Category Archives: border

Gothenburg Border Reverb June 8-13 2010

BORDER REVERB @ Clandestino

To challenge the (in)security and (in)sensibility of European immigration regimes, Clandestino Talks presents Border Reverb. Joining forces with the Creativity Beyond Borders Network from the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London, Clandestino brings a number of key thinkers together to rethink the Border and its politics.

Workshops and talks will offer challenges to restrictive immigration laws and practices and the ways these intersect with creativity, performance and artistic and musical opposition. Border Reverb will include keynote presentations by Eyal Weizman, Julian Henriques, Abhijit Roy and Rangan Chakravorty. The five-day session will begin with a special evening event on Tuesday, 8 June, with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in conversation with John Hutnyk.

Border Reverb will examine the after effects of immigration and asylum policy, border and visa regulation and security surveillance, as well as ways in which activists, artists and musicians have engaged with border politics worldwide. Clandestino has always supported such critical thinking and this workshop is part of a push towards a new Europe – a Europe without exclusions. The workshop is accompanied by a video art screening curated by the LDN/BRU network (Benoit Loiseau & Joanna Figiel).

Border Reverb is part of Creativity Beyond Borders, an AHRC Beyond Text Research Network project that brings together researchers in India, London, Germany, Denmark and Sweden that work with the themes of borders, activism and the arts. The network developed around a series of week-long intensive research workshops, running in different cities from November 2008 to June 2010.

Sonic Border (London, November 2008) explored the way sound crosses the border differently, provoking a rethink of the border’s location – not just in ports, but between us all, in conversations, in ideas. Border Documents, in conjunction with CPH.DOX documentary film festival (Copenhagen, November 2009) considered the border as it unfolds in time/screen based media and examined the telematic border, CCTV and the scanning screens of the immigration check.

Highlights so far have included the successful workshop of Förvaret/Detention theatre piece that went on an extended run at the Göteborgs Stadsteater, Sweden. The run up to the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which coincided with our Berlin Theatre Border (Berlin, April 2009) meeting, gave prominece to the themes of memory, border and national bifurcation and reunification. In Border Infection, we continued the theme of peripatetic walks with a maritime and music themed exploration of the environs of Deptford, South-east London. An accompanying art exhibition curated by LDN/BRU raising the themes associated with the workshop featured artists from the Network.

Border Reverb/Clandestino Talks – draft programme

(we advise checking the Clandestino website for scheduling changes http://clandestinofestival.org/2010/en/)

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Tuesday June 8th 2010

18.30–19.30 | Welcome reception
19.30–21.30 | Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in conversation with John Hutnyk

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Wednesday June 9th 2010

11.00–13.00

– Elena Papadaki,

– Rico Reyes

– Ray Ganz et al              Roundtable on Art Practices

15.00–17.00

– Sarah Ralfs “The reverb of the author/director”

- Benoit Loiseau and Jo Figiel

– Julian Henriques: “Vibratology: material, corporeal and political aspects of sounding”

18.00–20.00

–Eyal Weizman: “Forensic Architecture: Only the criminal can solve the crime”

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Thursday June 10th 2010

11.00–13.00

– Maria Mogren “Berlin. Brunnenstrasse” (film, 45 minutes)

– Jennifer Otter & Andrej Mircev “Scenes from the Liminal”

15.00–17:00

– Raul Gschrey “Border lines. against/between/about arts and borders”

– Mary Claire Halvorson “Rhizomes/Reflections”

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Friday June 11th 2010

11.00–13.00

– Heidi Hausbruch & Rachel Palmer

– Abhijit Roy “Bollywood borders”

13.00–15.00

PER WIRTÉN @ Novotel [in Swedish] – co–arr with Arena

15.00––17.00

– Carla Mueller–Schulzke: “Re–sounds of urban London”

– Rangan Chakravorty: “Bangla Bands”

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Saturday June 12th 2010

13.00–15.00

– Alyson Coyle “At the Border of Love & Labour: rethinking the Work of care”

15:00- 17:00

- LDN-BRU films. “Border Reverb: rethinking the border and/in the art practice”.

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Counter/Mapping QMary: the university and border technologies

To begin by asking <what is the university> requires an investigation of the function of the university not only as a knowledge factory but also as a border. Our investigation of what the university produces as knowledge, hierarchies and power exposes the border/s that operate in, on and around the university. That <the university is a border> is made possible by the operation of a filter mechanism. The counting of bodies, money in and money out, who can and can not enter, what are we when we leave, the limits of what is and is not knowledge and the complicity with national and global border regimes – who and what is stopped at the border?

….

A group of students, staff and researchers at Queen Mary University have set out to map the ways in which migration, border technologies, surveillance and monetary flows intersect with the university as our place of work and study. Joining us in the project are the <Counter-Cartographies Collective from the University of North Carolina>, who will help us to explore the dynamics and possibilities of mapping as method and action.

From Thursday 13 May – Monday 24 May we will gather to discuss, research and take action to produce a counter map of Queen Mary University. As part of our practice we will be facilitating <three public workshops> to expand the participation and possibilities of the project. These workshops as well as the counter mapping production process are open to all who are interested and are free to attend – please see below for the programme and contact details.

….

Thursday 13 May, 2pm                    Imaginaries of the university

<Opening event of the Counter/Mapping QMary project>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will present their work on the neo-liberal university and discuss their maps, methodologies and actions. This session will address our imaginaries of the university – current and potential – and will conclude with a drift around QM campus.

Thursday 20 May, 2pm             How to make a counter-map

<Workshop: mapping at method, practice and action>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will facilitate a workshop on radical collaborative mapping skills using available open source mapping software and web-based data-mining techniques. Free and open to all, email us to register.

Monday 24 May, 4pm                The politics and potential of counter-mapping

<Presentation and open discussion> In this event, the Counter/Mapping QMary project will present their map of Queen Mary.

This presentation will be followed by an open discussion of the methods and politics of mapping the university as a site of migration, education and labour struggles.

Invited interlocutors:

The Students not Suspects Campaign (Goldsmiths),

No Cuts at Queen Mary Campaign,

Jane Wills,

Ishani Chandrasekara,

David Pinder,

John Hutnyk,

Alberto Toscano

Contact info:
Counter/Mapping QMary
Email: countermapping.qmary@googlemail.com
Facebook group: countermapping qmary

The Counter/Mapping QMary project is generously supported by the School of Business and Management and the Economy, Development and Social Justice and the Culture, Space and Power research groups (Geography Dept) at Queen Mary University.

UK Border Author-itybittyshitty

The new UK Points-Based Immigration scheme is – no surprise – a nasty headache, and the hoops to be jumped through for the privilege of being charged for higher education in the ever more depleted UK HE sector are just mind-boggling. See below for the guidance for students who might have the mad idea that coming to Goldsmiths might be a straightforward matter of applying and being accepted. To think that this points-biased plan originally comes from Australia is painful (and not mitigated by the UK’s overdue acceptance of the Flat White Coffee and decent Colombian beans – at last). Worse, it seems Lib-Dem Clegg (the fifth Beatle) wants to introduce a localized version of this, while his mates Posh Dave and Gordon Godzilla have even more rabid anti-immigration ideas up their trickster sleeves (no-one said anything good on this topic in the first TV ‘debate’ – where was Davina McCall, who could have let us phone them out of the show and have them sacrificed to appease the volcano). Non compliance with the reporting is the way forward for staff, but here are the latest instructions, just to emphasize the absurdity of it all – the immoral maze. My favourite is the promise that all this will change again imminently. For the worse no doubt. Use you vote wisely – screw it up and stuff it in the end of an old bottle, half filled with Volcanic ash, light the end and be ready to throw – self defence is no offence as we know.

Seriously though – the Students Not Suspects campaign site is here. Join the fight.

FAO: All Administrative and Academic Staff
Dear Colleague
Following implementation of points-based immigration (PBI) international students who require a visa to study in the UK must be sponsored by a licensed institution.
The type of visa a student can apply for is dependent on their age, and both the level and duration of their programme of study – see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/
<http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/> .
Goldsmiths has been licensed by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to sponsor students in all categories, but most international students at Goldsmiths will need to apply as Tier 4 General Students.
Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for post-16 education.
Whether applying to enter the UK to commence studies or remain in the UK to continue their studies a students visa application must be supported with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). CAS are issued on behalf of Goldsmiths by the following offices:
. Admissions – applicants to commence a new programme of study at Goldsmiths should contact the Admissions Office, Room 115, Richard Hoggart Building or emailintapps@gold.ac.uk <mailto:intapps@gold.ac.uk> . Further information is also given at http://www.gold.ac.uk/international/visa/ <http://www.gold.ac.uk/international/visa/> ;
. Enrolments and Records – students extending their student visa to continue or repeat part of their current programme of study should visit Enrolments and Records, Room 122, Richard Hoggart Building or email  studentrecords@gold.ac.uk <mailto:studentrecords@gold.ac.uk> .

Students should note that we are required to take a photocopy of their current passport, details of which must be included in the CAS together with tuition fees paid, and pre-requisite qualifications if they are a new entrant. They should allow 5-10 working days for their CAS to be assigned, i.e. we must apply and pay for the CAS via the UKBA Sponsor Management System. The CAS is valid for 6 months from point of issue, after which the student must show this office that they have obtained clearance to study or they may not be sponsored and taught by the institution. Students are therefore required to show proof of entry clearance to Enrolments and Records once their visa application has been processed or their access to services may be suspended and their enrolment withdrawn.

It is important to note that although international students are not permitted to enrol on a part-time programme of study, they are permitted to repeat in part-time attendance or in exam-attendance if their participation is required. In such cases we will ask the Academic Department to confirm that the student’s participation is required and that they are able to meet their sponsorship duties, or we may not issue a CAS.

Subsequent to the issue of a CAS, Enrolments and Records will be required to report any change of programme, interruption, withdrawal, or failure to attend/enrol to the UKBA. It’s therefore important that any student indicating a wish to interrupt or withdraw is referred to either the Departmental Administrator or Enrolments and Records who may issue them the appropriate paperwork to be authorised by either their head of department or senior tutor. Students failing to return the authorised paperwork within 2 weeks of the last date of attendance will remain liable for the full tuition fee and will not be eligible for a refund of any fees paid.

Failure to report such changes within a reasonable timeframe may also result in our sponsor licence being withdrawn, we will not be able to issue CAS to any student of Goldsmiths and current students may find that their CAS or visa is cancelled.

Tier 1 category is for skilled workers, but visa applications might be supported by confirmation of award and transcript of results – see http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/ <http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/&nbsp;> <http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/&nbsp;>
Whether a Goldsmiths student is applying for Tier 1 (General) or Tier 1 (Post-qualifying) their visa application must be supported by proof of qualifications.

Student Archives is able to provide Goldsmiths alumni or graduates a copy of their transcript or confirmation of award for this purpose. Enquirers should be advised to contact Archives, Room 122, Richard Hoggart Building and complete the order form or email studentrecords@gold.ac.uk. Further details of the services offered by Archives are given athttp://www.gold.ac.uk/student-services/transcripts-archives/ <http://www.gold.ac.uk/student-services/transcripts-archives/> .

Further enquiries
This information has been circulated to all international students, but if a student does want further advice on points based immigration, isn’t certain of what visa they require or have been refused entry to the UK they should contact Student Advice, email student-advice@gold.ac.uk <mailto:student-advice@gold.ac.uk> with brief details of their enquiry. All enquiries are dealt with in confidence.

Further changes to PBI are expected to be announced shortly, including the introduction of Highly Trusted Sponsor status. We will keep staff and students informed of these changes as they happen.

On behalf of Student Services / Marketing and Recruitment

Border Next (Gothenburg 8-14 June 2010)

The Beyond Borders Network is a series of Workshops on Borders, though I note that the work involved in anticipation of the meetings themselves is perhaps as important as the meetings – certainly in terms of creative work it borders on the insane. The meetings themselves have been jam-packed.

In “Sonic Border” (London Nov 2008) we explored the way sound crosses the border differently, provoking a rethink of the border’s location – not just in ports, but between us all, in conversations, in ideas – an oppressive structure of language, meaning, representation, and a cry of protest and the music of solidarity across divides. Sound problematized the geographic and visual location of the border regime.

In “Theatre Border” (Berlin April 2009) the performative, tactile and ritualistic force of the border as staged power suggested we rethink connection, touch, proximity and co-responsibility. The theatrical exclusion of others manufactures a charade populated by demons, caricatures and monstrosity. We don’t want to be cast in such dramas, and our engagement with the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall involved considerable polemic. The conference included a peripatetic component that was documented by camera and mobile DV. Finally, our discussions included work on a theatre production (work-shopped by the Swedish network participants, and subsequently performed in public).

In “Border Documents” (Copenhagen Nov 2009) we join with the CPH.DOX documentary film festival to consider the border as it unfolds in time/screen based media. We were thinking about the telematic border, CCTV and the scanning screens of the immigration check, and the ways film can frame alternative ways of seeing, witnessing, representing, archiving and experiencing ‘the elements of truth’ (from one of our guest speaker Hito Steyerl, 2003). We explored how the documentary form can carry a politic, an ethics or an epistemology and how documentary film and border activism lends itself to the cinematic to film another way across.

In “Border Infection” (London March 2010) we explored the metaphors of contagion and virus, the way borders are porous and subject to infestations and/or prophylactic attempts at security. In this workshop we joined with LDN-BRU who put on a week long gallery exhibition of works made (by our Network participants) in response to the themes. This was a great success and is to be repeated alongside the final Network meeting in June. It will provide excellent illustrative material for a prospective publication. In Border Infestation we also explored a maritime thematic (see picture) in the area around Goldsmiths, taking up again the peripatetic idea from the Berlin workshop, also successfully.

“Border Reverb” is the last of the series of events, to be held in June 2010. The workshop moves to Gothenburg Sweden to join with the Clandestino Music Festival – to consider, reflexively, what we have learned (and unlearned, un-texted) from the Beyond Text opportunity. The final sessions will address the re-verbing of the Border, among other things.

Chris on Borders

Chris Collier is a contemporary artist writing here, and says nice things of our Lon:Bru Beyond Borders gallery show alongside the Beyond Text Newtwork workshop in March:

There was the last show of the year in The Gallery, Goldsmiths which was the fantastic Border Infection, from Raul Gschrey, Nicolas Sauret & Ashley Wong, Moustache Collectif, Helen Turner and curated by Benoît Loiseau & Joanna Figiel. Border Infection was the result of an ongoing collaboration between Beyond Borders and LDN/BRU that originated from a shared enthusiasm for questioning and transgressing creative, cultural and geographical boundaries. The exhibition brings together a group of international artists who share similar concerns and interests. Exploring issues and limitations surrounding urban and city narratives, as well as ownership and dislocation, the show includes multimedia installations, videos and performances. The exhibition was held in conjunction with John Hutnyk of Centre for Cultural Studies cross-disciplinary symposium Beyond Borders. The exhibition was fantastic, amongst the strongest we’ve had (alongside Café Trojan Horse and Paper Jam in my eyes) and the opening/performance was really great too, fantastically attended and a great atmosphere. The work was really great and we all ended up down the pub afterwards a little worse for wear to round off a good evening.

Some fine pics here.

We are doing it all again in Gothenburg, only different. See here.

Border Infection

Education without Frontiers: Workshop, Music Food, at Goldsmiths 18 March 5pm 2010;

Education without Frontiers: Has the UK Border Agency Overstayed its Welcome?

Speakers, Workshops, Music, Food
Date: 18 March, 5pm – late
Location: Goldsmiths, University of London

We stand united, as students and staff, in opposition to the new
points-based immigration rules. They frame students as suspects and turn
staff into border agents. Join us, meet others, and help spread the
campaign!

With Les Back (Sociology Department, Goldsmiths)  Phil Booth (NO2ID),
Valerie Hartwich (Manifesto Club), Sandy Nicoll (SOAS Living Wage
Campaign/Justice for Cleaners), Frances Webber (Human Rights Lawyer),
speakers from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, No Borders,
and more.
Organised by the Students Not Suspects campaign and hosted by Goldsmiths
Students’ Union and Goldsmiths UCU.

Speakers and workshops in RHB 142 (Main Building) from 5PM to 8:15PM;
food/social in the Stretch 8:15-10PM, music 10pm-late.

Location: Main building, Goldsmiths, Lewisham Way, New Cross, SE14 6NW
Closest train stations: New Cross, New Cross Gate
Buses: 21, 36, 53, 136, 171, 172, 177, 225, 321, 343, 436, 453.

