist’s political and emotional life. His friend later wrote that the “shock factor” resulted from Zayer’s choice of timing—apparently, he had talked about taking his own life since 1969. He moved from Baghdad to Beirut to join the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1969. He wrote and illustrated for its magazine Al Hadaf (The Target). The cover of the sixth issue of Al Hadaf, published in 1969, depicts two militants jumping into the void. The duo appears as a two-headed, four-legged, multi-angled figure. The form of the two synched bodies signify their collaboration in combat. Photographs of sportsmen attempting to jump over the Berlin Wall in 1974 suggest a similar performance. In these isolated yet related incidents, particular bodies are forced in or out of a collective. These bodies are physical, minimal, choreographed—and driven by politics. This presentation explores the forms the body takes when supporting other bodies in a political project, in relation to the Arab world’s history of insurgency and collective struggle.

10.15 – 11.45

PANEL EIGHT

Platforms V: Visualising Solidarity - Aesthetics and Revolutionary Thought

Moderated by Sook-Kyung Lee

Đỗ Tường Linh

Contested Solidarity: Against Amnesia towards the Past and Future

Solidarity between Vietnam and Cuba has mostly been framed as either communist propaganda or Utopian leftist heroism. This portrayal created a binary division between the Left and Right, but it also further complicates the ideological or political divisions within each country. Through the investigation of visual documents such as films, graphic arts and interviews with Vietnamese artists and intellectuals who studied in Cuba in the 1960s-70s, this paper examines this contested connection. The paper draws on a critical reading of the decolonial thoughts of two political leaders, Hồ Chí Minh and José Martí, to juxtapose solidarity in the past and in the present. Regardless of the discontinuity of this entanglement, the paper argues that the legacy of this solidarity still exists to this day, using the retrospective exhibition of René Mederos and Vietnamese artists’ responses to it in Hanoi in 2017 as a case study.

Morad Montazami

Printed Revolt: Posters from the 1979 Iranian Revolution

In the midst of the Iranian Revolution, Amir Esbati, a member of the Marxist Group 57 student organisation, observed in the local revue Labour and Art in December 1978: “The walls of the city have become like the pages of a popular history book, so specific that we can tell the date and time of each sign or inscription.” This presentation looks at the most powerful manifestation of street politics shaping visual culture in modern Iran: political posters. It explores how they operated, reproduced and speculated through conflicting groups and organisations - specifically through leftist students’ occupation of the Tehran faculty of Fine Art—which they turned into a “live museum” of the Revolution and the visual culture behind it. The story of those posters offers a “portrait” of the people’s uprising; but it also tells us how Iran, a country that was never colonised in the strict sense of the word, echoed the independence movements and anti-imperial struggles taking place in other parts of the world, from the spirit of the Non-Aligned Movement to the protests of May '68.

Kay Dickinson

Building a Cinematic Third Worldism

Just three months after the 1973 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Algiers, Algeria hosted the Third World Filmmakers Meeting as a deliberate cinematic corollary of this momentous prior event. The Meeting culminated with a detailed, collaboratively-written manifesto that foregoes the “brave new ground” approach typical of the genre to instead purposefully extend already-existing NAM and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) politics into the realms of cinema. With its accent on the devastating impact of the trade deficits, First World monopolies and prejudicial tariffs hindering Third World cultural production and circulation, this document dedicates itself to economics and infrastructure. This presentation explores what we can draw for contemporary decolonial praxis from this period’s unified divestments and investments. Instructive here, if now increasingly unimaginable, are the policies of the host organisation, Algeria’s National Office for Cinema Commerce and Industry (ONCIC).  Besides funding local film projects, ONCIC fostered international co-productions—including Z, Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther and The Sparrow—that nourished the mutual support and training called for by NAM in order to consolidate tricontinental independence.  ONCIC’s simultaneous and defiant curbing of the neo-colonial advances of the Motion Pictures Export Association of America also offers us insight into the power of boycott, an approach that would come to a head soon after with the OPEC oil embargo.

