Discussions / Ateliers

steirischer herbst – Academy 2016: workshop call & conference

steirischer herbst, Graz, Austria
Deadline: 31 August 2016

steirischer herbst – Academy 2016: workshop call & conference

Photo: Fabrice Mazliah / Mamaza.

The herbst Academy 2016 investigates Europe’s current state from a postcolonial and decolonial perspective and invites students and practitioners from the fields of arts and theory to meet on a green field site.

The international Mamaza collective proclaims a temporary « Garden State » at Graz’s Orpheum theatre, creating a participatory setting for discursive encounters and critical dialogue. Within this context, steirischer herbst festival is running four workshops (Thursday, October 6 & Friday, October 7) and a two-days conference (Saturday, October 8 & Sunday, October 9).

Workshop 1
Chinafrika. Under Construction
With Jochen Becker (Germany), Daniel Kötter (Germany) & international guests

China and the African continent, it is assumed, are the two world regions where the future of globalization is being drawn up. The research and art project « Chinafrika. Under Construction » has been analyzing the cultural relations between both areas for several years, highlighting a process that has fundamentally changed the role of Europe, among other things. With a wide range of research materials and documentaries from Guangzhou, Lagos, Hong Kong, Lubumbashi and other regions, the workshop illustrates the cultural and economic transformations ensuing from this transnational process. Accompanied by guests from China, Africa and Styria, the participants in the workshop will be exploring theoretical and everyday experiences of the Chinafrika phenomenon.

Workshop 2
Critical Whiteness and more
With Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst (Germany), Institute of African Studies and Egyptology, Cologne University

What does it mean to be white? This seemingly banal question remains rarely asked. Most people who identify themselves as white have never thought about being white, implicitly considering it the norm from which all « others » who are not white deviate. Whiteness almost always remains unmarked and unreflected—with the focus usually being on the others. Yet being white is quite obviously connected with privileges and power relations that identify relationships and interactions with « other » people. In the workshop held by professor of African Studies Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst, the participants react on what it is like to be white or not white, and about their experience. The aim is to make whiteness visible as a constructed category of power. Where can we identify white power in everyday culture? And can white people decide to opt out of whiteness?

Workshop 3
From Modernity to the Decolonial
With Rolando Vazquez (Netherlands/Mexico), University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University

The workshop held by Mexican-Dutch sociologist Rolando Vazquez focuses on the decolonial critique of modernity. It will show how coloniality is deeply embedded in our everyday life. In a dialogue with participants, Vazquez questions the common understanding of progress, development and consumption that cannot be thought in separation from processes of destitution, extraction, denial and erasure. In the « Garden State » setting the aim is to discuss to what extent the modern notion of the subject contradicts forms of community, responsibility and the possibility of an ethical life. The decolonial option presents questions hitherto excluded from the modern canon. What are the conditions to recover the possibilities of relating, of listening to truly intercultural perspectives?

Workshop 4
Participating in World Building
With Marjetica Potrč (Germany/Slovenia), Design for the Living World class, University of Fine Arts, HFBK Hamburg

For Marjetica Potrč, the appropriation of space by the local community—be it in the rainforest or at the heart of the city—is essential for the construction of a new citizenship. What is the role of artists who do community-based projects? How can they support the needs of local groups without imposing their own ideas? How should they interact with local groups, institutions and government? And crucially, what is the role of residents in shaping their own environment? The Slovenian artist and architect based in Ljubljana and Berlin reports from her practice and invites workshop participants to contribute their own examples and experiences and to discuss them at the New Graz exhibition at the center for contemporary art <rotor>.

Welcome to the former West. Mental maps and decolonial perspectives on the here and now
October 8–9
Garden State / Orpheum

Contact: academy@steirischerherbst.at / T +43 664 24 500 76