The event is free; register at studentsnotsuspects@gmail.com

More details about the Students Not Suspects campaign at:
http://studentsnotsuspects.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Students Not Suspects
Download a poster:
http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/ucu/flyers/Students_Not_Suspects_flyer.pdf

Border Infection Poster and Program Flyers

programme_final

programme_poster_final

Click the above to download poster and program.

Border Infection – Goldsmiths 22-24 March 2010

Border Infection…Border Infestation… Border Indigestion! … We want to give the Border Authority the bug.

Each of the workshops in the series so far have been around themes where have been heavily invested in the ironies of these terms – Sonic Border was an earache, chaotic, noisy, cacophonia inserted into the ear-hole of postcolonial Britain. ‘Theatre border’ performed and misbehaved, clowning around with pantomime, and staging cross border apparitions of other worlds; Cinema Border-documentary tried to film ways across the border, looping reels and cut and splice to re-forge the documents of immigration control. So, this next “Border Infection” workshop takes the virus and infection metaphor a bit more seriously, critically and its obviously more on the edge, but its not the only governing metaphor of our event(s).

ALL WEEK:

EXHIBITION – Monday through Friday || 22–26 March

An ongoing collaboration between Beyond Borders and LDN/ BRU which originated from a shared enthusiasm for questioning and transgressing creative, cultural and geographical boundaries. The exhibition brings together a group of international artists who share similar concerns and interests. Exploring issues and limitations surrounding urban and city narratives, ownership and dislocation, the show includes multimedia installations, videos and performances.

Work by: Raul Gschrey, Nicolas Sauret & Ashley Wong, Moustache Collectif and Helen Turner
The Gallery
Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Dixon Road, New Cross
London SE14 6NW
T 020 8692 1406
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Day Workshop sessions:

Monday 22nd March 2010 12 noon–3pm and 6-8

Introduction: John Hutnyk

KEYNOTE: Vivek Bald – “Bengali Harlem: Histories of Indian Maritime Desertion in New York City, 1914-1946″

Jennifer Otter – “The infection of America Record Companies”

Leila Whitley “Producing the Migrant as Laborer”

Followed by the film “Hidden HERstories” (6PM RHB Cinema)

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Tuesday 23rd March 12 noon-4pm and 6-7pm

Raul Gshrey – “Migration and Border Regimes in Europe: Systematic Invasion or Suppressed Movement”

Enis Oktay– “What’s the border bordering on, infection or fundament? Three interrelated anecdotes concerning the border’s economies of distinction.

Alix Brodie “‘God Bless the Village Green’: Protecting Fortress Britain in Fashion and Music”

Lindsay Crisp “Catch it. Bin it. Kill it: Swine flu and the paraphernalia of sterility.”

Sarah Ralfs “Transgressing borders: staging disease – infecting everbody. A talk about Christoph Schlingensief’s latest works”

KEYNOTE: Eyal Wizeman – “Political Plastic” (6pm)

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Wenesday 24th March 11am– 6pm

Edda Manga – Weapons, Idealism and the Construction of Western Security

KEYNOTE: Angela Mitropolous “Borders, Contagion, Contracts” (2pm)

Guided Walk Neil Transpontine – “New Cross: borders and crossings”(3pm)

[note: at 6PM – Gurinder Chadha is the 7th Olive Till Memorial guest – separate ticket from Media and Comms dept]

8pm – PARTY

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Plus also, THIS LINKED EVENT ON THURSDAY 25th march 2010:

Workshop – THE NEW IMAGINATION IN POST-COLONIAL THOUGHT.

GOLDSMITHS AND L’ORIENTALE WORKSHOP

Department of Media and Communications, Centre for Cultural Studies, L’Orientale University of Naples.

10 .00  Introduction Angela McRobbie

10.15- 10.45 Tiziana Terranova ‘Post Coloniality and Neo-Liberalism;Foucault in Iran’. 10.45- 11.15  Marie-Helene La Forest ‘Postcolonial Feminism and Transnational Claims’. 11 15- 12.00 discussion.

LUNCH IN LOAFERS

14.00- 18.00 DREAD CITY SECTION.

14.00- 14.30 Emanuela Maltese ‘Metaphors of Contagion Surrounding Haitian Vodou in NY . The Other Side of the Water’ (2009).

14.30- 15.00 Beatrice Ferrara ‘Dread City; Bass Culture and Postcolonial Urban Spatialities’

15.00- 15.30 Michaela Quadrano ‘Afro-Cyborg Visions; Affect and memory in Isaac Julien’s Encore 11 Radioactive (2005)

15.30- 16.00 Julian Henriques ‘Bass Culture, Rhythm and Representation’

16.00-16.30  John Hutnyk ‘keep Calm and Carry On; Low Level Anxiety in wartime London Today’

16.30- 17.00 Goldsmiths Post-Grad Contributions TBA

17.00-18.00 OPEN DISCUSSION OF ALL AFTERNOON PAPERS.

______________________

Exact venue and scheduling  information will be available next week, please email me to be on the invite list.

offenders are using public transport

Criminals on our buses. So we better check their tickets cos we want them to pay full fare right! (Far Right – from the lovely people who brought you points based immigration, endless queuing, lost passports, deportations to Iraq, and the generalized cretinization that is the UK Border Agency). Worse than Homeland Security I think.

The sharp-as-a-tack-smart Emma informs me of the Home Office’s boneheaded formulation:

“‘Intelligence has shown that failed asylum seekers and other immigration offenders are using public transport on a regular basis. Previous operations on public transport routes have resulted in identifying and arresting failed asylum seekers and also removing them.’

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/freedom-of-information/released-information/foi-archive-immigration/929-immigration-checksa8cf.html?view=Html

See also here, here and here.

CPH:Dox Border Documents

I need to find some time to write something up about our CPH:DOX Border Documents event (AHRC Beyond Text: Creativity Beyond Borders Network event #3)… It was great fun, though we were decimated by various illnesses (Mette, Frederik, Mary Claire – be well). I have to say first, it was really cold in Copenhagen, and the DOX event was wildly dispersed, so we shivered a lot. Actually, we did not meet any of the CPH.DOX organisers as they were really busy, though our link through the tent bar-staff meant I got a poster and a booklet. They were plagued by power cuts and floods, but the room at the Akademie that we used was perfect. Of course our very own Mathias Danbolt was the hero of it all – starting us off with some context about the protests against the absurd deportations of Iraqi asylum seekers from Denmark to Iraq, and then on Queer activism. Hito Steyerl showed some really really interesting clips, and Maria Finn’s presentation was fabulous and moving. Khushwant Singh’s film in diasporic Sikhism generated a really great discussion, as did Ananya Chatterjee’s film on sex workers in South Asia the next night. By no means were these received uncritically, and I think its a good thing that were were able to have a ‘full and frank debate’, as they say. On the first day the Akademie students and some festival guests joined us, on the second and third days it was just us lot and some people from the festival – so on average we were mostly 20-25 persons. Very good group, very high level of debate – I think it works well like this. Abhijit Roy’s presentation was masterful on frontality address in cinema, while Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay gave a very detailed introduction to the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak, which has to do with the border between Bengal (ie, btw West Bengal and East Pakistan, later Bangladesh). the Goldsmiths students work was all very insightful, and sometimes incredibly lyrical – Elena Papadaki with some difficult video art, Heidi Hasbrouk provoking intense discussion of ethics of family video, Jennifer Otter stealing the show with her just complete Joy Division tribute band doc, and Ray Ganz tempting ears and minds. On the last day, we started with info-sessions from Ruth Hogarth of the Beyond Text scheme and Mary Claire Halvorson From Goldsmiths. Then Renata Woehrer, Dietmar Kammerer and Raul Gschrey engaged us with high level political issues from Germany – really adding something, and we lost count of the number of bits of film work or images people wanted to take home, linger over, replay. Of course we ate some fine food (Cafe Sebastapol, and Pate Pate), and had a few beers (so far as we could afford) and everyone seemed to have a grand time. The final discussion of what to do next I thought was especially useful – let’s see.

This is a partial account (as in, not the opposite of impartial, though it is that, but rather incomplete. hopefully more to come. If you were there, please supplement…)

Beyond Borders: London and Gothenburg… (to come)

Hi all

I mean ‘all’ on the Beyond Text: Creativity Beyond Borders network (plus anyone who wants to chip in):

After a very successful meeting in Copenhagen (write ups pending here) we’ve been thinking a little in advance of our next meetings – in London (March 2010) and Gothenburg (June 2010):
In each case there will be the usual workshop (20-30 people) with some bigger public lectures and a link up with another event.
-
Dates:
London – March 22-24 2010 (confirmed)
Gothenburg – June 9, 10 & 11th (dates tbc, but followed by Clandestino Festival 11-13th June 2010)
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The theme for the meeting in London (March 2010) is “Border Infections” – we think it important to address new constituencies and audiences/areas of work. The metaphor of infection, virus and health in relation to the myths and politics of Borders will be our organizing guide/prognosis. We hope to join up with LDN-BRU at the Institute of Contemporary Arts).
_
Confirmed speakers: Vivek Bald, filmmaker; Eyal Wiezman, Goldsmiths; Angela Mitropoulos, writer – plus artists, activists, reprobates, border dodgers.
_
Border Infection…Border Infestation…  Border indigestion! … Each of the workshops in the series so far have been around themes where have been heavily invested in the ironies of these terms – Sonic Border was an earache, chaotic, noisy, cacophonia inserted into the ear-hole of postcolonial Britain. ‘Theatre border’ performed and misbehaved, clowning around with pantomime, and staging cross border apparitions of other worlds; Cinema Border-documentary tried to film ways across the border, looping reels and cut and splice to re-forge the documents of immigration control. So, this next “Border infestation” workshop takes the virus and infection metaphor a bit more seriously, critically and its obviously more on the edge, but its not the only governing metaphor of our event. The usual cross border excursions will apply. leave your suggestions below.
****
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We are not sure of the theme for the Gothenburg June meeting as yet. One suggestion is to call it Border Reverb. This does engage with the end of our Beyond Text series theme (this will be the last meeting in the Beyond Text series), but it does not and cannot just be a return to text (back to school!). We need to provoke and challenge the idea of the border as an end.
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So, having so far engaged with a variety of ideas around the themes of Sonic Border, Theatre Border and Border Documents, suggestions open for March and for June. Your views are very welcome on either the Border Infections theme for London, and/or the possible theme of Border Reverb for Gothenburg (which is in association with the great Clandestino music festival).
-
all best
John

Border Documents – final program, with venues

PROGRAM

Monday 9th November 2009
Venue: Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi
Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 København K (The seminar is free)

11.30-12.00 (Room: Den gule resilit)
Prof Frederik Tystrup & Prof John Hutnyk:
‘Introduction’ to “Border Documents”

12.00-13.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Lecture by Mathias Danbolt:
‘Queers Without Borders: Activist Travels in Elliat Graney-Saucke’s Travel Queeries’.

Presentation and screening by Maria Finn: ‘A Technical Problem’ (DVD, 16. min).

13.30-15.00 Lunch break

15.00-16.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Lecture by Dr Hito Steyerl: ‘Border performed’
On 3 recent video art works, parts of which will be screened (Amar Kanwar’s “A season outside”, plus work by von Wedemeyer and Mik) and discussed in relation to their relation to border and performance.

17.00-19.00 (CPH:DOX Tent)

European Premiere screening of Musafer: Sikhi is Travelling with Q@A with one of the directors Kushwant Singh (the other director is Michael Nijhawan)

Musafer is an independent documentary film that has been shot in Frankfurt, Paris, London, Delhi and San Francisco between 2003 and 2009. The film portrays the interconnected lives of a younger generation of diasporic Sikhs by giving emphasis to their artistic expressions and in-depth conversations about the meaning of Sikhi in times of political upheaval and social uncertainty. Musafer does not attempt to portray the Sikh tradition (Sikhi) in its multifaceted forms, but instead sheds a light on the inner and outer journeys of particular individuals, their homing desires, as well as their boundary crossing endeavours.

 

Tuesday 10th November
Venue: Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi
Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 København K (The seminar is free)

11.00–13.00 (Room: Den gule resilit)
‘Borders and Selves’

Heidi Hasbrouck:
‘Personal Borders: The Filmmaker’s Family through the Lens’

Elena Papadaki:
‘Even better than the real thing: when fiction becomes more convincing than the truth – Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ documentaries’

13.00 Lunch break

15.00-16.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)
‘Verité Border’

Ray Ganz:
‘Radio Verité and Acoustic Osmosis’

Jennifer Otter:
‘[Dancing In] Isolation: Joy Division Tribute Bands Transmission of 2.0’s Melancholy’

17.00-19.00 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Lecture by Dr Bhaskar Mukhophadhyay:
‘Ritwik Ghatak Documentarist’

Lecture by Abhijit Roy:
‘Documentary Diversions? Factual Popular and the Reality Debates’

19.00 Dinner break

20.00 (Festsalen)
European Premiere screening of Understanding Trafficking plus Q&A with the director Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti

Legend goes, there is a magical line that Laxman drew around Sita, which no woman is supposed to cross. If any woman dared to cross the magical line, she would risk being kidnapped by Ravan the demon.
Women have for centuries been discouraged to cross the line, to remain indoors, and within limits. The lines and limits of their existence have always been defined by patriarchy.
So what happens if a woman does cross the line? By circumstances, through need, or just by a desire to dare the magical line?
Camera Joydeep Bose, Sound Sukanta Majumdar, Editing Saikat Sekhareswar Ray, Direction Ananya C. Chakraborti
Reviews here: http://www.cinemawoman.in/review.html

 

Wednesday 11 November
Venue: Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi
Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 København K (The seminar is free)

11.00–11.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Ruth Hogarth (Beyond Text Program Co-Ordinator): ‘The Wider Program’

Mary Claire Halvorson (Goldsmiths Director of Professional Development): ‘Alterity, mobility and rhizomatic model of learning’

11.30–13.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Dr Dietmar Kammerer:
‘Official, unofficial, invisible – the role of the filmic document in “Operation Spring”’

Renate Wöhrer:
‘How (Not) to Be Seen. Contemporary Attempts in Social Documentary to Contradict Hegemonic Discourses on Labour’

13.30 Lunch break

15.00-17.30 (Room: Den gule resilit)

Raul Gschrey: ‘Between Fact and Fiction. Artistic Works on Visual Surveillance’

All: Discussion of the Future of Beyond Borders.

Border Documents 9-11 Nov 2009 Copenhagen

Border Documents @ CPH:DOX

Border Documents: A scholarly/activist workshop on the crossings of borders and documentary films.

Border Documents is the third in a series of events run as part of the international research network Beyond Borders.

Preamble: In “Sonic Border” (London Nov 2008) we explored the way sound crosses the border differently, provoking a rethink of the border’s location – not just in ports, but between us all, in conversations, in ideas – an oppressive structure of language, meaning, representation, and a cry of protest and the music of solidarity across divides. Sound problematized the geographic and visual location of the border regime.

In “Theatre Border” (Berlin April 2009) the performative, tactile and ritualistic force of the border as staged power suggests we rethink connection, touch, proximity and co-responsibility. The theatrical exclusion of others manufactures a charade populated by demons, caricatures and monstrosity. We don’t want to be cast in such dramas.

In “Border Documents” (Copenhagen Nov 2009) we will join the CPH.DOX documentary film festival to consider the border as it unfolds in time/screen based media – what does thinking about border activism and the telematic offer us? Possible topics include the border in television news, the in-focus out of focus role of CCTV in detention centres, the scanning screens of the immigration check, the civilian phone-cam exposé of deportation and ‘Torture Taxi’ (special rendition) flights, and more.

We are interested in new perspectives on the status and function of the documentary forms today, as they cross the ontological divide between fiction and truth, art and reality (objective/subjective, social, political, ethical etc) and frame alternative ways of seeing, witnessing, representing, archiving and experiencing ‘the elements of truth’ (Steyerl, 2003). Can we understand documentation not as paper passports or mere representation but as docketing the (re)construction of (new) social and political realities – we are interested in time and screen formats that offer access to critical recontextualization of the reproduction of borders, and of unfolding new agents of social and political (ex)change. On a more formalistic note, how does the documentary form carry a politic, an ethics or epistemology and how can the documentary film help us see and act differently? Does the time of the border transform its place, or its performative character? Does border activism lend itself to the cinematic? Can we film another way across?

Beyond Borders is a collaborative venture between the Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies, the Friei University Berlin InterArts, Jadavpur University (India) Film Studies and the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London, and with guest participation from Clandestino Festival (Sweden) and Migrant Media (UK), among others. Beyond Borders is funded by the AHRC UK Beyond Text program.