11.45 – 13.15

PANEL NINE

Futures of Solidarity Scholarship

Moderated by Salah M. Hassan

Louis Klee

Lionel Fogarty’s Poetics of Solidarity

Lionel Fogarty occupies a curious place in Australia letters. Regarded as the most important Aboriginal poet of his generation, and even, as John Kinsella declares, “the greatest living Australian poet,” he has nevertheless received little attention from scholars and is published by small, independent presses. Where considered at all, his politically charged, linguistically sui generis poetry is treated with baffled awe or else reduced to such bromides as, to again quote Kinsella, a “method [of] resist[ing] the coloniser” through “an idiosyncratically creolised English.” This paper begins to address this critical neglect by arguing for the importance of a poetics of solidarity to Fogarty’s work. Taking its cue from auto-exegetical remarks, the paper maintains that a decisive influence on Fogarty’s poetry comes from his sustained commitment to internationalist, liberationist and anti-colonial politics. While there is no doubt that these influences were formative for Fogarty’s activism, they have a more lasting and less commonly understood impact on his poetry. As he once averred: “The only way I can write political things is through poetry… a poetic understanding… [precedes] a political understanding.”

Brigitta Isabella

Rewriting Bandung Spirit from Below

               

In 2015, a multi-sector alliance of workers from Indonesia demonstrated against the Asian African Conference Commemoration in Jakarta and Bandung. The workers alliance protested that the summit celebrated a false solidarity; that the Asian-African strategic partnership since 2005 has been orientated towards the interest of global capitalist investment, and essentially ignored the anti-imperialist spirit of the Bandung Conference of 1955. This grassroots movement reveals the limit of Bandung’s recent state-centred diplomatic space, and at the same time, revives the call for the historical people-centred anti-imperialist praxis and solidarity. This paper poses the critical question: how can we read and rewrite Bandung Spirit beyond the narrow-elite space of state transnationalism? To answer this question, this presentation juxtaposes the literary works of Indonesian leftist writers which circulated within the spirit of solidarity during the 1950s-1960s, with the contemporary literature produced by Southeast Asian migrant domestic worker-writers. By doing so, the presentation aims to identify the constraint and contradiction that Bandung Spirit had to navigate in the post-colonial cultural nationalism project. It also explores the extent to which migrant worker-writers - as the aesthetico-political agents of transnational solidarity today - are rewriting and reviving the people-centred Bandung Spirit from below.

Zeyad El Nabolsy

Lotus and the Self-Representation of Afro-Asian Writers as the Vanguard of Modernity

This paper has two aims. The first aim is to show that the editors of Lotus and some of the writers who contributed to it - especially Ezzedine Ismail, Anar Rzayev, Tawfick Zeyad, Abdel Aziz El-Ahwani, Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Alex La Guma, Adonis, Salah Dehni, Luis Bernardo Honwana, Ghassan Kanafany and Tozaburo Ono - attempted to reconceive of nationalism in a way that would make international solidarity constitutive of the new national projects. This proposition is quite different from thinking of Lotus contributors as abandoning nationalism in favour of a supranationalist project. The second aim is to show that at least some of the contributors to Lotus thought of themselves as the vanguard of modernity, and not as the creators of “alternative modernities.” Some of the aforementioned contributors implicitly drew on standpoint epistemology to argue that, due to their struggles against colonialism and racial discrimination, they had a privileged epistemic vantage point from which to criticise modernity in its European form for not being modern enough.

13.15 – 13.30      Salah M. Hassan, Institute for Comparative Modernities

Closing Remarks

Contributors

Tariq Ali is one of the important critical thinkers of our time. He is a Marxist public intellectual, historian, journalist, novelist and a filmmaker, as well as a long-time political activist. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages), as well as scripts for the stage and screen. Besides The Islam Quintet, a series of historical novels that has just been completed, he has authored many works of history and politics. His latest book is The Dilemmas of Lenin: War, Empire, Love, Revolution (2016). Ali lives in London; he is an editor of the New Left Review and Chairperson of its associated publishing house, Verso Books.

Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights defender, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, and co-recipient of the 2017 Gandhi Peace Award. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Philosophy (ethics) from Columbia University and Tel Aviv University, respectively. He is the author of BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (Haymarket, 2011). 

Eva Bentcheva holds a PhD in Art History from SOAS, University of London. Her research and curatorial work focus on performance art and conceptualism in South and Southeast Asia, and their diasporas in Europe. She is currently the Goethe-Institut Postdoctoral Fellow at Haus der Kunst in Munich and was previously a Visiting Research Fellow and Adjunct Researcher for the Tate Research Centre: Asia.

Anna Bernard is Senior Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. She is the author of Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine (2013) and co-editor of Debating Orientalism (2013) and What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say (2015). She is currently working on a book called International Solidarity and Culture: Nicaragua, South Africa, Palestine, 1975-1990.

