RAW Académie Session 1

RAW Material Company, Dakar, Senegal
24 Oct 2016 - 09 Dec 2016

RAW Académie Session 1

RAW Académie session 1, 'Hunger Incorporated,' working session with Rasha Salti. Courtesy of RAW Material Company.

RAW Académie is a tuition-free residential experiential study programme for artistic and curatorial thought and practice inquiry of eight weeks in Dakar. It is dedicated to a lively reflection on artistic research, curatorial practice and critical writing. The academy is held during two distinct sessions per year; October–December and April–June. Each session is directed by a Lead Faculty who has displayed an off-the-beaten-paths practice in regards to artistic, curatorial and critical imagination. Session 1 is led by Beirut based independent curator and critic Rasha Salti. It takes place from October 24–December 9, 2016.

Each academy session is built around a relevant conceptual framework developed by the Lead Faculty with contributions of invited fellow professionals. The conceptual framework is a compelling basis for the analysis and production of the fellows’ as well as the faculty’s work and areas of inquiry. The Lead Faculty has absolute freedom for the conception of her/his project for the session.

Session 1: “Hunger Incorporated” directed by Rasha Salti
The first session of the RAW Académie, is born from the necessity to create a framework for engaging with the production of art and explore on its place in society. It is also born from the desire to experiment with pedagogy, as academia and institutions of higher education are in a state of crisis, or so it would seem. The aim is to produce experiential knowledge rather than marketable knowledge.

Hunger Incorporated is the thematic lens to approach questions, interrogate poetics, narratives and representations that counter, deconstruct critically, or subvert the global neoliberal production of excess and conditions of extremeness. It is furthermore pertinent to engage with these questions in the context of the African continent, construed in the neo-liberal regime as an open-ended reservoir of natural and human resources plumbed indiscriminately. Hunger Incorporated refers to the right to basic sustenance and the threat of lack of access to nutrition, the hunger for resources resulting from exponential economic growth, hunger as constant craving and the relentless inability for satiation, hunger as blind ambition, hunger as the impetus for compensating a lack or lag, hunger as compulsive accumulation and the stand-in for utopia, and hunger as one of the allegorical and sublimated manifestations of anxiety. It also refers to the market-driven economic regime’s systemic production of needs, conditioning and control within the logic of neo-liberal capital, from the anxiety of the quotidian relationship to the Real, to the looming superlative promise of dystopia.

In this second decade of the 21st century we are witnessing an alarming polarization in the fracture of the social and the political. At one level, conventional politics (political parties and electoral politics) seem bankrupt, the failure of their imaginaries have allowed for religious discourse to stand-in for ideology using its moral high-ground to anchor subjectivity. For lack of ideas or vision, regimes of fear mobilize communities around xenophobia, racism and hate. However, the failure of conventional politics has also witnessed a redefinition of political action and reconfigurations of the body politic. Outside the ever-growing dominion of the market, art has also played an interesting role in providing a surrogate territory for forging a different political imaginary. This is where the necessity for rethinking the social and political role of artistic creation comes from, and the framework for the interrogations and probing that take place during this first session of RAW Académie.

The faculty invited to lead some of the sessions were selected specifically because their practice relates in remarkably accomplished and diverse ways to these questions. Newton Aduaka and Ghassan Salhab, are each in their own respect, acclaimed filmmakers who have forged a singular cinematic practice that embodies and mediates a consciousness of being embattled with the contingencies of the Real. Alfredo Jaar, an internationally established artist, whose rigorously intransigent practice has been awarded numerous times, has accomplished a body of work that incarnates a consistent interpellation of the place of art in social and political life. Ursula Biemann, an acclaimed artist with a long-standing research-based and collaborative practice that uses modes of documentary, has been deeply engaged with making visible and intelligible processes and realities obscured, silenced and obfuscated by the regime of exploitation. Nisreen Salti is a rising innovative economist, whose work examines the relationships between power regimes and economies of extraction of natural resources. Carine Doumit, who teaches documentary cinema, has an impressive career as a film editor. Specializing in subjective essay films, she has recently published a book of poetic prose. And lastly, Patricia Falguières, eminent art historian, feminist and critical theorist, has produced a vital and versatile body of work that challenges tirelessly market-endorsed prevailing ideological interpretive frameworks.

Fellows for Session 1 include Dulcie Abrahams Altass (United Kingdom), Aissatou Ndeye Aida Diop (Senegal), Narcís Díaz Pujol (Spain), Mahammad Fathy Kalfat (Egypt), Irène Gaouda Lyoum (Senegal), Marinette Jeannerod (France), Philippa Ndisi-Hermann (Kenya), Madiaw Ndiaye (Senegal), Gadi Ramadhani (Tanzania), and Frida Robles Ponce (Mexico).

Session 2
RAW Académie Session 2 will take place from April 3–May 27, 2017. It will be directed by the Cape Town based Pan-African platform of writing, art and politics, Chimurenga, founded in 2002 by author and public intellectual Ntone Edjabe. Application process for Session 2 will open in mid-December 2016.

Contact: Eva Barois De Caevel:



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