PROGRAM

9th November 2009

11.30-12.00 (Seminar room)
Prof Frederik Tystrup & Prof John Hutnyk:
‘Introduction’ to “Border Documents”

12.00-13.30 (Seminar room)
Lecture by Mathias Danbolt:
‘Queers Without Borders: Activist Travels in Elliat Graney-Saucke’s Travel Queeries’
ravel Queeries (2009) by Elliat Graney-Saucke is the first feature length documentary film portraying radical queer culture in Europe. Produced by queer filmmakers from the U.S., Travel Queeries takes us on an extensive tour of queer communities in ten major European cities – from London to Warsaw to Belgrade and Copenhagen. The travels alluded to in the film’s title do not only refer to the U.S. filmmakers’ travel with a camera to and through Europe, as it also points to the travels of activists within Europe, where people circulate between squats, festivals, and other social and political gatherings. In this paper I will focus on the way in which Travel Queeries queries activist travels. By looking into the way the film represent – as well as take part in – the circulation of concepts, repertoires, esthetics, and politics, I will discuss how travels and translation have been central to the development of the transnational (Euroamerican) queer activist community. Informed by the activist group Queers Without Borders fight for free movement for all in relation to crossings of gender, sexuality, and national borders, I will focus especially on the border issues raised by and evident in Travel Queeries, touching upon question of racism and activist tourism.

Presentation and screening by Maria Finn: ‘A Technical Problem’ (DVD, 16. min).
After having studied the films of Michelangelo Antonioni I grew interested in his writing and found Unfinished Business, a collection of his never realized screenplays, where Technically Sweet was mentioned as one. I have used this screenplay as a starting point for a video where I travel to the sites in Sardinia that should have appeared in the film. The video from that trip, A Technical Problem, can be seen as a reflection over how fiction is constructed by including excerpts from the screenplay, and through the documentation of these places that itself produces a fiction. Film locations become virtual archaeological sites, which Laura Mulvey describes in Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy/Viaggio in Italia (1953) from her collection of essays, Death 24x a Second (1996). Rossellini used the archaeological sites in Naples for his film to reflect over how the present is fossilized on film. I will use Mulvey’s essay to investigate how movies functions as an archive over places, some ruined and some still existing, and how visiting these places affects us.

13.30-15.00 Lunch

15.00-16.30 (Seminar room)
‘Border performed’ – Workshop, led by Filmmaker Dr Hito Steyerl
3 recent video art works will be screened (Amar Kanwar’s “ A season outside”, plus work by von Wedemeyer and Mik) and discussed in relation to their relation to border and performance.

17.00-19.00 (Tent)
European Premiere screening of “Musafer: Sikhi is Travelling” with Q@A with one of the directors Kushwant Singh (the other director is Michael Nijhawan)
Musafer is an independent documentary film that has been shot in Frankfurt, Paris, London, Delhi and San Francisco between 2003 and 2009. The film portrays the interconnected lives of a younger generation of diasporic Sikhs by giving emphasis to their artistic expressions and in-depth conversations about the meaning of Sikhi in times of political upheaval and social uncertainty. Musafer does not attempt to portray the Sikh tradition (Sikhi) in its multifaceted forms, but instead sheds a light on the inner and outer journeys of particular individuals, their homing desires, as well as their boundary crossing endeavours.

20.00 (venue to be decided) dinner

10th November

11.00–13.00 (Seminar room)
Round table discussion on ‘Borders and Selves’

Heidi Hasbrouck:
‘Personal Borders: The Filmmaker’s Family through the Lens’
This paper aims to explore the re-formation of boundaries when the filmmaker turns the camera to her personal life. Historian and film critic, Paul Arthur, writes of the relationship between the filmmaker and the subject as a negotiation where borders are shaped. “An ethical compact of sorts, an explicit or tacit ‘transaction’ between observer and participant, is negotiated; its terms regulate what can be recorded, what form the recording will ultimately take, and how the filmmaker intends to portray social actors who agree to appear (Arthur, 876).” What then happens when those borders must be re-shaped from a previously formulated relationship? Between the filmmaker and her film? Between the filmmaker and the audience when the story is a personal one? Furthermore, how does turning the camera on one’s own family change the ethics or politics of the documentary itself? Through the exploration of multiple personal documentaries, including Hara Kazuo’s “Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974”, John Maringouin’s “Running Stumbled”, recently released Kurt Kuenne’s “Dear Zachary”, and new filmmaker Marianne Hougen-Moraga’s “My Mother’s Promise”, I aim to resolve my own qualms as a documentary filmmaker torn between the boundaries of my family and a potential documentary about our ‘darker side’.

Elena Papadaki:
‘Even better than the real thing: when fiction becomes more convincing than the truth – Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ documentaries’
Stefanos Tsivopoulos is a visual artist engaged with the documentary format. He uses archival material, historical footage and real-time events in order to create his own -often pseudo- narratives. Among others, his work challenge journalistic conventions and the meaning of an “objective” historical narrative (Gray 2008) (Interview, 2007. He commissioned a BBC reporter to interview a war veteran from Serbia; then asked a Serb filmmaker to take the transcript and create a fictional version of the same interview, shot at the same location. Both interviews were projected at the same time in adjacent rooms, with the fictional one looking more convincing than the real documentary) as well as the power of mediated news and propaganda (The Remake, 2007. He uses archival material from the Greek national television and from events that took place during the dictatorship in Greece [1967-1974] with his own shooting of recreated scenes from the television studios at the time). According to Tsivopoulos, the “visualisation of history and reality can be interpreted and misinterpreted at the same time” (Tsivopoulos 2008). His interest lies in the way in which we, the spectators, consume the information that exists within the visual imagery and accept the validity of the “archive”. Where do we draw the line between fiction and reality? How does his work (re-)create a new social and historical imagery? A selection of clips from Tsivopoulos’ work will be shown during the presentation.

13.00 Lunch

15.00-16.30 (Seminar room)
Round table discussion on ‘Framing Border’

Ray Ganz:
‘Radio Verité and Acoustic Osmosis’
Field recordings and found sounds are still one of the major sources of radio artworks, in spite of Raymond Schafer having introduced the concept of soundscape and developed the World Soundscape Project more than 30 years ago. The present article examines the different contemporary artistic uses of field recordings and found sounds within the Radia network during the last three years, according to Schafer’s concept of schizophonia and Feld’s notion of schismogenesis. It argues that although radio occupies a privileged position in the current media landscape to broadcast acoustic decisive moments and documents, it is during the aural osmosis of different soundscapes (diegetic and non-diegetic in relation to the listener’s existence) allowed by the radiophonic experience that field recordings and found sounds become radio artworks.

Jennifer Otter:
‘[Dancing In] Isolation: Joy Division Tribute Bands Transmission of 2.0’s Melancholy’
Manchester’s iconic Joy Division officially disbanded almost thirty years ago, after the untimely suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. Yet many people point to this seminal group as one, if not the, forefather of modern rock in its present incarnation. Bands such as The Killers, Fall Out Boy and Interpol blatantly rip off the Mancunians’ riffs, style and sentiments through out their own manipulations of musicality. However, some people feel that just paying accolades to the fallen heroes through interpretations of their own new music is not enough. They believe that only the original music of Joy Division truly expresses the spirit of the troubling times we are living in, a world reflective of Ian Curtis’s own bleak Manchester of the late 1970s. For this tribe of people, solely by creating their own group to play exclusively and inclusively the music of Joy Division can they express their own situational oppression, of a world that is simultaneously connected via the world wide web and instant messenger, yet more alienated, with people staying inside their homes more, hidden behind a computer screen and “mediated reality.” Tribute bands and interviewees from a variety of geographic and socioeconomic groups have been included in the project, spanning Mexico City, London, Macclesfield, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Iraq, Australia, and Bosnia, illustrating a true breaking of borders and staying power of the foursome from the North not often illustrated by artists of today.

17.00-19.00 (Seminar room)

Lecture by DR Bhaskar Mukhophadhyay:
‘Ritwik Ghatak Documentarist’
Largely unknown and unacknowledged in the West and misunderstood in India, one of the masters of twentieth century cinema, the Communist director Ritwik Kumar Ghatak’s cinematic oeuvre revolves largely around the after effects of the Partition of Bengal which displaced thousand and left deep wounds that never healed. Ritwik’s cinema is about the monumentality of this catastrophe though as a theorist of postcolonial culture and a Communist cultural worker, he never allowed nostalgia to take over his sense of engagement with the present. As a cultural theorist, Ritiwik rejected the Soviet model of Social Realism and the European radical avant-garde aesthetic politics of high Modernism. His uniquely postcolonial vision of culture entailed a renewed engagement with the epic and the vernacular and a re-enchantment of the machine through a renewal of the ‘primitive.’ In cinema, his renewal of melodrama fused majestically with his revival of the epic, leading to an aesthetic of vernacular modernism that has no precedent or parallel anywhere in world cinema.
As political film-maker, Ritwik’s treatment of Partition is multi-layered which interrogates and confronts borders at many levels. Himself a refugee, he had little illusion about culture’s holism. He depicted with compassion the class-logic of the inevitable but historic disintegration of the colonial Bengali bhadralok in the aftermath of the Partition and the continued presence of the sealed-off border in the affective landscape of the subcontinent. In Ajantric, a film about the animistic beliefs of tribals and an old automobile that takes on human attributes through the affective engagement of its owner, Ritwik plays on the cognitive-affective borders between fetishism and disenchantment, between the human and the non-human, between the sensible and the intelligible. My presentation will focus on two of his major films, Ajantrik (1957-58) and Subarnarekha (1962) through the optic of ‘border’ in order to situate Ghatak in the wider cultural politics of our times.

Lecture by Abhijit Roy
‘Documentary Diversions? Factual Popular and the Reality Debates’
This presentation talks about how the televisual genre of the ‘factual popular’ and the debates around reality shows can help us revisit the ‘documentary’ form and its legacies. It would like to engage with recent theorizations as evident in John Corner’s coinage ‘documentary diversions’ and Keath Betty’s ‘documentary display’, and also the classical/Griersonian school of documentary practice, to pose the age-old, somewhat hackneyed, debates around the ‘border’ between fact and faction in a new light. While the factual popular, in its form, and in its mode of address (posing as the neo-progressivist messiah of the late-capital, citizenising agent etc.) enters into interesting dialogue with the documentary tradition, particularly with its ‘classical’ mode, the current trends in documentary filming and dissemination, in turn, get highly interjected by the factual popular. Contextual, in this regard, could be a recent practice in documentary diversion: that of creating incessant audiovisual archives (foregrounding therefore a certain idea of ‘beyond text’) and circulating across the de-territorializing space of internet. The ‘publics/users’ of both of these trajectories intersect in various ways. Tickling the network, generating circuits of fandom and activism defying national borders, have become major trends in both of these.

19.00 dinner (1 hour)

20.00 (Tent)
European Premiere screening of “Understanding Trafficking” plus Q&A with the director Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti
Legend goes, there is a magical line that Laxman drew around Sita, which no woman is supposed to cross. If any woman dared to cross the magical line, she would risk being kidnapped by Ravan the demon.
Women have for centuries been discouraged to cross the line, to remain indoors, and within limits. The lines and limits of their existence have always been defined by patriarchy.
So what happens if a woman does cross the line? By circumstances, through need, or just by a desire to dare the magical line?
Camera Joydeep Bose, Sound Sukanta Majumdar, Editing Saikat Sekhareswar Ray, Direction Ananya C. Chakraborti
Reviews here: http://www.cinemawoman.in/review.html

11 November

11.00–11.30 (Seminar room)

Ruth Hogarth: Beyond Text Program Co-Ordinator. ‘The Wider Program’

Mary Claire Halvorson (Goldsmiths Director of Professional Development): ‘Alterity, mobility and rhizomatic model of learning’

11.30–13.30 (Seminar room)

Dr Dietmar Kammerer:
‘Official, unofficial, invisible – the role of the filmic document in “Operation Spring”’
“Operation Spring” was the name of the first (and later widely publicized) undercover police operation in 1999 that made use of covert surveillance technologies in order to collect evidence against an (allegedly) international ring of drug dealers. “Operation Spring” is also the name of a documentary film that years later put in question the police operation and the subsequent trials and convictions of more than in ehundred people, mostly immigrants form Nigeria. The documentary became one of the rare cases, where a film actually sparks a political debate and was discussed in the national parliament. In my presentation I want to argue, that the political and persuasive power of this film can – among other factors – be explained by its use of the filmic document. Three types of images can be made out in this film: official, unofficial and invisible images. What counts as a document or as evidence, is always to be seen within a strategy of power.”

Renate Wöhrer:
‘How (Not) to Be Seen. Contemporary Attempts in Social Documentary to Contradict Hegemonic Discourses on Labour’
In my contribution to the workshop I would like to discuss the documentary art project ‘Chat(t)er Gardens: Stories by and about Filipina Workers’ (2002-2008) by the Austrian artist Moira Zoitl. It is not a film but an installation, in which video plays a major part. It consists of videos, photography, text, embroidery, sculptures and/or spatial constructions. The project documents the working and living conditions of Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong and London as well as their political and social activities. It is conceived as a platform, where different kinds of expressions – also by different authors – are possible. In this documentary the border is at issue in three different ways: First of all the depicted migrant workers are confronted with borders between nation states. In their “host country” they also have to deal with social borders. Due to their special working and living situation migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong make this social border visible. Since they mostly live at their working places, which are the private homes of their employers, most of them don’t have a private space of their own. Therefore they spend their rare free time in public places, which they use differently than the majority society. They create a public visibility, which contradicts their hidden existence in everyday life. In Hong Kong as well as in other industrialized – or better: post-industrial – countries the economic systems relies on the exploitation of domestic workers. But neither the exploitation nor the domestic workers should be a public issue. The system is based on the concealment of these facts. On the one hand the workers counteract this kind of suppression (in taking public space as well as in political demonstrations, celebrations, etc.) on the other hand Moira Zoitl brings up the issue (and the efforts of the workers) in the public of the art world via her documentary. So the third kind of border, which is at issue within this documentary project, is the border drawn by hegemonic practices to demarcate what can be said, shown, discussed, etc. within a society and what’s excluded from public discourse. In my paper I will examine Moira Zoitl’s methods and artistic strategies to undermine dominant regimes of visibility. In analyzing this project as an example I will discuss the problems and possibilities of documentary to produce and initiate counter-hegemonic discourses.

13.30 (Lunch)

15.00-17.30 (lecture room)

Raul Gschrey

Between Fact and Fiction. Artistic Works on Visual Surveillance.

Documentary approaches play a major role in artistic works on visual surveillance. This becomes most obvious in the mockumentary ?Citizen Cam? (France/Iceland, 1999), a satire on a fictional TV-channel in Reykjavik. Artistic projects which focus on the topic often include phases of research on the extend and possibilities of CCTV systems and their utilisation. Some artists use the original pictures produced by surveillance systems, but through the process of editing the material becomes fictionalised. During performances and interventions in spaces under surveillance, usually there is not only the CCTV camera present but also further cameras, which document the action and form a means of counter- and self-observation. In these situations, the presence of the camera also changes the reaction of the audience and the authorities. The borders between the documentary and the fictional become porous.

All: Discussion of the Future of Beyond Borders.

18.00 Beyond Borders Workshop after-party

bt_logo_cmyk2cmyk-lscape2

Stop Deportations

2174762-3-get-smart-kaos-logoFrom the makers of INSANE government policy inc, a new and vastly more stupid strategy of deportation. They should give prizes for this sort of thing. Deportations to Iraq x!k”zx%^j%^*! You have got to be joking. Not even the hired killers (Sandline International etc) really want to be there. The Ministry of Defence surely wants out. So why does UKBA (the UK Border Assholes) seem to think its a happy time?

The following call is from the Stop Deportation Network:

* Please forward widely *
URGENT: Stop the first mass deportation flight to Baghdad

Demonstration at Communications House, London, on Wednesday 14th
October, 5pm.

The Stop Deportation network and other groups and organisations are demanding that the first deportation charter flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is suspended and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately. Over the last week, detainees in various immigration detention centres have been given ‘removal directions’ clearly stating they will be removed to Iraq, as opposed to the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled area, which was stated in previous removals.

Deporting people to a war zone like Iraq would put the lives of many deportees at risk. As recently as the 11th October, three car bombs exploded in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing at least 19 people. Violence and bloodshed continue throughout the country, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year alone. There are also widespread food shortages, lack of access to clean drinking water and other grave humanitarian crises in many areas.

The British government, through its participation in the war on and occupation of Iraq since 2003, is responsible for these crises and the consequent displacement of millions of Iraqis. Instead of helping accommodate refugees fleeing war and violence, it is now is planning to send them back en masse to face their possible death.