Kassahun Checole is the founder and publisher of Africa World Press and the Red Sea Press, whose almost 36-year tenure in academic publishing has focused on social change and social movement work. Originating from Eritrea, in East Africa, Checole has taught at both Rutgers University and El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City.

Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor in Cornell University’s Department of History of Art, Co-Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities, and Director the South Asia Programme. He teaches and researches modern and contemporary art from a global and transnational perspective, with emphasis on questions of methodology and intellectual history. His publications include Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (2010). 

Manthia Diawara is Professor of Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies at New York University. He is a cultural critic, writer and filmmaker. His books include In Search of Africa and We Won't Budge, An African Exile in the World. His films include Edouard Glissant, One World in Relation 2010), Negritude, A Dialogue between Senghor and Soyinka (2016), and An Opera of the World (2017).

Kay Dickinson is Professor of Film Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of Arab Cinema Travels: Syria, Palestine, Dubai and Beyond (British Film Institute Press, 2016) and Arab Film and Video Manifestos: Forty-Five Years of the Moving Image Amid Revolution (Palgrave, 2018). She has published on Arab revolutionary culture in journals such as Screen, Cinema Journal, Camera Obscura and Framework.

Jihan El-Tahri is an award-winning director, producer, visual artist and writer. She has been a member of the Academy (The Oscars) since 2017. She mentors documentary filmmakers in Europe and Africa. Her visual art exhibitions have travelled in Europe, Africa, Latin America and India. She started her career as a foreign correspondent covering Middle East Politics and has served on the boards of several African film organisations including The Guild and Fepaci.

Zeyad El Nabolsy is a Palestinian-Egyptian PhD student at the Africana Studies and Research Centre at Cornell University where he is working on African Marxism, non-Eurocentric theories of modernity and modern African political and social philosophy. He obtained a BEng (in Chemical Engineering and International Studies) and an MA in Philosophy from McMaster University.

Rafael Enriquez Vega is the Artistic Director of OSPAAAL (1977-1988; 2006-Present), where he oversees the Tricontinental magazine, posters, and exhibitions. He is a specialist in graphic design and illustration. His illustrations have appeared in some of OSPAAAL's most iconic posters, including the "el Che de la Sonrisa," as well as in posters for Cuba's Movement for Peace and in Mexican and Venezuelan political magazines.

Isabel García Pérez de Arce is currently Chief Director of the Archive for Architecture, Design and Urban Studies, Universidad Católica de Chile. The Founder and Director of the Documentation Centre of the Arts Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda Chile, she has worked as a researcher and curator on international projects such as the Biennial of São Paulo (2008), Triennale Chile (2009), Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010) Contemporary Museum Metelkova, Ljubljana (2014).

Anthony Gardner is Head of the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University and an editor of ARTMargins (MIT Press). His books include Politically Unbecoming: Postsocialist Art against Democracy (MIT Press, 2015), Neue Slowenische Kunst: From Kapital to Capital (with Zdenka Badovinac and Eda Čufer) and, with Charles Green, Biennials, Triennials and documenta: The exhibitions that created contemporary art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016).

Elizabeth Harney is Associate Professor, University of Toronto. She was inaugural curator of modern arts, Museum for African Art, Smithsonian. Harney is author of In Senghor’s Shadow (Duke, 2004) and Ethiopian Passages (Smithsonian, 2003). She is co-editor of Mapping Modernisms: Art, Indigeneity, Colonialism (Duke, 2018). Her current book, The Retro Modern: Africa and the Time of the Contemporary is forthcoming.

Salah M. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities, and Professor of Art History and Visual Culture in the Africana Studies and Research Centre, and the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University. He is also Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah. He is a founding editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. His publications include Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist, (2013).

Brigitta Isabella is the initiator of From Bandung to Berlin, an artistic research platform that thinks through and speculates within the historical and geopolitical sites of the 1955 Bandung Conference and the 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall. She is affiliated with KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre, a research collective based in Yogyakarta, and is part of the collective editorial team for the journal Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia.

Gavin Jantjes was born in Cape Town and has spent a great part of his professional life in exile from apartheid, working as an artist, curator, educator and artistic director in Germany, England and Norway. His paintings and graphic works have been exhibited internationally and are held in numerous museum collections. He initiated the Visual Century Project and is the author of Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907 - 2007 volumes I – IV (Wits University Press, 2011).

Kristine Khouri is an independent researcher and writer whose research interests focus on the history of arts circulation and infrastructure in the Arab world, as well as archival practices and knowledge dissemination. She has undertaken the Past Disquiet, a research project with Rasha Salti, culminating in an exhibition and book. She is also a member of the Arab Image Foundation.

