Category Archives: events


a posh hypocrite takes time out from selling guns to murderous dictators in order to encourage popular uprisings against a vicious and corrupt elite, clinging to power without democratic legitimacy… well, you heard him!

CCS @ Clandestino Festival 9

Wanted: funding to document the Institute that does not exist/has already existed for almost ten years – Clandestino (notes for a funding proposal):

-       the research output is the Clandestino Institute itself, an ‘underground’ University of Sonic and Border Arts, a University that has no permanent presence, but can be understood in terms of documentation of experience as intangible heritage and intergenerational learning. A prospectus and associated materials.

-       Archiving of the ephemeral – undertaking documentation and study of a cross-border sound event – the Clandestino Festival in Gothenburg – means exploring new ways to present its ethos etc., The festival itself is the output, but a variety of means to document and preserve the overall experience, as intangible heritage, will be collected.

-       Sonic Heritage, in the context of preservation studies, what is Sonic Heritage and can Border Arts (as we explored in London, Berlin and Copenhagen – so for that matter not just sonic borders but also work that crosses borders in terms of audio-visual materials and performances) be considered as part of any Heritage programme (what special problems do we have when heritage is not part of a national project). This ‘output’ will be a position paper and archive defending this position, without positing or archiving – continually transformed and under erasure – a vanishing present. A virtual and verifiable sonic – cross border – performative and theatre ‘programme and policy’ document.

These are just notes for the Border, to cross the border, cross with borders, bored, boring, drilling, digging.

That is to say, looking forward to June 2011 Clandestino. Ideas welcome. (mark early June in your diary, head to Gothenburg. Summer, very long days, and, erm, hope for no rain this time please).

Bombing of Poems in Berlin

programme – Hybridity Lyon Oct 7-8, 2010

Giving a talk at the end of this in Lyon (scroll to the end of the programme link to find it – last session friday):


via programme – Hybridity.


Malevich painting of four figures

Goldsmiths UCU and Goldsmiths Students Union Open Meeting

The new ‘points based’ new immigration rules represent a serious threat to campus democracy and freedom of speech. They require non-EU students and staff to have biometric ID cards, involve checks on the financial background of applicants and mean that staff are obliged to report students to the UK Border Agency when they have not attended regularly. Come and hear why these new immigration controls are unfair, unwarranted and undemocratic.

Helena Kennedy QC, Labour Peer and Civil Rights Campaigner
Manick Govinda, ArtsAdmin & Manifesto Club Arts Visa Campaign
Tom Hickey, National Executive, University and College Union
James Haywood, National Executive, National Union of Students

Time: 5pm
Place: The Stretch, Goldsmiths Students Union

For more information, email Matthew Fuller m.fuller [at]

Bombing of Poems in Warsaw

IMG_2494A fantastic success and really an event. Congratulations to Casagrande and Cristobal. Almost all the pictures I took have people looking skyward as the poems fell from the helicopter, a slight breeze playing havoc with estimates as to where things might land, and then as the poem cards come within reach, its very comic to see people twisted about in spiral knots trying to catch them. Tripped myself up in the effort as well (though I think the quite hefty amount of vodka consumed while waiting might have had some impact. More provided at the after party may explain why this post is a whole day and a half after the event…) .


Video: here

More to see in Berlin, here.

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


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.

AtHQ Round 2

With the second part of Attack the Headquarters coming up this Tue 27th (2-6pm, RHB 150, as before), would it be worth asking if there is anything in particular that participants would like to see happen differently from the first day – in particular in terms of the collective discussions? The provocateurs lined up will surely set the tone and direction of much of the meeting, but I wondered if there were any practical issues arising from the last session that anyone felt needed addressing?