Deportation charter flights limit refugees’ access to due legal process. The UK Border Agency states that “charter flights may be subject to different arrangements where it is considered appropriate because of the complexities, practicalities and costs of arranging an operation.” Charter flight deportees are told that “removal will not necessarily be deferred in the event that a Judicial Review is lodged.” The emphasis, thus, is on filling the flight rather than ensuring the appropriate legal avenues have been exhausted. Detainees have also lost the right to know the date and time of their removal, making it more difficult for their legal representatives to act properly and leaving deportees in fear and uncertainty for days or weeks.

Iraqi refugees have been forcibly deported to Iraqi Kurdistan (northern Iraq) since November 2005. Mass deportation flights to Kurdistan have been removing 50-60 men almost once a month since June 2008, with the Home Office arguing that, unlike the rest of the country, the Kurdistan area is ‘safe’. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees estimate 1,000 people have been deported to Kurdistan from the UK since 2005. Despite these claims of safety, however, several people have died or disappeared following their forcible return, including Hussein Ali who killed himself two days after his arrival in 2008. Many others have been forced into hiding.

The Stop Deportation network calls upon all groups, organisations and individuals opposed to this brutal action by the UK government to stand with us in calling for all deportations to Iraq to be stopped. Join us on the first public demonstration against mass deportations to Iraq this Wednesday, at 5pm, at the local immigration reporting centre, where many deportees are first arrested without prior warning whilst signing on (Communications House, Old Street, London, EC1).

If you would like to add your or your organisation’s name to this statement, or for any further information, please email stopdeportation@riseup.net.

Other things you can do to help stop this flight:

Contact your local MP and ask them to put pressure on the UK Border Agency to cancel the deportation. You can find your local MP at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk

Contact the UKBA directly to demand the deportation be cancelled:
Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
UKBApublicenquiries@UKBA.gsi.gov.uk
CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Contact the minister for borders and immigration Phil Woolas:
House of Commons phone number: 020 7219 1149
House of Commons fax number: 020 7219 0992
Constituency phone number: 0161 624 4248
Constituency fax number: 0161 626 8572

Please copy stopdeportation@riseup.net in your email correspondence.

Responses on -empyre- list

CATThe reasons I am writing this might not make perfect sense without the full responses, which are on the empyre list and comments on the previous post here, but my return post was an attempt to clarify where questioned and engage where challenged. Was useful for me if no-one else:

Hi All, Apologies for being slow at responding, some family difficulties have taken precedence, and the never ending routines of.. well, no need to whine on about it.

Many many thanks for the responses and comments. I was planning a post that would take us elsewhere, but time already achieved that. Let’s say I am happy to stick with the productivity of going ‘off topic’ in good directions, of even being out of sync – and of later attempting difficult crossings and even slightly impatient and breathless connection making (which I really liked, thanks Micha).

The thing about audio in cinema/movies is that while lip-service is paid to the ‘silence … action on set’ its exactly that priority – silence because the action will start that has sound continually relegated to the status of a second class citizen. Sound recording is fraught, often forgotten – and we have become very much accustomed to images, they seem easy (sure, they are not, but…), well, sound is not of equal import in the discourse on film, and that’s just the problem. When I was teaching documentary film (in my first ten years at Goldsmiths) there was one clear consequence of the limited resources we had. Picture image was pretty good on the various cheap-ish cameras available, such as TVR 900 and so on, but the sound was terrible. And when it came to editing, if the sound was terrible, that was about as good as things got. Great images, crap sound, often meant disaster. Some great films were made (you can see them on Daily Motion) but oftentimes they could have been a whole lot better.

“Except in music videos and cartoons, the soundtrack seems always to exist in function of the image” – Menotti

But even in music videos the sound seemed to be relegated – as Andrew Goodwin long ago argued in “Dancing in the Distraction Factory”, critics had become deaf. I don’t think he was just bemoaning the fact that New Romantic music was dominated by rubbish fashion. That he includes factory in the title of his book did not align him with Adorno or the autonomists, but it would have been nice if it had – I think there is something to be explored in the way the visual – surveillance, coding, presence – belongs to the realm of production under capital. The grooves of the record industry riff on this over and over, a culture industry, a distraction factory, a machine for value extraction. In the cinema no-one lets you scream.

I am happy to hear talk of mediation (Menotti), as without mediation, or rather without theorising mediation, I think we remain unable to comprehend what is going on. To the extent the cinema escapes its older factory conditions, it escapes via a mediation into new conditions, new circuits of occupying the city-space/our lives. Without mediation between the image and the production apparatus, there are only reified fixations – on the image, on the auteur, on the screen mechanics, even on the circuit. I like to call this trinketization – a limiting fascination with abstracted and isolated components of a system that cannot be grasped without a theory of mediation. The trinketization syndrome is very strong in cultural studies (objects, things, the fetish of commodities) and also in cinema (close ups, Kane’s Rosebud). Here Adorno chastised Benjamin writing his Arcades project wanting to have the things (all those bits and pieces of Paris etc he collected for so long, snowdomes and the like) communicate with each other in some kind of auto-dialectical arrangement. Adorno insisted this could not stand without a theory of relation, of mediation. I’ve long been a fan of juxtaposition, but agree that mere montage, revolutionary once, has so readily been co-opted by the culture industry that its no longer even raising eyebrows. The famous picture of Sergei Eisenstien shaking hands with Mickey Mouse is a trinket to ironize exactly this.

I’ve a slowly gestating piece on Citizen Kane (oh no, not again) along these lines, developed slowly as the opening to my lecture course on Marx’s “Capital” (lecture one – ‘The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails presents itself as an immense collection of commodities’ – Kane collects… Without Kane, without the mediation that is Kane as capital, Kane in Xanadu, Kane and politics, newspapers, media (without Kane as William Randolph Hearst…) there are only trinkets, only Rosebuds. For the record, the gist is in these posts:

http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2007/10/05/welles-hearst-capital/
http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2006/09/03/quoting-marx-for-the-slums-–-zizek’s-parallax-viewpoint/
http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2007/10/02/kanes-snow-globe/
http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2005/10/13/why-film-students-babble-on-about-orsen-welles/

What I meant when I suggested – just threw it out there really – that “the city, and the border, is an audio-visual enclosure” is that the border is not just at the airport or the seaport, or the passport control check. The border extends, like sound, into every register of our lives. I have to refer to the back catalogue again here. A post on trinketization from the anniversary of Sputnik, in honour of Leika:

The border is not only geography and vision – though a line on the map and the sign at immigration control are our most immediate experiences of control – the border is also a process, an order, an iteration, uneven, performative and aural. The border is not just at the edge or boundary, it is also in the street, in the post, in the pub. The border operates between people. The hand raised to silence the offer of the migrant DVD salesperson who interrupts your quiet enjoyment of a beer – that too is a brutal moment of border control. Although of course we can insist that state boundaries are also porous, continually bypassed, more and less easily, in so many different ways; immigration control still stands as a block to movement and mediation.

The resonance of the war and power is strong here – echoing with the sounds of silence, dispossession and death to which our eyes become deaf, our ears have become blind.

Is our boundary prejudice built into the structure of the border control? A logic of presence, geography and vision govern the strong sense of truth that belongs to knowledge. We say knowledge is divided into fields (geography) and seem most often to designate knowing through a confident designation. We indicate truths by pointing (vision), there is presence in understanding. Now perhaps there is an alternative in the metaphoric code with which we name movement and sound. It may be possible to hear a more critical tone, to raise questions about the assertions of certitude – when critical we say we are not sure we agree, we doubt, we say we do not like the tone. Can thinking through travel and sound suggest new ways of linking across the borders between us all – as sound crosses the border in ways that tamper with visual and geographic blocks (pirate radio, music, language, the sound of falling bombs…). But we also say, when critical, that we cannot see the point. Ahh, with this last the too easy divide of metaphor into those that point and assert knowledge through vision and those that question and challenge through sound does finally break down. But perhaps there is something in sound that can suggest more, that allows us at least to listen to another possibility, temporarily opening up ears and minds.

It is often thought, but we could be more precise – that movement across borders of all kinds is a good thing, breaking taboos and genre rules is an unmitigated good. Of course, cross disciplinarity is claimed as a boon (in cultural studies for sure), but clearly other crossings – of capital, of weapons, of imperial power – are not so welcome. Capital moves one way, surplus value extraction another. Cross-border global movement (music distribution, television news, democracy) might not always be a boon. No doubt pirate radio enjoys much approval, but communications media also have a less favourable heritage (radio as used, say, by the National Socialists in Germany) and present (the contemporary normative narrations of ‘democracy’ by the Voice of America, the BBC, or with the televisual uniformity of CNN). A more careful thinking that notes the metaphors of critique, distinguishes movement and sonic registers that affirm or disavow, works to undo that which destroys and divides, fosters that which unites, organises capacity to live otherwise with others…

Crossing the border, a great achievement, pushing the boundaries, also sometimes caught and fraught in contradictions. For cross-disciplinarity and border transgression, against control by Capital – we need to sublate movement out of, under and around control. No simple task. The sound of a dog barking in space might caution against uncritical celebrations. Lest we forget Laika, dead on  Sputnik 2 these 51 years ago today.

And earlier, an attempt to suggest we could start working against a geographical model of the Border or the Boundary. If we recognize the border is not just the port, but the entire city, as in “everywhere, in everything we do”, in each interaction between people related, somehow somewhere to belonging – how violent this is – if we recognize the border as a wall between us all, then we might see reason to have to reconfigure the very idea of nation, boundary and movement that so distracts us. Secondly, the border is not just at the edge, but at any port, at the immigration office, in the postal service that delivers the visa, in the police checks, the detention procedure – in the everyday reactions of people to each other even as they stand and stare. Thirdly, if we think of the way sound and meaning travels across the border, might we start to develop ways of thinking critically against this geographic boundary – and the old models of nation, culture, race that the border secures? What would it be to ask critically about, and so reject, the way we have fixed the border through property, maps, geography – and so leave that space that has been deaf to other movements, transmissions, resonances. Would this work things differently, otherwise?

Which might be what I might – maybe – could – possibly have meant by “filming your way across”? The ‘second life’ of theoretical language (thanks Johannes, I like that) is pretty useless if it does not provoke suggestions that might lead us to actions more effective, more capable, more able to win (against Capital, which has tanks and theory… there is so much more to do here… but I must run elsewhere).

Thanks so much for the time, if you read this far. I will lurk on…

John

Empyre – extensions of the city discussion (border reprise)

kipnistheaterI’ve been invited to participate in the Emyre mailing list discussion this week, so will cross post here. Already gone off piste I guess, but hey:

Empyre is here.

Thanks for the invitation to guest here. I wanted to start with two quotes from the rubric for this discussion:

“From the Depth of Projection to the Extension of the City The performances with projection rescue the tri-dimensionality of the place and set the image back to human proportions. This allows us to jump from closed to open spaces, from private to public domain. The city is not only a setting: every wall can be a screen; every window, a projection booth”

“The borders between public and private spaces are essential for the existence of cinema as such”

Thinking about this, I went back and looked up the early comment that: “cinema is a collection of techniques to make the light lay on a surface” – my trouble with this definition, perhaps, is mainly that it leaves out the audio – the surround sound of the cinema space. In so many ways the city, and the border, is an audio-visual enclosure. The audio cannot be ignored in cinema, even when it moves away from the proscenium screen. I think it is productive to think of the city as cinema (this is not new) but also to think the border this way. Audio-visual passports? Even our dialogue on the border is scripted. Sure, the border begins as a line in the sand, and cinema too has a silent pre-history, but even this spatiality was never totally mute.

So, ‘media as architecture’ sure, but this includes sound, and we need a way to talk of this without relegating the metaphors to secondary status behind the screen (where the speakers are?) – I am deeply dissatisfied with the term soundscape and all this talk of distance. The way metaphors of vision and geography dominate the audio-visual. The whole thing about writing on the screen gets stuck here too – though that would take an excursus into Derrida (and perhaps Stiegler) to unpack, and cost us years and lives.

So, to cut to the main theme – all this comes up in our [Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, AHRC Beyond Text] project on Borders, which I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce here. This may seem opportunistic, but my habit is to think in reverse, or against my first expectation. See what I did above – started thinking about the screen only to insist on talking about audio. The idea behind the borders project stems from this kind of wayward/dissonant process.

So, I want to think in the opposite direction from film studies, not with a view to understanding film, or screens or media, though of course film studies helps us understand what we see (and hear), but to suggest that we ask what can our understanding of film (I’d rather say, the telematic) can bring to our understanding of other pressing questions.

For me, the ‘pressing’ questions have to do with issues such as migration, racism (profiling, the war of terror, security hysteria) and capital (economic restructuring, cultural economy etc). Also perhaps climate/environment, and of course resistance to capital (what is required to ‘win’?).

One part of this – backwards thinking process – is to ask how an understanding from one field – eg., cinema/telematics, screens, the audio-visual etc., – might offer ways of rethinking things in another – such as terror, or racism, or migration/borders – and reconfigure the activities and activisms that stem therefrom. A series of our Border workshops have explored this, following a trajectory from the audio, through performativity and now, next, to cinema. How do these areas of interest provoke new modes, sites, registers of activism and action? I hope you can read between the lines here and we can set up a relay between this project and the current one on “Extension of the City” (my next post on cities I promise, though here I am already engaging with the suggestion that ‘This division [of cinema space] reflects not only the organizational logic of the cinematographic industry, but that of society as well’ ).

Anyway, here is the Border Documentary call, recently sent out, for the workshop to be held in Copenhagen in November (mentioning the earlier workshops too):

In “Sonic Border” (London Nov 2008) we explored the way sound crosses the border differently, provoking a rethink of the border’s location – not just in ports, and the authoritarian boot boys of the nation state, but between us all, in conversations, in ideas – an oppressive structure of language, meaning, representation, and in the cry of protest and in the music of solidarity across divides. The border echoes everywhere, it resonates and shouts from every station location, wherever you listen look. Sound problematized the geographic and visual location of the border regime.

In “Theatre Border” (Berlin April 2009) the performative, tactile and ritualistic force of the border as staged power suggests we rethink connection, touch, proximity and co-responsibility. The theatrical exclusion of others manufactures a charade populated by demons, caricatures and monstrosity. We don’t want to be cast in such dramas.

In “Border Documents” (Copenhagen Nov 2009) we will join the CPH.DOX documentary film festival to consider the border as it unfolds in time/screen based media – what does thinking about border activism and the telematic offer us? Possible topics include the border in television news, the in-focus out of focus role of CCTV in detention centres, the scanning screens of the immigration check, the civilian phone-cam exposé of deportation and ‘Torture Taxi’ (special rendition) flights, and more.

We are interested in new perspectives on the status and function of the documentary forms today, as they cross the ontological divide between fiction and truth, art and reality (objective/subjective, social, political, ethical etc) and frame alternative ways of seeing, witnessing, representing, archiving and experiencing ‘the elements of truth’ (Steyerl, 2003). Can we understand documentation not as paper passports or mere representation but as docketing the (re)construction of (new) social and political realities – we are interested in time and screen formats that offer access to critical recontextualization of the reproduction of borders, and of unfolding new agents of social and political (ex)change. On a more formalistic note, how does the documentary form carry a politic, an ethics or epistemology and how can the documentary film help us see and act differently? Does the time of the border transform its place, or its performative character? Does border activism lend itself to the cinematic? Can we film another way across?

Border Documents (here)

CPH.DOX: http://www.cphdox.dk/d1/front.lasso

fragment on machines

cockroachwriterA note to keep for later: our argument evaluates the idea that machines for generating meaning can be examined as rendering text or as points of access to a world beyond or before rendering. Placing a hand on the cave wall at Lascaux before spittting/spraying paint to make a silloette is a machine; the hair line qusdrant grid of the rensisssance/quattro centro landscape artists is a machine; Raymond Roussel writing parentheses is a machine. Perception is often understood as co-constitutive mechanics, the question to explore here has always been about the relationship between what there is and how it is known. Machines vibrate with the world to draw our attention.

Border Documents

IMG_2590In “Sonic Border” (London Nov 2008) we explored the way sound crosses the border differently, provoking a rethink of the border’s location – not just in ports, and the authoritarian boot boys of the nation state, but between us all, in conversations, in ideas – an oppressive structure of language, meaning, representation, and in the cry of protest and in the music of solidarity across divides. The border echoes everywhere, it resonates and shouts from every station location, wherever you listen look. Sound problematized the geographic and visual location of the border regime.

