Seminar 63 // 4, 5, 6 May 2017 // London


Curatorial/Knowledge Seminar, 4-6 May 2017


Thursday 4 May 11am – 5pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 325

MRes presentations by Meenakshi Thirukode and Madeleine Hodge  

11am – 1.30pm Morning session

Windjarrameru (The Stealing C*nt$)
Madeleine Hodge 

The Karrabing Film Collective is a grass-roots media group, who live (primarily) in an Indigenous community in the the far north of Australia called Belyuen. Since 2014 they have produced a number of films, exhibitions and publications through which the group tell stories and develop new new methods of social analysis. The films allow audiences to understand contemporary forms of collective Indigenous agency and allow the group to develop an embodied and improvised analysis of the operations of settler colonial "late liberalism" that govern their lives.  

This presentation focusses on one of the films made by the collective, Windjarrameru (The Stealing C*nt$) is the second of three films, it charts a day in the life of a group of boys who happen across a carton of beer in the bush and they decide to drink it. Over the course of a day the film explores the layers of historicial subjectivation, capital extraction and modes of existence that are possible within this life. This project asks how can we work from the set of knowledges that are proposed by the film to develop a strategy for reading the work of the Karrabing Indigenous Corporation. Through these films we might come to apprehend with more clarity the inequalities of late liberal settler colonialism as these operations attempt to force the lives of indigenous people into a narrow compliance with settler fantasies about time, justice and belonging.  

- Elizabeth A. Povinelli, 'The Child in the Broom Closet: States of Killing and Letting Die,’ in South Atlantic Quarterly, 107, 3 (2008): 509-530.
- Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, 'Politics Surrounded,’ in The Undercommons. 1st ed. Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions, 2013.

1.30 – 2.30pm Lunch

2.30 – 4.45pm Afternoon session

Transcending Imperial Imagination towards a Representation of an Afghan Episteme 
Meenakshi Thirukode
"Nothing terrifies empire quite like an unknown space."
- Martin J. Bayly

Taming the Imperial imagination
Colonial Knowledge, International Relations, and the Anglo-Afghan Encounter, 1808-78

My research looks at how colonial and imperial imaginations during the 19th century Anglo- Afghan wars, together with contemporary narratives foregrounding the War on Terror, shapes the knowledge around an ‘idea’ of Afghanistan.’ These different strands of enquiry, allows for a complex and nuanced way to think about a politics of futurity in Afghanistan, through the overarching lens of interdisciplinary visual culture practices. The discussion looks back at how colonial knowledge was created by the Empire, which to this day has shaped everything from policy-making to cultural and intellectual projects on Afghanistan. Understanding ‘colonial epistemes’, as a step towards constructing a potential ‘afghan imagination’, is the underlying focus. Primarily through case studies of artistic research and archival-based practices the discussion attempts to think through what it means to reinstate a political reality to engage with rather than judge. What happens when we think of the civic structures and ‘acceptable’ forms of infrastructure such as the ‘archive’ or the ‘summit’ as a way to insist on futures of visibility. 

Afghanistan, historically and within contemporary discourse is represented as a land that “allows you to enter, but will never let you leave.” Just as the Empire, I stand at a distance, never having had a chance as yet to investigate the region, but instead of fear that shaped the “intellectual” and “cultural” influences of a particular “British frontier mentality”, I approach it with a “purity of motives”, persuading it to “yield its secrets slowly and obliquely.” As Ghani puts it when she speaks of approaching Afghan histories, she reminds us, “Above all you must try to understand what the archive desires of you. You cannot hope to extract anything from the archive without giving something back.”

- Laura U. Marks, “Experience-Information-Image, A Historiography of Unfolding in Arab Cinema,” in Cinema at the Periphery, edited by Dina Lordanova, David Martin-Jones, and Belen Vidal. Detroit: Wayen State University Press, 2010: 232-253.
- Mariam Ghani, “Field Notes for ‘What We Left Unfinished’, Dispatch One: the Artist and the Archive,” in Ibraaz (2013): 1-15, accessed April 24th 2017,


5-7pm The Fisher-Function Visual Cultures Public Programme
Richard Hoggart Building, Room 256

with Fresh New Anxieties 

The Fisher-Function is a seven week series focused solely on the work of Mark Fisher. Instead of taking the traditional lecture format, The F-F will take the form of collective reading and listening sessions, all open to anyone interested - inside and outside of Goldsmiths, whether you know Mark's work or not.


Friday, 5 May 11am – 5pm

Location: Richard Hoggart Building, Room 325

"Give her the tools, she will know what to do with them!” Some Thoughts about Learning Together
Prof Nora Sternfeld, Aalto University, Helsinki

How can we learn something that doesn't exist yet? On the one hand this sounds paradoxical. But isn't it on the other hand exactly what radical education is all about? Learning as a political and emancipatory practice has always been understood as a process towards another possibility: as a way to understand the social relations in order to change them; to understand them as they might only be understandable in another world. And maybe by doing so this one might change… As this process of self-transformation is a collective practice we can only learn it together. Following this thoughts I will situate the partisan cafe project for bergen assembly in a framework of organic intellectual practices between public pedagogy, radical education and pre-enactment.

The Partisan café was an educational/performative/artistic practice as a coffee house in the Museum of Burning Questions – a Para-Museum realised in collaboration with the artist Isa Rosenberger – and one performative platform of the freethought infrastructure project for Bergen Assembly 2016. Located in the occupied historic fire station of Bergen the Partisan café was host as much as guest. It was a shared space and a contact zone. The café was run by seven educators/performers/café workers: Tora Endestad BjØrkheim, Freja Bäckman, Kabir Carter, Johnny Herbert, Jenny Moore (coordinator), Arne Skaug Olsen, Nora Sternfeld.

As educators and café workers we thought about radical hospitality. As guests of the resident firefighters we thought about reciprocities and commonalities.

11am – 1.30pm Morning session

1.30 – 2.30pm Lunch

2.30 – 5pm Afternoon session

8pm – Dinner together

- bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. 1st ed. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013: 41-49.
- Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, Chapter 2: In The Undercommons. 1st ed. Wivenhoe: Minor Compositions, 2013.
- Stefano Harney, On Study, 2011., 5:11.

Saturday 6 May 12-4pm

Location: Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS; closest tube: Liverpool Street Station

The Question of Race
Reading Group – chaired by Miguel Amado (MRes C/K)

As capitalism in its neoliberal form spreads worldwide, and populism (from Trumpism to Brexit) rises in all corners of the Western world, a period one could call ‘post-political’ is appearing. In this era, the social divide has produced a new class, people to whom civil rights seem to not apply, of which the ‘refugee’ could be an example. Denise Ferreira da Silva claims that class, particularly racial difference (and subjection), is the key driver of the global present, but that political practices have obliterated it from discourse (political and other). Through these readings, we discuss how the question of race is linked to the expansion of capital, specifically the financial crisis that became visible in 2007, and how the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ is a phenomenon ontologically associated with the current liberal condition that governs the world.

- Paula Chakravartty and Denise Ferreira da Silva, ‘Accumulation, Dispossession, and Debt: The Racial Logic of Global Capitalism—An Introduction,’ 2013.
- Denise Ferreira da Silva, 'The "Refugee Crisis" and the Current Predicament of the Liberal State,’ 2017



Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 04/05/2017 - 11:00 - Sat, 06/05/2017 - 16:00