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…)

Workshop for PhDs at QM – 4 Dec 2009

Queen Mary and Goldsmiths PhD Master Class
“Consensus is Oppression: Creating Conflictive Democracy through Global Movement Networks”
Friday, December 4th 2009, 1.30 – 3.30 pm, Room 4.08, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London.
Democratic rhetoric has never been so widespread, yet democracy is in deep crisis. Dominant approaches reliant on representative democratic practices view human diversity as a problem to be resolved, resulting in homogenisation and exclusion. Diversity, however, can be healthy for democracy when given room for expression. Marianne Maeckelbergh argues that conflict must be embraced in organisational processes.
Marianne Maeckelbergh’s research uses a methodology of politically engaged anthropology that calls into question the demarcation of stark boundaries between theory and practice. Her work provides some answers to the double role researchers have in interpreting the cultural practices of organisation whilst simultaneously being actively involved in creating and transforming these practices. Moreover her research confronts important questions about university-based research, its subjects, audiences and purposes. These are key concerns for doctoral researchers today. In this PhD master class, Marianne Maeckelbergh will present her PhD research on conflict in organisation and discuss the methodological approach that informed her study. She will also address questions regarding the process of publishing PhD research.
Dr Marianne Maeckelbergh is lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, Netherlands and received
her PhD from the University of Sussex. She has many years of experience organising and facilitating the decision-making processes that lie at the heart of her recent work.
The PhD master class is open to all research students and is co-organised by Goldsmiths Centre for Cultural Studies and Queen Mary School of Business and Management, University of London.
Emma Dowling, e.dowling[at]qmul.ac.uk. Tel: 020 7882 8985
John Hutnyk, john.hutnyk[at]gold.ac.uk. Tel: 020 7919 7061

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.
London – March 22-24 2010 (confirmed)
Gothenburg – June 9, 10 & 11th (dates tbc, but followed by Clandestino Festival 11-13th June 2010)
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.
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.
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

To Gaza with Love – 6pm Goldsmiths Cinema, Monday 30 Nov 2009

The true story a rag-tag team of international peace activists aboard two fishing boats, who decided to take on the might of the Israeli military and break the siege of Gaza. Refusing to be intimidated, only one thing could stop them; and that was them-selves.

Screening, 6pm Goldsmiths Cinema, Monday 30 Nov 2009

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi2755068441/


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] gold.ac.uk

Proposal for presentation in Kolkata – 15 December 2009 at the Cultural Preservation Workshop

Preserves Takes More than Standard Time: Internationalism, Corporate Citizenship, and Security Fear – John Hutnyk

I am wondering if preservation-talk is confined to certain areas and domains and should be either expanded or done away with. This is not just a two-part provocation, but in between the calculations of intervention and documentation, can we talk of continuities of action, of commitment, of engagement or – conversely – the loss of these – preserve solidarity, preserve the party form, preserve the international… And what is the difference between preserve and re-institute/renew? Corporate preservation and gentrification on the one hand, and Nietzsche saying ‘what is falling down should be pushed’ on the other. Old forms abandoned in some cases, others guarded by right. I would like to describe three different contexts in which these issues seem pertinent: a) the work of internationals in relation to NGOs, activist groups and political struggles that perhaps need an ‘about face’ to escape a drain on scarce resources ‘on the ground’; b) the hijack of community, participation and care by corporate and commercial interests who proudly announce their token initiatives in press release and annual report (what I will call ‘glossy anthropology’); c) and the disjunct of heritage funding and political context, using the London Underground and the security situation in the War on Terror as example.

Crash Course in Australian 1970s music

First band I went to see was Skyhooks, though apparently I was taken to Sunbury Festival, but I do not remember (first international act I saw was Deep Purple, followed soon after by the Sweet). Anyway, Australia had some fine live bands allthrough the seventies, and thanks to things like GTK, Meldrum’s Countdown and Rage, you can see some of it. I nclude a selection of the more popular and somehow usually topically about TV/Media, below. But first…

Because I can (reciting from memory got 80% of this) I reproduce the lyrics from the track ‘Living in the Seventies’, written by Greg McAinish for the ‘hooks 74 album of the same name:

I feel a little crazy
I feel a little strange
Like I’m in a pay phone
Without any change
I feel a little left yeah
I feel a little weird
I feel like a schoolboy
Who’s grown a beard

I’m livin’ in the 70’s
Eatin’ fake food under plastic trees
My face gets dirty just walkin’ around
I need another pill to calm me down

I feel a bit nervous
I feel a bit mad
I feel like a good time that’s never been had
I feel a bit fragile
I feel a bit low
Like I learned the right lines
But I’m on the wrong show

I’m livin’ in the 70’s
I feel like I lost my keys
Got the right day but I got the wrong week
And I get paid for just bein’ a freak

I feel a little insane
I feel a bit dazed
My legs are shrinkin’
And the roof’s been raised
I feel a little mixed up
I feel a little queer
I feel like a barman that can’t drink a beer

I’m livin’ in the 70’s
I feel like I lost my keys
Got the right day but I got the wrong week
And I get paid for just bein’ a freak.


So as to show that Skyhooks did not come out of nowhere, nor have little influence on what comes after, here is my version of how to get from the Real Thing to the Go Betweens. Course this is arbitrary, reliant on memory,and not at all to be considered even remotely related to difinity (the possessive form of the noun definitive). Let me know what you think.

1969 (Russel Morris – The Real Thing


1971 (Daddy Cool – Eagle Rock)


1972 (Aztecs – Most People I Know)


1973 (Dingoes – Way out west)


1974 (Skyhooks – Horror Movie)


1975 (Skyhooks -Ego is not a dirty word)


1974 (again) (ACDC -Jailbreak)


1976 (Jeannie Lewis-Celluloid Heroes [I loved her so much)


1977 (Radio Birdman -TV Eye)


1976 (again) (Angels – Am I ever going to see your face again)


1978 (Go Betweens – Lee Remick)


1979 (Loaded Dice – Mam’selle)


1982 (More Go Betweens – Your Turn My Turn)


And your favourites are?: