Screenshot of Nando Sigona's lecture "The Camp as a Space of Political Membership" © Zeyno Ustun | YouTube
Arts & DesignMulti MediaVideo

The Camp as a Space of Political Membership

Video of Nando Sigona's Lecture

The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility hosted a lecture by Nando Sigona entitled “The Camp as a Space of Political Membership,” with discussion from professor Michel Agier on February 17, 2015, in the Klein Conference Room at 66 W. 12th Street. Included is a video of that event.

 

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Portrait of Amos Oz by Piet van den Boog, 2007  (detail) © Marjolein Benard | Flickr
Arts & DesignEssays

An Interview with Amos Oz on Literature, Judaism and Zionism

A conversation with the Israeli author Amos Oz, conducted on November 12th in the guesthouse of the Hamburg Senate, upon receiving the first Siegfried-Lenz Prize.

NF: Bruchim Habaim leHamburg! — Welcome to Hamburg!

AO: Thank you very much. Being the first recipient of the Siegfried Lenz literary award is a great honor but also a very deep sadness, because we have lost Siegfried Lenz just a few weeks ago, and I was so much hoping that he will be the one who will hand me the award. …

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Chuck D performing in Malmo, Sweden,1991 © Jonn Leffmann | Wikimedia Commons
Arts & DesignEssaysMedia & Publics

Rap as News or Art?

“Rap music is the CNN of the ghetto.” – Chuck D

Rap began — Chuck D nailed it — as news from the streets. Rap riffed ghetto life, syncopated in hard rhymes and dense metaphor the raw reality of the ghetto. In Ronald Reagan’s America, blacks in the ghettos from Harlem to Bed Stuy to South Central formed what George Bataille called the heterogeneous element of society — or the unassimable byproduct of a culture, born of that culture, upon which the culture rests. In plain English, rap was the art of the dispossessed, and as the art of the dispossessed, it tells us the truth of the trickle-down economic era from the mouths of those who were held far beneath the place where the trickle dried up. …

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Book cover of 9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster by Thomas Stubblefield © Indiana University Press | Amazon
Arts & DesignEssaysMedia & Publics

9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster

I remember the week after September 11, 2001, when the subway from Brooklyn into Lower Manhattan was back in limited service, getting off at Broadway-Lafayette and feeling somewhat disoriented when my usual landmark indicating south, the World Trade Center, was missing from the downtown skyline. The specter of the World Trade Center was soon enough evoked by Art Speigelman in his September 24, 2001, New Yorker magazine cover of the Twin Towers as black silhouettes against a black background. The Twin Towers haunted the New York skyline again a few months later in the Tribute in Light installation of 88 search lights configured in the buildings’ original footprints and projected upward into the night…

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Vince Carducci, Getting Over at the Office (1987-2000). Performance documentation, installation view © Vince Carducci
Arts & DesignCapitalismEssays

How I Got Over

Like most people in the arts, for many years I supported my artistic activities, along with the rest of my life, by holding down a day job. Corporate communications and advertising primarily in financial services were not such a bad gig, actually, and, in fact, were what I trained to do by having a dual major in graphic design and painting. For the last 13 years of that time, I also mounted a performance piece, Getting Over at the Office (1987-2000), whereby I recoded aspects of my daily work life as art through a series of artifacts and documents. Much of the documentation consists of news releases, sent out intermittently to a mailing list that grew with time. The performance was a gesture through which I sought to reclaim the time that had been appropriated from me by the capitalist system. …

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Spatial Ordering of Exile: The Architecture of Palestinian Refugee Camps
Arts & DesignMulti MediaVideo

Spatial Ordering of Exile: The Architecture of Palestinian Refugee Camps

Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal are a team of two extraordinary architects who live permanently at Beit Sahour on the outskirts of Bethelem in Palestine. They have worked since 2007 to revitalize, reconstruct, take apart, and reconceive both the ruins and abandoned spaces that are the remnants of the vast spaces throughout Palestine that have been destroyed, dispossessed, cut into pieces over some sixty years since the Nakba in l947. Their work is extraordinary because it is unique in every way: from those they call on to work with them (artists, film makers, architects, young people from the refugee camps) to the visions they conceive and the materials and histories on which they draw. …

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The Museum of the History of Polish Jews © Mariusz Cieszewski | Flickr
Arts & DesignEssays

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The return of the secular Jew to a happier Poland

The grand opening of Polin or the Museum of the History of Polish Jews at the end of October was a widely anticipated event, and when its exhibition was finally revealed, the celebration was covered by major media in Europe, the U.S., and, unsurprisingly, Israel. Timothy Garton Ash and Anne Applebaum, among others, acknowledged Poland’s efforts to deal with its own history of Polish-Jewish relations. In the Financial Times Tony Barber emphasized how, today, Warsaw is a safer place for Jews than Berlin or Paris. All this praise comes a long way from the usual connotation: Poland as the place of Nazi death camps. …

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Guyton \ Walker at Greene Naftali Gallery, Chelsea, New York © 2006 Andrew Russeth | Flickr
Arts & DesignCapitalismEssays

Emerging Artists and the New Spirit of Capitalism

Pointing to the avarice of the art world, to its entanglement with big money, is an old game. Concerns about the “corrupting influence” of the market are likely as old as the market itself, and are still voiced with some frequency. Two years ago critic and art world bad boy Dave Hickey apparently gave up the whole thing in disgust, dismissing the entire art world as “stupid and nasty.” More recently David Bryne caused a surprising ripple of ire by describing how the big money of the Chelsea art scene was making it difficult for him to give the work itself a fair viewing. However, the issue of contemporary art’s relationship to capitalism is more complicated and thorny than being merely a matter of the staggering prices demanded at elite galleries. …

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Screenshot from "Pizzas for the People" © Hwang Kim/Festival Bo:m | YouTube.com
Arts & DesignEssaysMedia & Publics

Pizzas for the People

Directed by Hwang Kim and produced by Festival Bo:m

In the course of a long running ideological conflict North Korea is one of the most culturally isolated countries in the world, which rejects any foreign influences through a tight control of media and communication equipment. To protect the North Korean identity from potential damaging western influences, short wave radios, for example, are banned, while TV receivers are locked to tune only to the 3 official channels. …

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Tragedy seen through the gaping grin of comedy © Lex McKee | Flickr
Arts & DesignEssays

Why Comedy Matters

When moral or political decisions are at stake, we often make use of catch-phrases drawn from a repertoire of available drama and literature. For we understand that both our actions and how they are perceived depend on how we frame them. Comedy, of all genres, appears to be the one we covertly use all the time without, meanwhile, fully appreciating its ability to portray and explore the intensity and integrity of our interactions with others. When Caesar began the civil war in Rome, he proclaimed: “The die has been cast.” According to Suetonius, he said it in his native Latin ( alea iacta est). But Plutarch reports that he used Greek (anerrhiphtō kybos), thus quoting a now lost comedy by Menander, the originator of the so-called New Comedy. In a letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul also turns to Menander, quoting the comedy Thaïs: “Bad communications corrupt good characters.” …

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