In “Theatre Border” (Berlin April 2009) the performative, tactile and ritualistic force of the border as staged power suggests we rethink connection, touch, proximity and co-responsibility. The theatrical exclusion of others manufactures a charade populated by demons, caricatures and monstrosity. We don’t want to be cast in such dramas.

In “Border Documents” (Copenhagen Nov 2009) we will join the CPH.DOX documentary film festival to consider the border as it unfolds in time/screen based media – what does thinking about border activism and the telematic offer us? Possible topics include the border in television news, the in-focus out of focus role of CCTV in detention centres, the scanning screens of the immigration check, the civilian phone-cam exposé of deportation and ‘Torture Taxi’ (special rendition) flights, and more.

We are interested in new perspectives on the status and function of the documentary forms today, as they cross the ontological divide between fiction and truth, art and reality (objective/subjective, social, political, ethical etc) and frame alternative ways of seeing, witnessing, representing, archiving and experiencing ‘the elements of truth’ (Steyerl, 2003). Can we understand documentation not as paper passports or mere representation but as docketing the (re)construction of (new) social and political realities – we are interested in time and screen formats that offer access to critical recontextualization of the reproduction of borders, and of unfolding new agents of social and political (ex)change. On a more formalistic note, how does the documentary form carry a politic, an ethics or epistemology and how can the documentary film help us see and act differently? Does the time of the border transform its place, or its performative character? Does border activism lend itself to the cinematic? Can we film another way across?

We will meet over three days in mid November (9th-11th here) in the Arts Academy of Copenhagen, as part of the wider CPH.DOX festival (which runs 6th-16th – see here). More details soon.

“Border Documents” will be the third Network meeting of the Beyond Text Beyond Borders group, funded by the AHRC Beyond Text Program) and with the participation of University of Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies, Friei University Berlin InterArts, Jadavpur University (India) Film Studies and Goldsmiths College, Centre for Cultural Studies, as well as with Clandestino Festival (Sweden), Migrant Media (UK) and, of course, now CPH.DOX (Denmark).

 

UPDATE: http://wp.me/PcKI3-hW

bt_logo_cmyk2cmyk-lscape2

CCS STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO THE NEW REGULATIONS IMPOSED AS A RESULT OF POINTS-BASED MONITORING

frompda%2B010To:  Goldsmiths, University of London

We are strongly opposed to the implementation of the new attendance monitoring policy and related policies that have been imposed on our university by the Home Office under the new points based immigration system recently introduced in the UK. We invite our colleagues in at Goldsmiths and across the University of London to join us in voicing their opposition to these policies and in fighting their implementation
The new regulations make us do a policing job in our classrooms, turning both academic and administrative staff into agents of the UK Border Agency. We object to this for reasons both political and professional. We are concerned that the regulations represent possible breaches of European human rights conventions and seriously threaten our students’ rights to mobility, privacy and education. Although recent changes to implementation of the law have expanded the scope of student monitoring and reporting–with the result that policies explicitly targeting the monitoring and reporting of information about non-EU students have been expanded to include the monitoring and reporting of information about all students–this does not disguise the fact that these policies are discriminatory in intent and will very likely be discriminatory in practice. International students are an integral and valued part of our community, and we do not accept any measures that will lead to the unequal treatment of non-EU students as a result of their enrollment on our degree programmes.

As will be evident to anyone involved in teaching and learning in a university environment, the new regulations are ill adapted to that environment and out of touch with the lived realities of our work. They detract from academic freedom and will have profoundly negative impacts on the relationship between staff and students, which should be one of trust, not of spying and control. The turnaround time stipulated for the reporting of student absences is unrealistic, and the new regulations will lead to increases in workload for both academic and administrative staff. In the case of our own academic unit, the very premises of attendance monitoring fundamentally misconstrue our mission as a postgrad teaching and research centre. Finally, the regulations raise questions as to the security of staff, placing them in a position where they are probing into and ultimately violating students’ rights. Because staff will be unwilling to inform on students in a way that results in their expulsion from the UK, the regulations may also have the effect of discouraging staff from enquiring after students’ well-being, interfering in our ability to carry out pastoral duties and threatening students’ security as well.

In raising these concerns, we join colleagues at Goldsmiths and at other higher education institutions in the UK, who have publicly stated their opposition on related grounds (Goldsmiths UCU; UCU Black Members’ Standing Committee; UCU Black Members, University of Kent; Manchester Metropolitan University; a coalition of institutions in Liverpool; as well as the Institute of Race Relations and the National Critical Lawyers Group). We also join, significantly to our mind, Goldsmiths Student Union, which in November 2008 passed a motion asking staff not to comply with the new rules.

Finally, the new immigration policies are of urgent concern to all at a time when our university communities are facing unprecedented economic pressure. Due to new (and excessively stringent) financial requirements of students applying for visas to study in the UK, the new policies will have negative impacts on recruitment. These will hit us immediately, at a time when we are under pressure to increase international student enrollments college-wide. The difficulties recently reported by postgraduate research students who have applied for visa renewals in the final months of their degree work are also worrisome and stand as further evidence that the new immigration rules will detract from the quality of teaching and learning and are ill-adapted to our mission as a university.

We sincerely hope that Goldsmiths will insist on being a teaching and research institution, and that it will maintain its commitments to its educational mission by opposing the implementation of the new Home Office regulations both on our campus and in the context of the growing national campaigns.

Scott Lash, Director, Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies

Centre for Cultural Studies Staff
Jennifer Bajorek
Josephine Berry-Slater
Matthew Fuller
Graham Harwood
John Hutnyk
Breda McAleer
Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay
Luciana Parisi
Lisa Rabanal
Adela Santana

Scouting Shame NYT.

14explorers_span

“‘There is no document of civilization that is not simultaneously a document of barbarism‘” (Benjamin p. vii)

A photograph of five young Americans in combat gear beside a ‘Homeland Security’ bus graces the front page of the New York Times on May 13 2009. This image catches my eye on a day when newly discovered atrocity photos from CIA ‘facilities’ in Afghanistan and Iraq should be published, but are not so as to avoid undermining the war effort and the troops at the front. Anxious excuses are conjured for spin and impression management… we get this unbelievable shot of Explorer scouts tooled up for the kill.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

I am taken by the photograph because it appears on the day the Obama administration plays the ‘don’t look’ card on terror (after a word from Pentagon chiefs, Obama backtracked and announced he would fight any release of the new set of detention images – this is reported on the same front page). But I am also curious about a quirky little detail in the bus picture. Look at the line of tooled-up scouts in the shot. The very last one doesn’t seem to think the situation is all that serious. A big grin on his face, forgetting the seriousness of the security role-play, has he tapped his colleague on the shoulder to say he likes his combat trousers? ‘Dude, I got these on special at ‘Old Navy” says his colleague. ‘Awesome’. I wonder if there is perhaps-possibly-maybe a little chink of critique, on the part of the NYTs photographer, in this edge-of-the-image smile? Such good terror-fighting teeth too. I would ‘hope’ we read this scene against the grain. Yes we can.

The article offers a great many other howlers – including strange juxtapositions: one such follows on from the news that neophyte Explorer Cathy is ‘attracted by the guns’ and says: “I like shooting them … I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.” We then get the observation that the police who supervise this ‘training’ have been exploring in their own perversions: “There have been numerous cases over the last three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them”.

It seems though we are safe. This is after all only a role-playing game (with Arab dress-ups and other harmless panto fun). We are assured that ‘the training … is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting’. OK.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the same paper, another photograph of another line of troops catches my eye – a dead soldier is being returned to the US. RIP Michael P Yates, killed by one of his own in the counselling tent (image not online, but article here). The televisual reporting of the return of troop bodies was suppressed by a former President, but the correspondence between the line of Explorer scouts and the solemn line of the troops in the second picture is poignant. (Troops dead so far in Iraq and Afghanistan nearing 5000). This picture too appears a few pages before a full page ad taken out by a right wing group, suitably named the ‘Torture Truth Project’ that condemns those who would embarrass the US internationally by mentioning the ‘only three’ detainees that endured water boarding. The text of which is a special rhetoric all on its own when it tortures the truth by warning that ‘we are losing the goodwill of people across the world’. Welcome to the USA Today, in the NYTimes.

The Scouts, you may recall, are the spawn of Sir Colin Baden-Powell, also famous for having developed the detention camp at Mafeking over a century ago. Be Prepared. I remember this slogan from my own youthful disciplining as a scout (was mostly fun of course, smoking behind the troop hall) and I know my grandfather in the UK and father in Ukraine were also enthusiastic adventurers. Energy and curiosity turned into memoir.

Struggle for Justice is necessary. Free Gaza by whatever means. This time by donation.

dignity9

[Readers will know I do not endorse charity giving - see Rumour - but note the distinction between buying a boat for the Free Gaza movement and other good causes. This one must float. Lets buy a boat, ahoy].

AN URGENT APPEAL TO HELP BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA

Monday, 04 May 2009 15:47 Last Updated on Monday, 04 May 2009 19:20 Written by Free Gaza Movement

“From the groundbreaking work of Gandhi and King to the ongoing example of the Free Gaza Movement, we can discern the transforming power of nonviolence at a crossroads in our history.”
-H.E. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly

Dear Friends,

we desperately need your help. It’s with heavy hearts that we have to inform you that the Free Gaza ship, the DIGNITY, has been lost outside Larnaca port in Cyprus. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident.

On 30 December 2008 the DIGNITY was rammed by the Israeli navy while on a mission of mercy to deliver critically needed medical supplies and doctors to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. Thanks to the heroic efforts of its captain and crew, the DIGNITY was able to find safe harbor in Lebanon, later making its way to Cyprus for repairs. Early this morning we received a call from the Harbor Master in Larnaca, informing us that the ship was taking on water. While attempting to tow her to safety, the ship went down. An inquiry has begun into the circumstances surrounding her demise, possibly due to storm damage suffered during the night.

All of us in Free Gaza are deeply saddened by the loss of the DIGNITY. Since the Free Gaza Movement was founded in 2006 we have worked hard to overcome the siege of Gaza. Israeli policies of racism, ethnic cleansing and the brutal military occupation of Palestine demand our determined & direct resistance. When our governments fail to act, we – the citizens of the world – must stand up and make our voices heard.

To date, the Free Gaza Movement has organized seven voyages to Palestine, successfully arriving in Gaza Port five times. We have brought dozens of human rights workers, journalists, parliamentarians, and others to Gaza, as well as tons of desperately needed medical and humanitarian supplies. Free Gaza boats are the first international ships to sail to the Gaza Strip since 1967.

None of this would have been possible without you, our friends. Your emotional, political, and financial support is the foundation of all our successes.

We’re turning to you today, because we need your help now more than ever. Please visit our donate page for more information on how you can help ensure our continuing missions to Palestine. Please give generously.

Despite our loss today, we will not be deterred. In one month we will return to Gaza with the HOPE FLEET, a flotilla of cargo and passengers ships carrying significant amounts of humanitarian and reconstruction aid. Thanks to your support, we will go to Gaza again and again, until this siege is forever ended and the Palestinian people have free access to the rest of the world.

This is our solemn promise.

Sincerely Yours,
Huwaida Arraf
Greta Berlin
Eliza Ernshire
Derek Graham
Fathi Jaouadi
Ramzi Kysia
Vaggelis Pissias
The interim Board of Directors for the Free Gaza Movement

PS: We’re suggesting a donation of €50, but please give what you can. Your contributions will go directly toward the purchase and overhaul of new ship that can break through the siege of Gaza and help connect Palestine with the rest of the world.

http://www.freegaza.org/

Crerative Practices Beyond Borders (sonic, theatre, doco) 21 May 2009

img_1595Event: though not exactly a public one – I am speaking about Creative Practices Beyond Borders to a meeting of the AHRC on 21 May at UCL. So, what to say – the brief is to talk about the project and what we have done with the coin they offered us (ahem).

Two meetings of a series of Beyond Text Network grant workshops have been held over the last year in London and Berlin, and the third is planned for Copenhagen in November 09. We have had guests from 12 countries, including as far away as India, Australia and Singapore. The network was has examined Creativity Beyond Borders and taken up themes from Music, Theatre and Film to rethink the ways that a number of different kinds of borders are conceived. In our discussions, the border was found to be porous, often contested, a contact zone, shifting and multiple. The ways that borders work between things, and between people, was found to be constitutive. We have had people sing in seminars, interrupt performances, walk the border of the city, present art works, and challenge preconceptions yada yada dada.

In ‘Sonic Border’ (London November 08), the theme of sound was conceived as a way to rethink the visual and geographic fixity of the border (pirate radio, for example, crosses the border in interesting ways), and the idea of vibration emerged as a possible model for opening up notions of analogue communication. A highlight was a presentation from Professor Les Back of his recordings of New Cross from the roof of the Goldsmiths Tower, using advanced sound equipment he was able to modulate a range of sounds – from sirens to school kids talking, that would normally be merely ‘din’ in what is the noisiest of London boroughs. Rangan Chakravorty and Paramita Brahmachari travelled from Kolkata to be with us, and Johannes Anyuru and Alexander Motturi introduced us to Clandestino. Camille Barbagello was great on the Cross Talk project and there were many other good things. At the end of the week another highlight was our trip to Coventry Cathedral to join the Noise of the past: Postcolonial War Requiem’ event, which included composition of a new War/Peace Requiem for the cathedral. We participated in the conference and attended the screening of films and the recital in the Cathedral. All very relevant to our discussions, this event with 800 people (organised by another AHRC project headed by Nirmal Puwar and Sanjay Sharma) was a great conclusion to our network meeting week.

At ‘Theatre Border’ (Berlin April 09) the performative apparatus was explored in a way that suggests a premium on attention. Those that cross the border perform in disguise, go covertly, or make use of diversions. Our ‘research’ here in part involved a series of guided investigative and documenting walks along parts of the ‘borders’ of Berlin, including the former wall. There were presentations about the wall from the Goethe Institute and from filmmaker activist Hito Steyerl, there were enactments of the border, and a peripatetic form of workshop organisation emerged, much to the delight I think of our guest from Kolkata, Rustom Bharucha, this followed by a brilliant visual (still and moving image) collation and presentation of the materials collected on the walks. These will be posted on the site in due course. Joan Marie Kelly came with images from Singapore and India and Miro Kaygalak and Raul Gschrey gave back to back provocations that worked really well.

There are lots of people to thank, and we thank them, and will continue to do so – more to come on the workshop page in the sidebar.

State of Nature

son

The good people at the journal State of Nature thought it a plausible idea to do an interview. A fine opportunity to talk about what I was reading (and writing) at the time. Happy May Day. See you at the parade.

Berlin Theatre Border program

img_1473Theatre Border is was the [update: very successful] second of our AHRC Beyond Text Creativity Beyond Borders Network events, this time in Berlin at F.U…20-22 April 2009

See the link for more [and eventually a commentary], but the program was:

Program structure:
(which is intentionally loose to allow time for discussion and for borders to be porous)

[and don't you think this picture looks like something Leonardo might have staged?]

Monday: From 10:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m at Clubhaus.

10am Coffee

10:30 am Introduction Prof Dr Erika Fischer-Lichte and Prof John Hutnyk

11:15 am Dr Julian Henriques: Boarders and Skins: haptic crossovers, tympanic rhythms and sensory surfaces

12:30 lunch

2.30 pm “Goethe Institute Mauerreisse project discussion”, introduced by Kerstin Raatz

3:30 short break

3:45 Paulo Lara and Luiza Valle “Theatre of the Oppressed: Brazil, Parallels and Exercise”

5 pm Future Plans

6.45 pm Drinks and Dinner at “Alter Krug”

Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.

10:30 Chen, Lin “Restructure of the border with making belief performance”

11am Ray Ganz: “Van Gogh’s Ear: New Voices In Radio Art”

11.50 coffee

12:10 pm Raul Gschrey and Dr Dietmar Kammerer: “Performing in Surveillance Space”

1:30 pm Lunch

3:15 pm Miro Kaygalak: “qwx – show ur lingua” – chair: Kien Nghi Ha

4:00 pm short break

4:20 pm – instructions from Cristobal and Nicolas
W-B-B [Walking-Borders-Berlin]. See full description
5 pm leave for walking event –

8 pm dinner (central, tbc)


Wednesday: From 10:00 a.m. to end, back at the Clubhaus.

10:30 am Joan Kelly: “Theatricalizing Portrature”

11 am Dr Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay: “Theatricalizing Portrature commentary”

11:30 Coffee

11:50am Alexander Motturi and Johannes Anyuru: “FÖRVARET” (The Detention Center)

1:20 pm Lunch

3:20 pm Screening and discussion of “The Empty Centre” with director Dr Hito Steyerl

5 pm break

5:20 pm – 6.30PM Responses from walking event and party – venue tbc.