One comment I heard a couple of times after the last session (in amongst all the encouraging feedback and debate) was that some people almost felt afraid to speak up for fear of antagonising others in the room. Now although AtHQ is not the place for direct personal attacks, nor perhaps for purely negative criticisms (whether of selves or others), at the same time people should not feel they have to keep what they see as burning issues bottled up. If anyone feels that there are topics, questions, issues that ought to be addressed but are somehow getting left out, then it is important that everyone present feels they can point to these omissions. In terms of what I was saying in the last session, the very definition of a blindspot is that you can’t see it: we need each other to point them out.

This, incidentally, is also an issue of relevance to every seminar/workshop/reading group… Any ideas on how we can make people more comfortable in speaking out/up? Or indeed, any other practical suggestions for the form of the discussions on the second day?

Critique of Violence, Goldsmiths 19 May 2008

19th May 2008 The Centre for Cultural Studies Presents

a symposium on Walter Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’.

Four great speakers (30 mins each) and our venue are now confirmed.

This will happen on the afternoon of 19th May 2008 – 2pm – 6pm.
Venue: RHB Cinema – chair: John Hutnyk

2pm Elina Staikou “Force of Name: The Critique of Violence”.

2.50 Andrew Benjamin “On their Difference – Mythic and Divine Violence”.

3.40 tea break

3.55 Jennifer Bajorek “Of Dogma and Decay: The ‘Case’ of Language in the Critique”.

4.45 Howard Caygill “The Worst: Benjamin, Weber and the critique of violence”.

6pm – late – beer – … food… more talk.


Fair warning for Canadians

Fun-da-mentalMay 6 2008

Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies presents:

John Hutnyk, Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London

Pantomime Terror: UK Hip Hop at War (or Paranoia in London: ‘Lookout, he’s behind you!’)

When: Tuesday, May 6, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Room LB 646, McConnell Library Building, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd., W.

Performance studies and scholarship on popular culture has found a new more dangerous context.

With terror alerts and constant announcements at train stations and airports in the UK, where the Queen’s subjects are called upon to ‘report any suspicious baggage’; with stop and search security policing focused upon Muslims (and unarmed Brazilians shot on the London underground); and with restrictions on civil liberties and ‘limits’ to freedom proclaimed as necessary, it is now clear that spaces for critical debate are mortally threatened in contemporary, tolerant, civilized Britain.

This discussion addresses new performance work by diasporic world music stalwarts Fun-da-mental and the drum and bass outfit Asian Dub Foundation, relating to insurgency struggles, anti-colonialism and political freedom in the UK.

The presentation will argue for an engaged critique of “culture” and assess a certain distance or gap between political expression and the tamed versions of multiculturalism accepted by/acceptable in the British marketplace.

Examples from the music industry reception of ‘difficult’ music and creative engagement are evaluated in the context of the global terror wars and a new paranoia that appears endemic on the streets of London today.\

The lecture is open to all students and faculty and is co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC).

For more information, contact the Communications Studies Department on (514) 848-2424 ext. 2555.


Seminar: May 6 2008

The Specialized Individualized Programs (SIP) and the PhD in Humanities Program (HUMA) present:

A seminar with John Hutnyk: Marx Writing Money

When: Tuesday, May 6, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Room H-1120, Hall Building, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd., W.

John Hutnyk will lead a seminar discussion of the often read, and very often decontextualized, sections on Fetish and on Money in Marx’s Capital.

In order to make the argument he proposes that participants read or reread some of the framing sentences Marx offers.

A more activist-oriented appreciation of both Marx’s project and his method, as well as evaluating the place of money in his analysis, might thereby be possible — alongside a critique of some prominent commentators similar to the gentle chiding given to Jacques Derrida by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

In this way it is hoped that something of Marx’s style and his engagement will be made apparent.

Participants are invited to read roughly 50 pages from the Penguin English language edition of Marx’s Capital — pp.126-131; pp.163-177; pp.198-209; pp.221-231; & pp.247-257. [And the German if you can, but the seminar will be conducted in English.]

The seminar is open to all students and faculty.

For more information, contact the Communications Studies Department on (514) 848-2424 ext. 2555.
Posted on April 29, 2008


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