Clara Kim is The Daskalopoulous Senior Curator, International Art at Tate Modern where she oversees the research, acquisition and collection of art from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She is currently working on a major survey on the work of Steve McQueen. 

Louis Klee is a PhD student in Criticism and Culture at Gonville & Caius College, the University of Cambridge, where he is the 2018 John Monash Cultural Scholar. He earned a Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB) from the Australian National University and has received the Palgrave Macmillan Essay Prize and the Peter Porter Prize.

Christopher J. Lee is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He has previously taught at Stanford, Harvard and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has published five books, including Making a World after Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives (2010) and Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanism (2015).

Sook-Kyung Lee is Senior Curator, International Art (Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational). She previously led Tate Research Centre: Asia and has had responsibilities for the research and acquisition of Asia-Pacific art for Tate Collection. Lee has convened and participated in several international symposia and conferences and written and lectured on modern and contemporary Asian art with a focus on transnational contexts.

Anneka Lenssen is an Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art at UC-Berkeley and affiliated faculty in the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. She is co-editor (with Nada Shabout and Sarah Rogers) of the anthology Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (New York: MoMA, 2018). Her current project is the monograph Beautiful Agitation: Modern Painting and Politics in Syria.

Đỗ Tường Linh is an independent art researcher and curator based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Her research and curatorial practice range from art and politics, conceptualism and post-colonial studies. She has engaged in artistic, cultural and social activities in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and beyond since 2005, collaborating with various art spaces, galleries and institutions in different roles; writing, researching, curating, teaching and translating.

Lydia H. Liu is the Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. She is a 2018-2019 member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and a former Guggenheim Fellow. Her books include The Freudian Robot (2010), The Clash of Empires (2004), Translingual Practice (1995) and Tokens of Exchange (ed. 1999).

Anne Garland Mahler is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia. She is the author of From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity (Duke, 2018). She publishes and teaches in the areas of histories of radical internationalism, racial discourses, Cold War politics and postcolonial and Global South theory.

Fouad Makki is Associate Professor of Development Sociology. His areas of interest include classical and contemporary social theory, the historical sociology of development and modernity, and the contested dynamics of nationalism and colonial empires. His research programme and publications seek to advance knowledge of the historical sociology and political ecology of development processes. He received his PhD from Binghamton University.

Natalie Melas is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Cornell University. Her interests cover Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean literature and thought, modern Greek, French and English poetry, and comparative modernities. She is the author of All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison (Stanford UP, 2007) and co-editor of The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature (Princeton UP, 2009). 

Doreen Mende is a curator and theorist, and Professor for Curatorial Politics and head of the CCC Research-based Master at HEAD Genève/Switzerland. She is one of the founding members of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. Her work appears in Jerusalem Quarterly, the Oxford Handbook of Communist Visual Cultures (forthcoming) and Bauhaus Imaginista at Garage Museum in Moscow among others. She received a PhD from Goldsmiths, London.

Naeem Mohaiemen combines films, installations and essays to look at borders, wars and belonging, bracketed by Decolonisation and World Socialism after World War II. The stories we tell ourselves to keep living, the unreliability of human memory and the role of misrecognition in solidarity, are a throughline in the work. Mohaiemen’s films were shortlisted for the 2018 Turner Prize.

Elaine Mokhtefi is an American writer and painter who worked with the FLN during the Algerian war for independence. She was a member of the team that organised the First Pan-African Cultural Festival in 1969 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Black Panther Party in Algiers. Her memoir Algiers, Third World Capital was published by Verso in 2018.

Morad Montazami is an art historian, a publisher and a curator. He has published several essays on artists such as Zineb Sedira, Éric Baudelaire, Walid Raad, Faouzi Laatiris, Latif al-Ani, Hamed Abdalla and Behjat Sadr. He also runs the journal Zamân (Textes, images et documents) and Zamân Books, committed to exploring transnational studies of Arab, Asian and African modernities.

Nakajima Izumi is an art historian, and Associate Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo. She writes on contemporary art, feminism and Japanese art. She wrote her PhD on Postwar Japanese Abstract Painting and Women Painters. Her published work includes “Dream for Solidarity: Palestinian Art, JAALA and Haryu Ichiro in the 1970s and 1980s” in Past Disquiet: Artists, International Solidarity and Museums-in-Exile (2018). 