__________

Sonic Border was Nov 3-8th 2008 at Goldsmiths. The Theatre Border discussion starts here. Then we will join with the Copenhagen documentary festival (CPH-DOX) for film/border in November 09, but there are no details of this (to be worked out in Berlin – its a rolling program. Or maybe more of a cascade… avalanche…drift…

_

____________________________________

Boycott these checks on students

brown1This excellent letter appeared in today’s Guardian. Signed by a range of academics, and pointing out the abuse of power that now extends the border into the classroom. Bad move UK (stupidly following the Australian points based immigration system that worked so well!).

We need a nationwide campaign, as previously discussed here.

Boycott these checks on students

The Guardian, Tuesday 14 April 2009

As academics involved in research on the uses and abuses of state power, it is becoming increasingly apparent that members of staff in universities and colleges are being drawn into a role of policing immigration (Universities weigh up new fraud unit to thwart bogus applications, 11 April). For example, academic and administrative staff are being asked to monitor the attendance of students at lectures and classes (whether compulsory or not), and we are being asked to check the ID of students and colleagues, while external examiners and visiting lecturers are also now being asked to provide passport details.

We strongly oppose the imposition of such changes in the way that academic institutions are run. We believe these practices are discriminatory and distort academic freedoms. The implementation of UK immigration policies is not part of our contractual duties and we will play no part in practices which discriminate against students and staff in this way. We support our administrative colleagues in their refusal to engage in such practices. Thus we pledge to refuse to co-operate with university requests for us to provide details on our students or participate in investigations of those students.

As a first, and highly practical, step, we pledge not to supply any personal details – such as passport or driving licence details – in our role as external examiners, and urge all of our colleagues across higher and further education to join this boycott. We will also forward motions to our respective union branches in support of this position. A boycott would undermine immediately the system of external examining at all levels, which operates almost exclusively on the basis of goodwill, and thus strike a significant blow against both the pernicious drift of government policy, and university managements’ acquiescence to this.

Academic Border Patrols

combat1Since this topic came up in our CCS program monitoring (course review) session today, I think it would be useful for people to know that there is considerable opposition on campuses to involvement on the part of university staff in the dirty work of the UK Border Police. Below I reproduce the Academic Union’s recent motion from our most recent branch meeting, and after that a separate, but related campaign by Goldsmiths’ own A. Gormley and a few others that – unrelatedly but endearingly – follows up on one of the initiatives suggested at the Sonic Diaspora Beyond Borders Beyond Text workshop we held in CCS in November. I comment without needing to make the obvious references to how well this racist points-based immigration system worked out in Fortress Australia:

Motion: New Home Office regulations (overwhelmingly carried, 12/2/09)

We wish to express our opposition to the new Home Office regulations, introduced under the new points-based system for immigration to the UK, that will require lecturers to monitor international students and to report any absences from seminars, lectures and tutorials, as well as any failure to submit assessment on time. We are opposed to these regulations for the following reasons.

First, they represent a possible breach of Article 8 (the right to privacy) and Article 3 (degrading treatment) of the European Convention of Human Rights and the 1998 Human Rights Act.

Second, such regulations will harm the relationship of trust between students and lecturers that is a vital aspect of doing our jobs which, fundamentally, should be helping students to learn. The regulations, in effect, treat international students as though they are potential suspects who have come to the UK with the specific goal of abusing the immigration system. We feel that this is discriminatory as the Home Office regulations apply only to non-EU students. We also wish to point out that the existing procedures of applying for a student visa requires students to be accepted at an accredited UK institution and, as such, already address the concerns and bogus schools that apparently have motivated the new rules.

Third, the work involved in monitoring international students will add unnecessarily to our workloads, in addition to our regular teaching, administrative and pastoral duties.

Furthermore, we note the passing of a motion in 2008 by Goldsmiths Students Union encouraging staff not to comply with the new rules.

For these reasons, this meeting agrees

1.        To affirm its opposition to the new Home Office regulations;
2.        To request details of the specific plans the University is making with
regard to the implementation of these regulations;
3.        To ask members not to commence implementation of these regulations until these details are made clear to members, and the human rights and workload issues are appropriately dealt with.

The Piece from The Observer contained a final paragraph gem of doublethink: ‘A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “We want the United Kingdom to stay open and attractive for creative artists. But at the same time we are determined to deliver a system of border security which is among the most secure in the world.”‘ But the article at least started off lauding the efforts of the artists. For those who think that its not just artists who need to be defended from these draconian rules, it was helpfully pointed out to me that in the new cultural economy we are all “Artists” now. I guess that hype might work. Here are the first few paragraphs of this article:

Top artists battle visa clampdown

  • The Observer, Sunday 22 February 2009

Antony Gormley is leading major arts figures in an attack on security controls which prevent star international performers from entering the UK

The visa legislation has tightened up the requirements for all professionals travelling to Britain from outside the EU in order to perform or take part in an arts event. Artists must now not only show proof of their identity, including fingerprints, but also show they have an established sponsor happy to take full financial responsibility for them and to vouch for all their activities while on British soil. Small organisations must pay a fee of £400 to become an official “sponsor”, while larger groups must pay £1,000.

Leading figures from the art world, including Antony Gormley and Nicholas Hytner, have launched a campaign to reverse stringent visa controls which they claim are preventing top foreign musicians, actors and artists from visiting Britain.

They say that immigration laws introduced last year are restricting artistic freedom and have called on the Home Office to review them.

One example they give is that of the virtuoso Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov, who cancelled what was to be his second performance in this country at the Southbank Centre in London when he could not provide the documents required for his planned visit in April.

“This country has always been a hub, an airy place where people from all over the world could come and express themselves in art,” said actress Janet Suzman, one of the signatories of a petition calling for the Home Office to look at the rules again. “This legislation stamps on all that with a clunking, hobnail boot”…

An ‘airy place’ thats been ‘stomped on’. – just how artists speak I’m sure. But however they say what they say, they are at least not as scary as those who would deliver a world’s most secure arts sector. Its a laugh a minute in the museum of democracy. Sign me up now.

Theatre-Border

bordertoySlowly the form of our meeting in Berlin has been taking shape, via disparate (and desperate?) emails, haphazardly. That will no doubt continue, but I think it good to gather it together here (in dialogic form):

John: I’ve no idea yet as to just what the Berlin workshop should be in April (week of 20th) – I just think we might want something on how the whole performance of Borders, or the Border Crossing, might make possible new thinking around immigration politics, border controls, divisions and divides etc.

What I am keen to do is extend from the discussions we had in the November meeting that raised issues around how people rethink the border when it comes to sound and through musicking, collaborative work, festivals and solidarity. And how the character of sound crosses the border differently perhaps – the metaphor of the sonic which moves us away from a visual and geographic conception of the Border. Is there something in the theatrical that tampers with border protocols that we can develop? Is the ‘live’ of theatre of use for thinking border as event? Is there something about the performance of the guard, the applicant, the visa, the passage. And that the border is performed everywhere, all the time, in the street, in the gaps we act out between each other? In the courthouse? In the detention centre? Or maybe either more esoteric, or more material – is the border a stage, or ‘in the round’? Are there actors, directors, a troupe – is it a puppet show? Is the border equipped with a back stage, house lights, curtains, inner circle and  ‘the gods’ – what is its architecture? Is it opera, Brecht, or vaudeville? Is a rose by any other name a border control? or… Something like this/anyone?

Rustom: Many thanks for your very insightful comments relating to the border.  Flogged to death as it is in a great deal of performance studies and cultural theory, it still continues to provoke and challenge.  Following the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I guess it is the porosity of borders that is called into question, raising uncomfortable questions relating to surveillance.  India seems to be caught in a double bind:  on the one hand, it’s obvious that our existing mechanisms of surveillance are woefully weak and overly bureacuratized; on the other hand, in strenghening them, what are the implications for minorities and those migrants without papers who can be easily targeted?

Markus: As you know, here in Berlin we have a long tradition of thinking about crossing borders in terms of performativity and the “framing” of cultural and aesthetic borders. There sure are quite a number of theoretical approaches that deal with the problem of border-crossing within the arts and humanities and it seems to me that the
next step would be to reimplement these ideas back into cultural and political theory.

Why not give each day a different topic, held together by the overall theme of body, theatricality and performativity in regards to bordercrossing or the blurring of borders? In this case it could very well focus especially on bodily borders, right? The political, social and phenomenological integrity and dignity of borders (or boundaries) between bodies perhaps? Combined with the old psychoanalytical question if there is such a thing as a coherent body with distinct borders in the first place, there should be many interesting opportunities for thinking about surveillance and counter surveillance for example. Or the notion of “staging violence” in the media. Just my quick two cents.

John: You had asked what the Clandestino people are doing. Their project for Berlin is derived from work on a play they are doing about the Detention Centre. Its due for performance in December 09 but the text will be ready (only in Swedish) in Feb. We will try to have it translated before April. This started because I said I would like to really push the Detention Centre as border idea. I’ve written on barbed wire before – its a border that really cuts into the body. A harsh theatre is required for this: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/489/detention.html

So Aleksander and Johannes have written a play, “FÖRVARET” (The Detention Center)? It will be performed at Göteborgs Stadsteater with premiere December 2009. They say they ‘think it is very good starting point for a discussion on the complexity of border surveillance seen from an inside the border control perspective, what happens with language of emotions in the context where the “not quite criminals”, those people who have been taken into “custody”, been placed in the “detention centre”, not beeing criminals for something that they have comitted but for a border they have transgressed. This is what me and Johannes have been working out in “Förvaret”.

Aleksander says: ‘I think my other colleagues Michal Azar (philosopher (Fanon, Lacan, Sartre, Camus, postmodern thinkers)/historian of ideas (war of Algeria)/play writer) and/or Edda Manga (philosopher (feminism, postcolonialism, postmodernism)/historian of ideas (the Idea of a Just war from Victoria/bartolome de las Casas, etc)/activist, . . . ) would be great to bring since they are very much of intellectuals that can “reimplement the ideas crossing borders in terms of performativity and the “framing” of cultural and aesthetic borders back into cultural and political theory”. Also Cecilia Parsberg, artist that did many projects in on the Wall in Palestine’.

John: unfortunately we don’t have funds to invite other visitors, but if people could make their way to Berlin…

Things to discuss:
Format – ideally not too much lecture format. Lets experiment with formats. Panel discussion, round table, theatrical metaphor for seminars?

Text – three days, three themes related to Border performance. One on bodily Border. Another on Surveillance (of bodies, borders, nation states). Another one ___ detentions?

Participants: several of the PhDs have suggested good things. I will ask them to write up a paragraph for their presentations. Especially good ideas from Jen, Ray, Cristobal and Nick. So, more to come here, but at least we have a start. Comments welcome.

The main border page, with the back story to this event, is here.

[The picture is from Emile's wish list on Amazon. Check here and read the comments].

Sonic Border Program again

Sonic Border/ Sonic Diaspora/Beyond Text

Host: Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths

Monday, 3 November – Rooms 137a and 138

2:30 -3:00 pm Chair: John Hutnyk

Julian Henriques ‘ Thinking Through Sound’

3:00 – 4:00 pm

David Graeber. ‘Prisoners of Sound’

4:00 – 4:20 pm – Coffee and tea break.

4:20-6:30 pm

Johannes Anyuru and Aleksander Motturi. ‘Clandestino Festival in age of Ethnicism.’

6:30 – 7:00 pm

Explanation of Coventry Event, introduction of those from Kolkata and other guests.

7:00 pm – Drinks and dinner at Gourmet Bar/Rosemary Branch Lewisham Way

_______

Tuesday, 4 November – Rooms 308 and 307

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Les Back. ‘Siren’s Cry: The War on Terror and the Carceral City.’

2:00 – 2:15pm – Coffee and tea break

2:15 – 3:45 pm Chair: Anamik Saha

Rangan Chakravarty. Sound and Fury: The Language of Music: Contemporary Bangla Bands’

Paramita Brahmachari. ‘Bollywood on the telly’

3:45 – 4:00 pm – Coffee and tea break

4:00 – 6:00 pm Chair: Leila Whitley

Marc Teare. The Secret History of a Musick Yet To Be.’

Carla Mueller-Schulzke. ‘Transcultural Soundscapes: Creative Musical Practice and the Politics of Sound.’

Kiwi Menrath. ‘Sounds Aquatic: From Oceans and Flows to Muddy Waters.’

Rico Reyes. ‘Echolocating: Barrionics, Colonial Melancholia, and Technological Euphoria’

7:00 pm – Tuesday evening we will be travelling to SE1 to join Thomas Altheimer Europe For President at Alma Enterprises’ project space on November 4th in Glasshill Street, SE1. More details here.

_______________________

Wednesday 5th Nov – Deptford TV event – see separate flyer at bottom of this page.

Thursday, 6 November

THE PERFORMANCE OF CRISIS

Interdisciplinary Colloquium – Rooms 137-138

Chair: Hanna Kuusela

11:00- 11:30 Introduction: Performing Crisis- Nicolás Salazar-Sutil

11:30-11:50 Crisis? What Crisis? Perspectives on the Credit Crunch- Andy Christodoulou

11:50- 12:30 The Madness of Decision- Dr James Burton- Goldsmiths College.

12:30- 13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Yuk Hui

13:30-14:30 Keynote Contribution: Professor Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki

14:30- 15:00 Value formation and crisis – Operativity of narrative – Lee Wan-Gi

15:00- 15:30 Something Between us: exploring social-fragmentation, philosophical anxieties and the economic crisis in America – John Ferrara

15:30- 16:00 Coffee Break

Chair: Cristóbal Bianchi

16:00-16:50 The inchoate situation of decline and the rhetoric of crisis- Dr Ina Dietzsch, University of Durham

16:50- 17:20 HO2Crisis: Water Wars and its trickling effect- Eva Slotegraaf

17:20- 17:50 Debord, Lautreaont and the aesthetics of negativity- Tom Bunyard

17:50- 18:30 The financial crisis as a window of opportunity: Hanna Kuusela

______

Friday, 7 November – Rooms 308 and 307

11:00 – 1:00 pm

Film: Jahaji Music, India in the Caribbean -Presented by Surabhi

1:00 – 2:30pm – Lunch Break

2:30 – 4:00 pm

John Speyer and Music In Detention

‘Identities and Interactions in Border Institutions: Music in Immigration Removal Centres’

4:00 – 4:30 pm – Coffee and tea Break

4:30 – 6:00 pm

Camille Barbagallo. ‘Crossing borders. The xtalk project: free English classes for migrant sex workers.’

Karen Tam. ‘Songs not quite from Impanema.’

David Hysek. ‘Quinta del Sordo – sense, theatre and sound’

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Future Events: February in Berlin, November in Copenhagen.

__________________

Saturday 8 Nov – Noise of the Past – see separate flyer at bottom of here.

Sonic Border on the anniversary of Laika

Sonic Borders begins today at Goldsmiths (draft program here) – can’t sleep because its also the 51st anniversary of the space dog’s lonely death. Also, more favourably as an augur, its the 91st anniversary of the October Revolution – in November. So I should post something about dates and repetition…

Instead, typing up some notes from last week when, to give a talk in Malmö, I crossed the border from Copenhagen into Sweden by train; across a bridge, in blinding rain and mist, to the sound of the rhythmic rumble-rush of steel wheels on rail. There was no passport or ticket check, no indication of passing the border, no visible marker of nation or difference. Only the shift of language station announcements from Danish to Swedish registers the change.

The border is not only geography and vision – though a line on the map and the sign at immigration control are our most immediate experiences of control – the border is also a process, an order, an iteration, uneven, performative and aural. The border is not just at the edge or boundary, it is also in the street, in the post, in the pub. The border operates between people. The hand raised to silence the offer of the migrant DVD salesperson who interrupts your quiet enjoyment of a beer – that too is a brutal moment of border control. Although of course we can insist that state boundaries are also porous, continually bypassed, more and less easily, in so many different ways; immigration control still stands as a block to movement and mediation.

The resonance of the war and power is strong here – echoing with the sounds of silence, dispossession and death to which our eyes become deaf, our ears have become blind.

