December on -empyre- soft-skinned space : "Crusades and Art as Illegality and Provocation”
Please join guest moderator Ana Valdés (SE) as she engages with a group of activist artists, curators and scholars, including Susan Meiselas (US), Cecilia Parsberg (SE), Jan-Erik Lindstrom (SE), Raul Ferrera-Balanquet (MX), Loretta Napoleoni (UK) and Dahr Jamail ().
As Ana writes:
"The Crusades were the expansion of Europe, stretching its territories North and South, to colonize and spread the Christian Word, meanwhile conquering new markets, new source of raw material, new peoples and new lands. The historical metaphor oj the Crusades is still alive concerning and in presentday Middle East, both as a memory and in relation to contemporary conquests, as well as in the rhetoric of empire.
Today artists, writers and theorists merge in the world, document it and, instead of trying to conquer it, show passion and compassion, denounce, take part, engage themselves. Since Emile Zola wrote "J'Accuse" and Pablo Picasso painted "Guernica", a constant stream of
artists has been exerting their right to dissent and the right to
question power, the status quo and existing norms.
The walls in Palestine, Tijuana, Ceuta and Melilla are not only
symbolic; they build the shape of Fortress Europe, not only the
geographic, but the mythological Europe, the supposed cradle of
Modernity. The Crusades were the clash and the confrontation.
Today's artists and intellectuals search its meaning, study its
effects. Films, photos, texts and installations talk about jails,
fences, workers with precarious jobs paperless immigrants, political
turmoil and mayhem. Fine Arts is today the arena of political
discussions and activist practices.
I've asked some friends and colleagues to join me during one month to
discuss our practices and our engagements, inspired by the above,
under the framework of -empyre- ...