Holiday Powers is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at VCUarts Qatar. She received her PhD from Cornell University, where her doctoral research focused on modernism in Morocco. She has contributed to publications including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and The Journal of North African Studies.

Dina A. Ramadan is Assistant Professor of Arabic at Bard College. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Education of Taste: Art, Aesthetics, and Subject Formation in Colonial Egypt. She is a senior editor of Arab Studies Journal and a founding member of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA).

Carina Ray is Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University and author of the award-winning book Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana. Her articles have appeared in Gender and History, PMLA, and The American Historical Review, among others. She is currently working on an oral history project which documents the experiences of Cubans who served in Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia.

Yasmina Reggad is an independent curator, writer, researcher and, at times, performer and choreographer. She works between Athens, Algiers and London and holds an MA in Medieval History from the Sorbonne University. She is currently curator at aria (artist residency in Algiers). Her research focuses on the politics of futurity and explores performative methodologies inspired by dance and performance notations. 

Russell Rickford is an Associate Professor of History at Cornell University and the author of We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2016), which received the 2016 Hooks Institute National Book Award and the 2017 OAH Liberty Legacy Foundation Award. He is currently working on a book about African-American radicalism and Guyana in the 1970s. His popular writings on racial and social justice have appeared in publications such as In These Times and Counterpunch

Nada Shabout is a Professor of Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative (CAMCSI) at the University of North Texas. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA) and co-editor of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (MoMA, 2018).

Devika Singh has recently been appointed Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern. Past exhibitions include “Planetary Planning” at the Dhaka Art Summit and “Gedney in India” at the CSMVS, Mumbai, and Duke University and she is currently finishing a book on art in India in a global context for Reaktion Books. 

Sanjukta Sunderason is a historian of twentieth-century left-wing aesthetics and visual art during decolonisation. Her research explores connected histories of art and the left across post-partition India, West and East Pakistan between 1950s-1960s, and post-1945 transnational aesthetics of freedom. She is based in the Netherlands where she is Assistant Professor of Modern South Asian Studies at Leiden University.

Alexia Tala is an independent curator, Chile/Brazil. Currently chief curator for 22nd Paiz Art Biennial in Guatemala and Director of Plataforma Atacama. She worked as curator for the 8th Mercosur Biennial, 4th Poly/graphic Triennial San Juan, Latin America and the Caribbean and 20th Paiz Art Biennial and conceived the project Latin American Roaming Art (LARA). She was also guest researcher for Museum of Solidarity.

Greg Thomas teaches Black Studies in English at Tufts University.  Author of The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power and Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh, he’s also curator of George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine as well as Sur les Traces du Black Panther/A Black Panther Re-Awakens: Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), which recently launched in Conkary, Guinea, on November 22, 2018.

Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature Art and Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  She is a scholar of transnational vanguardism with a focus on Japan after 1945. Tiampo’s publications include Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist from Chile. Her precarious work addresses ecological destruction, human rights and cultural homogenisation. She is the author of 22 art and poetry books. Her New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña is just out from Kelsey Street Press, 2018. She lives between Chile and New York.

Ala Younis is an artist, with curatorial, film and publishing projects. Her work was exhibited at the Venice, Gwangju, and Istanbul biennials, the New Museum Triennial and the Home Works Forum among other places. Her projects include Nefertiti, Tin SoldiersAn Index of Tensional and Unintentional Love of LandPlan for Greater Baghdad, and Drachmas. Younis curated Kuwait’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale; and co-founded the publishing initiative Kayfa ta.

Programme Summary

AXIS OF SOLIDARITY

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY – 09.00 – 18.30

Keynote One

Landmarks I: Tricontinentalism and the Rise of the Global South

Artist Presentation One

Platforms I: From Bamako to Bandung and Beyond

Platforms II: Serialising Solidarities - The Role of Journals, Magazines, and Related Publications

Artist Presentation Two

SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY – 09.30 – 19.00

Landmarks II: Revolutionary Capital - Algiers and its Global Reverberations

Platforms III: Exhibiting/Performing Solidarities

Keynote Two

Platforms IV: Museums as Spaces of Solidarity 

Landmarks III: Anti-Apartheid Solidarities - From South/ern Africa to Palestine

MONDAY 25 FEBRUARY – 09.00 – 13.30

Artist Presentation Three

Platforms V: Visualising Solidarity - Aesthetics and Revolutionary Thought

Futures of Solidarity Scholarship


Sponsors

This conference is co-organised by Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and the Africa Institute, Sharjah.
Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational in partnership with Hyundai Motor




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