Is our boundary prejudice built into the structure of the border control? A logic of presence, geography and vision govern the strong sense of truth that belongs to knowledge. We say knowledge is divided into fields (geography) and seem most often to designate knowing through a confident designation. We indicate truths by pointing (vision), there is presence in understanding. Now perhaps there is an alternative in the metaphoric code with which we name movement and sound. It may be possible to hear a more critical tone, to raise questions about the assertions of certitude – when critical we say we are not sure we agree, we doubt, we say we do not like the tone. Can thinking through travel and sound suggest new ways of linking across the borders between us all – as sound crosses the border in ways that tamper with visual and geographic blocks (pirate radio, music, language, the sound of falling bombs…). But we also say, when critical, that we cannot see the point. Ahh, with this last the too easy divide of metaphor into those that point and assert knowledge through vision and those that question and challenge through sound does finally break down. But perhaps there is something in sound that can suggest more, that allows us at least to listen to another possibility, temporarily opening up ears and minds.

It is often thought, but we could be more precise – that movement across borders of all kinds is a good thing, breaking taboos and genre rules is an unmitigated good. Of course, cross disciplinarity is claimed as a boon (in cultural studies for sure), but clearly other crossings – of capital, of weapons, of imperial power – are not so welcome. Capital moves one way, surplus value extraction another. Cross-border global movement (music distribution, television news, democracy) might not always be a boon. No doubt pirate radio enjoys much approval, but communications media also have a less favourable heritage (radio as used, say, by the National Socialists in Germany) and present (the contemporary normative narrations of ‘democracy’ by the Voice of America, the BBC, or with the televisual uniformity of CNN). A more careful thinking that notes the metaphors of critique, distinguishes movement and sonic registers that affirm or disavow, works to undo that which destroys and divides, fosters that which unites, organises capacity to live otherwise with others…

Crossing the border, a great achievement, pushing the boundaries, also sometimes caught and fraught in contradictions. For cross-disciplinarity and border transgression, against control by Capital – we need to sublate movement out of, under and around control. No simple task. The sound of a dog barking in space might caution against uncritical celebrations. Lest we forget Laika, dead on Sputnik 2 these 51 years ago today.

Sonic Border/ Sonic Diaspora/Beyond Text

Please Go <here> for the more detailed (in process) Beyond Borders archive for this Project. There are a number of posts that lead up to the event described below, and a number of posts related to its aftermath, and details of the upcoming events in Berlin in April and Copenhagen in November will be posted there in dues course.

_____________________

Draft Programme for:

Sonic Border/ Sonic Diaspora/Beyond Text

Monday 3rd – Saturday 8th November 2008

Centre for Cultural Studies

Goldsmiths University of London

______________________________________________

Monday, 3 November

2:30 -3:00 pm – Rooms 137a and 138

Introduction by Julian Henriques – ‘Thinking Through Sound’

3:00 – 4:00 pm Chair: John Hutnyk

David Graeber. ‘Prisoners of Sound’

4:00 – 4:20 pm

Coffee and tea break.

4:20-6:30 pm

Johannes Anyuru and Aleksander Motturi ‘Clandestino Festival in an Age of Ethnicism’

6:30 – 7:00 pm

Explanation of Coventry Event, introduction of those from Kolkata and other guests.

7:00 pm

Drinks and dinner.

______________________________________________

Tuesday, 4 November

1:00 – 2:00 pm – Rooms 308 and 307

Les Back ‘Siren’s Cry: The War on Terror and the Carceral City’

2:00 – 2:15pm

Coffee and tea break

2:15 – 3:45 pm Chair: Anamik Saha

Rangan Chakravarty. ‘Sound and Fury: The Language of Music: Contemporary Bangla Bands’

Paramita Brahmachari. tbc

3:45 – 4:00 pm

Coffee and tea break

4:00 – 6:00 pm Chair: Leila Whitley

Marc Teare. ‘The Secret History of a Musick Yet To Be.’

Carla Mueller-Schulzke. ‘Transcultural Soundscapes: Creative Musical Practice and the Politics of Sound.’

Kiwi Menrath. ‘Sounds Aquatic: From Oceans and Flows to Muddy Waters.’

Rico Reyes ‘Echolocating: Barrionics, Colonial Melancholia, and Technological Euphoria’<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–>

7:00 pm

Tuesday evening we will be travelling to SE1 to join Thomas Altheimer for an event.

52 mins film Europe For President at Alma Enterprises’ project space on November 4th in Glasshill Street, SE1 (no street number, signs in the small street will lead you to the venue). Altheimer will open the event at 7 pm with an ‘Act Of Concession’.

The film documents Altheimer’s attempt to launch a European candidate for president in the US. It is produced by German, French and Austrian television and premières on French/German broadcaster on Nov 1st at 6 pm (see German press release: http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/28/0,1872,1404028_idDispatch:8094208,00.html ).

______________________________________________

Wednesday, 5 November

College Open Day. Free Morning

In the afternoon we will attend this separately organised (by GMD, Deptford TV and CUCR) film/talk event in Deptford Town Hall, New Cross Road, London SE14 6AF

4.30-5.15 – Deptford.TV Premieres: Black History Month

Four short films made by Goldsmiths MA Screen Documentary students for Deptford.TV on Deptford’s black history. They look at the story of reggae sound systems in the area, the growth of the black community here, and the racist violence of the 1970s and 1980s, including the New Cross Fire.

5.30-8.00 – Talkoake on se14 6af: What will New Cross be?

Goldsmiths, University of London, is located in the heart of the dynamic and diverse neighbourhood of New Cross. The area is home to emerging creative businesses, deprived council estates and large numbers of students. How do these different communities interact?

see details at the end of the full program here .

______________________________________________

Thursday, 6 November

THE PERFORMANCE OF CRISIS

Interdisciplinary Colloquium

November 6 2008 Rooms 137-138

Chair: Hanna Kuusela

11:00- 11:30 Introduction: Performing Crisis- Nicolás Salazar-Sutil

11:30-11:50 Crisis? What Crisis? Perspectives on the Credit Crunch- Andy Christodoulou

11:50- 12:30 The Madness of Decision- Dr James Burton- Goldsmiths College.

12:30- 13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Yuk Hui

13:30-14:30 Keynote Contribution: ‘Politicizing Crisis’ Professor Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki

14:30- 15:00 Value formation and crisis – Operativity of narrative – Lee Wan-Gi

15:00- 15:30 Something Between us: exploring social-fragmentation, philosophical anxieties and the economic crisis in America – John Ferrara

15:30- 16:00 Coffee Break

Chair: Cristóbal Bianchi

16:00-16:50 The inchoate situation of decline and the rhetoric of crisis- Dr Ina Dietzsch, University of Durham

16:50- 17:20 HO2Crisis: Water Wars and its trickling effect- Eva Slotegraaf

17:20- 17:50 Debord, Lautreaont and the aesthetics of negativity- Tom Bunyard

17:50- 18:30 The financial crisis as a window of opportunity: Hanna Kuusela

______________________________________________

Friday, 7 November

11:00 – 1:00 pm – Rooms 308 and 307

Film: Jahaji Music, India in the Caribbean

Presented by Surabhi

1:00 – 2:30pm

Lunch Break

2:30 – 4:00 pm

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–>

John Speyer and Music In Detention

‘Identities and Interactions in Border Institutions: Music in Immigration Removal Centres’

4:00 – 4:30 pm

Coffee and tea Break

4:30 – 6:00 pm

Karen Tam Songs not quite from Impanema.’

Camille Barbagallo. ‘Crossing borders. The xtalk project: free English classes for migrant sex workers.’

David Hysek ‘Quinta del Sordo – sense, theatre and sound’

6:00 – 7:00 pm

Future Events: February in Berlin, May in Copenhagen.

______________________________________________

Saturday, 8 November

Noise of the Past – a poetic journey of war, memory & dialogue

Free bus to Coventry for this event (you have to book a place by emailing Leila on . Limited spaces available.

see the full program here .

_____________________________________

Again, please Go <here> for the more detailed (in process) Beyond Borders archive for this Project. There are a number of posts that lead up to the event described below, and a number of posts related to its aftermath, and details of the upcoming events in Berlin in April and Copenhagen in November will be posted there in dues course.

Sonic Border is part (also see here, here and here) of the Beyond Borders network funded by the AHRC Beyond Text.

____________

malmo

A note for Malmo:

I am looking forward to this visit to Malmo (third item here) to talk about movement and home. Happy to be asked, and I would be very keen to start with some very brief comments.

Obsessing about things like this for a while now, I would – so there are no big surprises – first suggest that we could start working against a geographical model of the Border or the Boundary. If we recognize the border is not just the port, but the entire city, as in “everywhere, in everything we do”, in each interaction between people related, somehow somewhere to belonging – how violent this is – if we recognize the border as a wall between us all, then we might see reason to have to reconfigure the very idea of nation, boundary and movement that so distracts us. Secondly, the border is not just at the edge, but at any port, at the immigration office, in the postal service that delivers the visa, in the police checks, the detention procedure – in the everyday reactions of people to each other even as they stand and stare. Thirdly, if we think of the way sound and meaning travels across the border, might we start to develop ways of thinking critically against this geographic boundary – and the old models of nation, culture, race that the border secures. What would it be to ask critically about, and so reject, the way we have fixed the border through property, maps, geography – and so leave that space that has been deaf to other movements, transmissions, resonances. Would this work things differently, otherwise?

I will have to think of some examples to make this less abstract, they are everywhere.

The above developes this.

Cross Border

I am rereading Eyal Weizman’s really excellent book “Hollow Land“, and I’m taken by his comment that the border is not always symmetrical. Of course, some are blocked, some pass freely, Capital flows through, commodities glide on by, others stand in line or have to sneak under the wire (if lucky). What else crosses the border, and how? Can this symmetry be tampered with in innovative ways, so as to support… Add this to the street as the border right here right now, and the ubiquity of border controls in our every move (for and against) and … Anyway, this below just had to be elevated from the comments of this post here, with dates amended, since its now time to start thinking out loud how to implement the thing. Get in touch if interested:

June 25 2008: I have been awarded some money from September for a network on the theme of ‘Beyond Text‘, and propose to use it for work on border activism and creativity – music, theatre, film. AHRC in their wisdom and generosity have included money for people from India to come to Berlin London Copenhagen – and possibly Barcelona, this year and next.

The project: we are gathering Border Activist/artists from a couple of organizations and propose to meet together over a week X 6 in the next two years – some casual meetings, some workshops, some public talks – to work out some ways to break with conventions of border arts, pursue border activisms – and of course tamper with Border Patrols. The thinking needs to be furthered as its pretty sketchy as yet, but I want that to happen in concert with others. Migrant Media London, Clandestino music festival Gotebourg, Re:Orient theatre Stockholm and friends in Unis at Barcelona, Berlin FU and Copenhagen Doctoral School.

The times are not yet fixed, but I wanted to give advance notice….

A slightly better outline of the plan: The money I have is small, and specifically for events in Berlin, London and Copenhagen and for visitors from Calandestino festival, Re:Orient theatre, and Migrant Media film, and various people from Kolkata. It is to run a series of week long laboratory-workshops. These will be variously on music, theatre and film. The focus is on border crossing activisms in some way, I hope. Nothing is worked out yet, but at a guess the dates would help – approximately, a week each in:

early November 08: London (music)

end feb 09 Berlin (theatre)

May 09 Copenhagen (Film)

Sept 09 London (film)

Feb 10 Berlin (music)

May 10 Copenhagen (theatre)

The people involved will be working on border activism, transnational, diaspora, streets as borders, the border between ourselves, everywhere, everyday…mainly, but specifically with a film, theatre and music angles. Any ideas welcome…

The first meeting at least will be music focused. A week long ‘laboratory’ on ’sonic diaspora’ to be held in London in November. There would also be a big music night at the Amersham Arms pub. The laboratory would involve various practitioners in music, and academics from Europe, in a series of workshops (no idea exactly on what yet) in the week.

So, these are just preliminary ideas, but get thinking of border again… and have a look at your calendar. – John

Border Patrols

The city is the border. Each time you wave away the Chinese DVD seller who approaches you in the pub; each time you glide past the Polish beer in the cornershop, choosing a stella or chardonnay instead; each time you discard the free advertising newsheet you’ve barely even read – a million instant statements of the border.

Sex worker postcards in the last remaining telephone booth (new in town!); spruikers on the curry shift entice you for a deal; dragging angry and Peckham through the CCTV streets at dawn – the border is the city and the walls between us all.

It could not be that we don’t know this: that the management of the border is a mass participation project operated absentmindedly by all of us all day. Through an overkill of commentary and a shifting, churning hierarchy, the profiles, stereotypes and judgements that are constantly made yet so often denied are the guilty enactment of this regime. Border Police do their work – spot check, detention, deportation – all the better because our everywhere everyday distracted border operation is there in all we do.

The regulations are on the streets, the regulators are here.

Torture Taxi

I like the fact that Trever Paglen and A.C.Thompson write in such a clear forthright style in their book “Torture Taxi: On the trail of the CIA’s rendition flights” (2006 Melville House New Jersey). Classified as ‘current affairs/military history’, I think this is compulsory reading for so many reasons. Not least of all the way a much maligned nerdy pastime – planespotting, noting registration numbers of aircraft at airports – is itself rendered a powerful research strategy and builds a dossier (another loaded word, as indeed is ‘loaded’) on CIA flights, crimes and deceit. The tone throughout is carefully modulated, and all the more effective for that. It is the best book I have read in a while, and not only for gems like this, where our authors talk of:

“dozens of cases in which the CIA had kidnapped the ‘wrong’ person, or had kidnapped someone under distressingly low standards of evidence: One of those ‘erroneous renditions’ turned out to be a college professor who had given an Al-Qaeda member a bad grade (the professor’s name was presumably given to the CIA by the disgruntled former student [fn ref to Chicago Tribune of July 31, 2006]). About a dozen of these men have ended up in Guantanamo Bay” (Paglen/Thompson 2006:169)

Though the standards of evidence for the above are equally thin – how do we check if this student was an Al-Qaeda ‘member’ (as opposed to say, a member of Facebook or some other dodgy spectral org?), how do we know the grading was not indeed biased, what happened to both student and Prof? – the anecdote is nonetheless not unbelievable given our own local security errors(!) in regard of cases like the ‘Lyrical Terrorist’, Forest Gate and Stockwell tube.

There is much good info in the book: on Air America, other covert CIA ops worldwide, and the banality of evil that are front companies, homeland security and international surveillance/kidnapping/assassination. As an example of people’s inquiry, the book is impressive, and all the more necessary in the face of approved fascism. To not engage such investigation and intervention is complicity. Who’d have thought this could be a revolutionary slogan: ‘Planespotters of the world Unite!”

Up up and away… and now a word from our sponsors:

“According to The Washington Post, ‘extraordinary rendition’, or the US’s practice of kidnapping suspects, flying them to an undisclosed location in a third-world country, and torturing them to force a confession about their role in terrorism, is ‘the largest CIA covert action program since the height of the Cold War.’ In a daring first-person investigation, AC Thompson and Trevor Paglen expose the torture apparatus of the CIA, revealing both the workings of its top-secret-and officially-denied extraordinary rendition transport system and the clandestine ‘black sites’ where terror suspects are held. It is a story that takes them around the country and around the world: by following CIA planes from the Nevada desert to Ireland, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and by using FAA data, corporate records, and Army aircraft documents, they uncover an international program involving corrupt domestic politicos, civilian aircraft operators, and the highest levels of government. Torture Taxi is the first in-depth look into a startling and disturbing new truth about the role of torture in the ‘war on terror’.”

Floating Prisons

This post from Subtopia is the sort of thing that puts blog-diary-experiment-notes like mine to shame. Even as I feel I need to skip over the authors first paragraph of self-deprecations (sorry) I find this really really useful. Sure, I have a long interest in prisons, see here, but if you want to start to get to grips with this floating carcereal violence (in a way more urgent than Foucault 101) then you gotta read the Subtopia post in full – and by doing so you also get to see the pics. So here is a taster, then click the link.

“…There is of course a long lineage of slave ships that date back probably as far as the birth of ancient civilization, but in more recent histories the prison boat (something different, though a seemingly natural progression) really started to evolve during the colonial era; and, not to our surprise, they served as a solution to the overpopulated modern prison systems that were falling apart, (not that different from today’s prison crisis or the similarly bursting detention facilities that hold scores of intercepted migrants, refugees and other global transients.) With that, it is hardly shocking that the construct of a floating prison continues to develop today”

Read the rest here.
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Migrating University and Facebook Data Mining

A flurry of activity. A frisson of excitement. And even though I am deeply suspicious of the format, facebook has been a good place to gauge the degree of interest in the Migrating University Project we are putting on through the Centre for Cultural Studies. Its no surprise that there are a half dozen large groups of Goldsmiths/New Cross facebookerists, but the best of them perhaps is the outfit that has produced the spin off badge that is in the picture in this post (itself a response to the rebranding of Goldsmiths that emerged from the Brand consultancy – those ‘radical’ badges now vastly improved dontchya think?).

