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GoA SYMPOSIUM in Vienna: Genealogy of Amnesia – Crushing Silences, Constructing Histories

(image: Christina Jauernik)

November 8-10, 2018

A symposium on the silencing of colonialism, anti-Semitism, and contemporary turbo-fascist nationalism in Belgium, Austria, and former Yugoslavia.

The international and interdisciplinary symposium, open to public audiences, is built as a podium for research and exchange, dissemination of knowledge, and discussion.

The two-day-long symposium hosted invited speakers that cover the central topics of our research in the three respective territories: memory and history, archives, and the axis of power and knowledge. The general objective of the symposium was to denote gaps between processes of institutionalized silencing, hegemonic processes of oblivion and amnesia, and processes of instituting power through building counter-memory and counter-history projects, interventions, and resistance. The aim was to demonstrate how processes for the establishment of counter-memory and counter-history can open up spaces for new ways of forming radicalized constituent politics. Collective struggles and oppositionality were investigated as the basis of a possible dismantling of neoliberal and necrocapitalist societies by means of re-empowering history that crushes silences.

For full symposium program and details click here


Gallery


GoA WORKSHOP in Brussels on The Power of Decolonialization, Art and Interventions

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May 03, 2018, Brussels Workshop
Memory / History: The Power of Decolonialization, Art and Interventions

Workshop with Monique Mbeka Phoba, Laura Nsengiyumva, Womba Konga aka Pitcho, open to the public, at LeSpace

Info WS Bruxelles (French) (PDF)
Info WS Brussels (English) (PDF)

MONIQUE MBEKA PHOBA will present an overview of her 17 masterclasses on the
subject of the taboo of colonization in the Belgian cinema of the last 40 years. The
masterclasses have been presented from 2015 to 2017 in a quite various places: festivals, training institutes as cultural or associative centers (Brussels African Film Festival / FIFAB, BOZAR, Pier 10, women’s film festival, “They spin,” BE-PAX, Point-Culture, Pianofabriek, Ghent Sint-Luca Art Institute, Mission Local of Molenbeek, ULB, Congolese associations etc.).

LAURA NSENGIYUMVA will talk about her project PeopL. This work addresses the figure of Leopold II in the public space of Brussels. And more generally, she refers to his phantasmagorical presence in the Belgian consciousness: in official celebrations, in folklore, in language (he is seen as the king “Builder”). The figure of the King Leopold II becomes theinstrument of a biased patriotism. The king becomes “Builder,” despite the immense destruction of which he was the author. He is the figure of a cynical patriotism, which cannot function without a cruel but indispensable blindness. The project aims to the decolonization of the public space.

WOMBA KONGA known by his artist name PITCHO will present 2 projects: a multidisciplinary festival “Congolisation” and his latest theater/perfomative play with the title “Kuzikiliza.” The term Congolisation is a contraction of the words “Congo” and “Colonisation.” The idea of the festival is to focus on the contribution of the Congolese diaspora in the Belgium cultural landscape. The theater/performance play “Kuzikiliza” that translates in Swahili as “to be heard”—is a plurilingual and interdisciplinary performance that makes communication and its mechanisms to vacillate. Pitcho Womba Konga in this play departs from Patrice Lumumba’s speech at the ceremony of the Proclamation of the Congo’s Independence on June 30, 1960. Pitcho exposes the actuality of Lumumba’s speech today and questions how to reconcile past and present, while the process of decolonization is still fully underway.

Workshop impressions

GoA LECTURE SERIES at PCAP, Vienna Academy of Fine Arts

A series of three lectures by Marina Grzinic and Sophie Uitz is held during the summer term 2018 at the Post-Conceptual Art Practices study programme (Vienna Academy of Fine Arts). Each of the lecture includes a screening of documentary film and introduces one of the three research territories of the “Genealogy of Amnesa” to the students.

 

Part I
Belgian Colonialism in the Congo
23 April 2018, 4-7 PM

Presentation of the research project “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality”, by Marina Grzinic and Sophie Uitz.

Introduction, screening and discussion of “King Leopold’s Ghost” (2006, 108min, documentary) by Pippa Scott and Oreet Rees – a documentary about the exploitation of the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium, based on the book by Adam Hochschild King Leopold Ghost from 1998.

Part II
The Yugoslavian War
14 May 2018, 4-7 PM

Introduction, screening and discussion of Valentini Areh’s documentary “Radovan Karadzic’s Secret Plans” (2016, 51min, documentary for television).

The TV film shows newly retrieved materials and accounts obtained at the trial of Radovan Daradzic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Hague Tribunal. The documentary was premiered two days before the final sentence to Karadzic at the Haag Tribunal, 24 March 2016. Karadzic was sentenced to fourty years for Srebrenica genocide in BiH, Amont other criminal acts.

Valentin Areh is a Slovenian journalist, war correspondent and writer. He participated in 1991 as a soldier in the short Slovenian war for independence. He subsequently attended Ljubljana University, studying history and sociology. Areh has fiftenn years of experience as a war correspondent in places such as Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was one of the few journalists to remain in Kosovo during the Kosovo War of 1999 and he survived a tortuous escape out of the country during NATO’s war to expel Serbian forces.

Part III
Remembrance and oblivion of Nazi crimes in Austria
4 June 2018, 4-7 PM

Screening of “Night and Fog” (French original title: Nuit et brouillard; 1956, 32min, documentary short film). Directed by Alain Resnais, it was made ten years after the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. The title is taken from the notorious “Nacht und Nebel” (German for “Night and Fog”) program of abductions and disappearances decreed by the Nazis on 7 December 1941.

Screening of “East of War” (German original title: Jenseits des Krieges; 1996), a film by Ruth Beckermann (cinematography Peter Roehsler, editing Gertraud Luschützky).
White-tiled rooms, neon lighting; on the walls black and white photographs documenting the atrocities committed by the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in WW2. Against this background former soldiers talk about their experiences beyond the bounds of “normal” warfare. An uncompromising film on remembrance and oblivion. Ruth Beckermann’s film doesn’t duplicate the exhibition, but begins where it ends: in a commentary. Its subject-matter is less about history than remembering, less about the past than the present.