Now, Facebook as data mining may produce various farragos of anxiety about the distributed nature of auto-panoptica that this format really is – you are watched, my friend, or you are not, but there will always be a trace. One of the better discussions of Facebook-paranoia-surveilance stems from Confused of Calcutta, but generally I am wary of the feedback loop of facebook or other format discussions. Blog comments on the nature of blogging seemed particularly viral a few years back. The point though is, by doing exactly this I get to both repost the So Fucking Goldsmiths pic, which is a must-have trinket, and mention some other education posts from earlier (here, here, here and here). It also gives me a chance to mention that the reason I’ve been on facebook this week is to promote the Migrating University event at Goldsmiths this friday and satuday – and to announce the program is updated here. All are welcome. You should come.

No Detentions, No Deportations, No Borders in Education, Freedom of Movement for All.

And there is a Migrating University group on Facebook as well, simple search should find it.

Image is from So Fucking Goldsmiths (oops, copyright theft, but if you search them on Facebook and join they will forgive me, right).

Gatwick No Border Camp 2007

http://no-racism.net/article/2244

[ 27. Aug 2007 ]

Gatwick No Border Camp 2007

From 19th to 24th of September 2007 a noborder camp will take place at Gatwick Airport near London.

As the government started to build a :: new immigration prison (Brook House at Gatwick Airport, near Crawley), the :: No Border Camp is getting :: closer: Sept 19-24. Among the :: various actions announced, Saturday, the 22nd, will see a :: demonstration from Crawley to Tinsley House, the already existing immigration prison at Gatwick, next to the planned site of the new centre. There will be workshops both :: at the camp and at :: Goldsmith University the week before, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the :: Battle of Lewisham.

Days after the Home Office :: told refugees “We’ll do everything we can to send you home”, 26 migrant prisoners :: escaped from Campsfield, Oxfordshire, following days of protests. The riot was the latest episode in the migrants struggle inside detention after the :: Harmondsworth riots last November.

Relentless protests, both inside adn outside detention, have managed to put many detention and deportation profiteers on the map. On 17 August, activists :: occupied the office of XL Airways in Crawley to protest against the charter airline’s role in forecul deportations on behalf of the Home Office. Several :: demonstrations have been announced for August 28th to protest against a planned charter flight to :: deport a number of rejected asylum seekers to DR Congo.

See also indymedia

Background info on the Gatwick No Border Camp 2007
No Borders & Migration Struggles
from various sources, 30 Aug 2007: From 19th to 24th of September 2007 a noborder camp will take place at Gatwick Airport near London.

As the government started to build a new immigration prison (Brook House at Gatwick Airport, near Crawley), the No Border Camp is getting closer: Sept 19-24. Among the various actions announced, Saturday, the 22nd, will see a demonstration from Crawley to Tinsley House, the already existing immigration prison at Gatwick, next to the planned site of the new centre. There will be workshops both at the camp and at Goldsmith University the week before, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham.

Days after the Home Office told refugees “We’ll do everything we can to send you home”, 26 migrant prisoners escaped from Campsfield, Oxfordshire, following days of protests. The riot was the latest episode in the migrants struggle inside detention after the Harmondsworth riots last November.

Relentless protests, both inside and outside detention, have managed to put many detention and deportation profiteers on the map. On 17 August, activists occupied the office of XL Airways in Crawley to protest against the charter airline’s role in forecul deportations on behalf of the Home Office. Several demonstrations have been announced for August 28th to protest against a planned charter flight to deport a number of rejected asylum seekers to DR Congo.

Two years of No Borders UK
It was before the G8 2005 in Scotland that initiatives started to network around the issues of Freedom Of Movement in the UK again. A Make Borders History demo took place in Glasgow during the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, calling at several institutions and companies involved in the Border Regime. Shortly after the G8, actvists forced the YMCA to withdraw from an “ayslum slavery Scheme”.

During the following year, No Borders groups were set up all over the country, in London, Brighton, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leeds and other cities. Regular demonstrations targeted immigration reporting centres and as well as detention centres.

The year 2006 saw the first UK-wide No Borders Gathering in London (on 11-12 March) at the Square Social Centre. Exactly one year later, another gathering was held in Glasgow at the Unity centre.

The initiatives naturally had different focal points, from fighting against dawn raids [1 2 3 4 5 6], anti-deportation actions (e.g. in Leeds ), campaigning against the point-based system, to solidarity with migrant workers (e.g. justice for cleaners) and, of course, demonstrations at immigration prisons.

In Glasgow, people started Unity, a union of by and for asylum seekers. In London, Harmondsworth became another focus of protests as well as building up practical support for detainees.

The October 7th Network organised a demonstration in London as part of the Transnational Day Of Action for migrants’ rights. However, when the Home Office disclosed plans to build a new immigration prison at Gatwick, the new Brook House became a focus for the whole network.

The upcoming No Border Camp is organised by No Borders groups from Birmingham, Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Nottingham, Sheffield and Cardiff and supported by Barbed Wire Britain, Unity, Feminist Against Borders, West Midlands Antifa, Sex Workers Union, Vapaa Liikkuvuus (freedom of movement-group in Finland), Campaign to Close Campsfield, No One Is Illegal, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and many more.

The next Camp public meeting will take place on September 2nd in Brighton.

There will be a meeting on Monday 3rd September in London to discuss the Tinsley House demonstration.

Events During The No Border Camp:
Thursday, 20th September

Welcome Demonstration – Crawley Town Centre, 5pm-7pm. To inform people about and invite them to participate in the No Border Camp.

Friday, 21st September:

Gathering at Lunar House, the Home Office reporting centre in East Croydon, 10am-2pm. A convergeance between those who have papers and those who don’t; information-sharing, exchanging stories, food and music.

Saturday 22nd September

Transnational Demonstration at Tinsley House detention dentre at Gatwick, 12pm-2pm. Tinsley House, which has a capacity of 146, was the first purpose-built detention centre in the UK. The new planned Gatwick detention centre is to be built close by.

Later that day, groups will present their work and experiences in a Transnational Forum at the camp.

Workshops

Announced workshops so far include ones with migration controls, ID Cards, practical support of people in detention, the political situation in the Middle East, alternative media, experiences from campaigns against companies and much more.

Migrating University

Migrating University is a set of workshops at Goldsmith University in the week before the No Border Camp.

Indymedia at the No Border Camp

As usual, IMC UK will be present at the No Border Camp. There will a public access tent, help with publishing and image processing, as well as workshops about alternative media.

http://www.wombles.org.uk/article2007081224.php

Migrating University Goldsmiths to Gatwick

No Detention, No Deportation;
No Borders in Education:
Freedom of Movement for All

Migrating University, at Goldsmiths,
September 14-15th 2007;
From Goldsmiths to Gatwick.

General enthusiasm for this event is very high. A feeling of frustration, and therefore energy for exploring activist options, is strong on campus. This is the joint result of the ongoing managerialism that afflicts the ‘teaching factory’ at all levels, alongside the wider malaise of neo-liberal war-mongering imperialism/Border-ism evident in the current conjuncture, everywhere. The role of the university in relation to borders between people and knowledge, between different knowledges, between peoples, between students, between students who pay ‘overseas’ fees and those who pay too much (‘training’ for industrial gain, paid for by the student??) and the ever extended morale crush that afflicts staff… linked to the obsolescence of older ideas of ‘education’ in favour of opportunism and productivity… Exclusions and …racism, murder-death-kill… there is much good reason to explore these concerns in our workshop.

At the last meeting we had taken decisions on the date, timetable and format, five panels plus Battle of Lewisham Walk (met with them and agreed mutual co-ordination); prepared a preliminary blurb (now on CCS website [currently goldsmiths sites are down]), arranged to make a banner, booked a room, still in discussion with College over the marquee; organised with Joan Kelly to visit; linked with No Borders London and No Borders general.

Confirmed speakers so far include: Ken Fero (Injustice), David Graeber (activist anthrop), Ava Caradonna (sex worker education group), Susan Cueva (union), Sanjay Sharma (author of Multicultural Encounters), Hari Kunzru (novelist), Mao Mollona (anthropologist), Harmit Athwal (Inst Race Relations), Katherine Mann (musician), Paul Hendrich (Pirate dad) and Joan Kelly (artist).

Panels and format as it stands now [this draft is not yet confirmed]:

Migrating University – Goldsmiths 14-15 September 2007

Friday 14th September – venue room 150 and 137a Richard Hoggart Building

Room 150 RHB From 10am Tea/Coffee – welcome – stalls for No Borders Camp etc

Room 137a RHB
10.30
John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths) Introduction to the day
Camille Barbagallo (Goldsmiths) this meeting is to encourage attendance at No Borders Camp at Gatwick.

10.50 -12.55 – Panel #1 – The Teaching Factory (Chair: Leila)

Does a university education offer a passport to a world of opportunity?
Are the old exclusions of race, class, gender and ability fully redeemed by our policy initiatives and “inclusive” programs? Or is the new hierarchy a filtering mechanism promising precarious labour for some, security and success for others? While some may never question their right to access, do some have to fight to move at all and others struggle daily simply to pass or fail?
This panel asks if education is really a social good, a pass to freedom; or if it is rather a ticket to a new set of subjugations?

Speakers:
Ash Sharma (University of East London)
Massimo de Angelis (university of East london)
Paul Hendrich (Goldsmiths)

12.55-2.30pm – Picnic on Back Field/in tent or inside if rain. With Bolivian group (Emma)

2.30-4.00 – Panel #2 – Critical Pedagogy (Chair: Francisco)

Critical pedagogy (CP) questions the relationship between education and politics, between socio-political relations and pedagogical practices, in short: the correspondence between power hierarchies in the social world and the hierarchies that mark and define educational institutions at large. Moreover it challenges the ubiquitous desire of policy makers for a non-politicized, neutral educational context, free of all social and cultural conflict.

Speakers:
Sanjay Sharma (Brunel University) – author of (2007) “Multicultural Encounters”.
Glenn Rikowski (University of Northampton) – author of “The Battle in Seattle” (2001)
Tom Woodin (Institute of Education, University of London)
Patrick Ainley (University of Greenwich)

4.15-6.00 – Panel #3 – Organising in the Margins (Chair: Olivia)

Migration means traversing boundaries: between nations, between legality and illegality. This panel is about organising those in the seams and the struggles for justice for those who suffer or die in such gaps.

Ava Caradonna (Sex Workers’ Union)
What does it mean to organise the unorganisable? What does union organising mean to people who are not considered workers, or who don’t necessarily consider what they do ‘work’, ‘illegal’ or worthy of stigma? How do unions take seriously the need to organise migrants workers? How can unionism be done differently in this context? Ava Caradonna will discuss such questions and campaigns relating to them.

Susan Cueva (UNISON)
Is a life-long union activist in the Philippines and UK with experience of organising the invisible, from seafarers to street cleaners. Today’s talk includes information about UNISON campaigns seeking fair terms for migrant workers affected by swings in Home Office policy on work permits.

Ken Fero (Injustice)
A short, Youtube, version of Injustice – a film about the struggles for justice by the families of people who have died in police custody – and accompanying talk by the film’s maker.

6.15 – meeting upstairs in Goldsmiths Tavern about collective attendance at Gatwick.

7.00-9.00 Joan Marie Kelly (Singapore) for workshop upstairs in Tavern (drinks).

Topic: Foreign workers in Singapore and the use of art as contact and transformation

Saturday 15th September – Venue: Cinema Richard Hoggart Building.

From 10am Tea/Coffee – welcome – point to stalls for No Borders Camp etc

10.30-12.30. Panel #4 – Critical Practice Inside and Out (Chair: John)

It is believed there was once a time when the University was a place where there thrived a rampant intelligence that was preoccupied with something more than just cramming.

Hari Kunzru (Novelist – author of “My Revolutions” (2007)
David Graeber (Goldsmiths)
Mao Mollona (Goldsmiths)
Sukant Chandan (freelance journalist and political analyst)

1.00-2.30 Panel #5 – Local Checkpoints (Chair: Camille)

Harmit Athwal (Institute of Race Relations)
Katherine Mann (Musician)
Almir Koldzic (Refugee Week)

2.30 Quick lunch

3pm-6pm: “Battle of Lewisham commemorative walk”

- a walk along the route of the march/counter-protest against the NF in 1977, including people involved at the time. At present this will start from Clifton Rise, New Cross at 3. (info/liaison with Paul).

19-24 September O7 – No Borders Camp at Gatwick

From 19th to 24th September 07 we will gather at Gatwick Airport for the first
No Border Camp in the UK. This camp will be a chance to work together to try
and stop the building of a new detention centre, and to gather ideas for how to
build up the fight against the system of migration controls.

Wednesday 19th
Arriving at Camp Site.
Thursday 20th
Workshops, Welcome-Event in Crawley.
Friday 21st
Workshops, Gathering at Lunar House, Croydon
Saturday 22nd
Workshops, Demonstration from Crawley town centre to Tinsley House Detention
Centre, next to the building site of Brook House (Background Info).
International day of Action.
Afternoon: International Forum.
Sunday 23rd
Workshops and Forum.
Monday 24th
End of the No Border Camp.

http://noborders.org.uk


Click to join migrating_uni

No Borders Gatwick in Sept.

An Invitation To The Gatwick No Border Camp 2007

From 19th to 24th September 07 we will gather at Gatwick Airport for
the first No Border Camp in the UK. This camp will be a chance to work together to try and stop the building of a new detention centre, and togather ideas for how to build up the fight against the system of migration controls.

Gatwick Aiport – The Border Point
Gatwick is a border in the middle of Britain. People arrive hereeveryday. People are forcibly deported from here everyday. It is a place where people are imprisoned for unlimited lengths of time withouttrial, where people are forced to hide underground and be invisible,where people are treated as criminals for the ‘crime’ of crossing the border.In Britain, the government has recently announced its intention tobuild a new detention centre, near Tinsley House, another detentioncentre at Gatwick airport. This will be another in a long line of barbarous prisons across the world, imprisoning people who migrate.Unless we stop it from being built.Not far from Gatwick there are other border fortifications: theimmigration reporting centre at Croydon, the airline companies who charter deportation flights and the ID Interview centre in Crawley. Anda few miles away are the border posts at Dover and Folkstone, wherefear of detection by the border police forces people to risk theirlives hiding under lorries, or in suffocating containers.
While the physical borders get fortified, governments also tighten upthe internal controls: from international databases to videosurveillance, biometric ID cards to electronic tagging. Just recently,the UK government has announced the introduction of the Sirene System.
This will grant Britain access to the SIS (Schengen InformationSystem), a EU wide police database for refugees and migrants, plannedto be extended to keep protesters from moving around.
A Tactics Laboratory
How does daily life, from the need to work for survival to the welfaresystem, reinforce these borders? How can we fight against the commonacceptance of borders, the idea of an inside and outside? How can we claim freedom of movement as a basic right? How do we assert ourability to decide whether to go or stay, according to our needs anddesires, not the needs of the state or the economy? How can we escapecontrol, and start building a movement powerful enough to challenge the
divisions between people?We need to share knowledge with those who have broken these borders,the hackers who escape control, those who survive without work andmoney, those who fight the detention system , those who question identities, those who have learnt to organise themselves withouthierarchy or divisions.Camp(aign)ing Against BordersThis camp is continuing the tradition of the No Border camps across the world since the late 1990s, and like the camps taking place this yearin the Ukraine in August and on the US/Mexican border in November. Itwill be a space to share information, skills, knowledge andexperiences. A place to plan actions together against the system of borders which divides us.We are aware that the struggles for “no borders” reach far beyond “openborders”. Without borders the idea of states will become obsolete,without states the national economies will be history. In a world without borders, nobody will ask for papers anymore.The camp will also be a laboratory of political and practicalself-organisation. The camp will consist only of people’s contributionsto this. We are aware of the borders which divide ourselves from each other, be it sex, class, race, nationality, or whatever. The bordercamps are experiments in how to overcome these artificial andseparating identities.
No Borders
No Borders is a network of groups struggling for the freedom of movement for all and an end to all migration controls. We call for aradical movement against the system of control, dividing us intocitizens and non-citizens.We demand the end of the border regime for everyone, including ourselves, to enable us to live another way, without fear, racism andnationalism.
We move, we meet. We talk, we fight. Come camp with us.

< http://noborders.org.uk/>

And an idea for something to bring to the Camp… Let’s bring a Uni. See here.
.

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