#12 Un/Worlding

Ein Sommerseminar mit Jack Halberstam, Tavia Nyong'o und Damon Young

10. – 19. Juli 2023

Between Bridges freut sich, ein Sommerseminar auszurichten, das von Jack Halberstam, Tavia Nyong'o und Damon Young konzipiert und durchgeführt wird: 

„Unser ehemaliger Gefährte José Esteban Muñoz hat einmal die Frage gestellt: Was trägt man zum Weltende? In diesem Sommer laden wir Künstler:innen, Akademiker:innen und Studierende zu einem kollektiven Gedankenexperiment ein, bei dem wir die Herstellung, Aufhebung und Wiederherstellung von Welten und die Beziehung zwischen ästhetischer Praxis und Un/Worlding untersuchen. Das Seminar ist ein Ort des Lernens, an dem in einer kleinen und intensiven Gruppe Gespräche geführt, Überlegungen angestellt und Ideen ausgetauscht werden können, ohne den Druck institutioneller Produktion, Leistung oder Bewertung.

In den letzten drei Jahren haben wir uns jeden Sommer mit verschiedenen Gruppen getroffen, die sich mit Themen und Praktiken der Queer- und Trans-Theorie beschäftigt haben. Wir hoffen, bei diesen Treffen Verbindungen zwischen den Feldern der Kunst, der Theorie und der geistigen und kulturellen Produktion herzustellen. Das fortlaufende Projekt basiert auf einem gemeinsamen Interesse an den Herausforderungen und Freuden des kollektiven Denkens und der kritischen Theorie: an Fragen von Negativität und Utopie, Schwarzsein und Ontologie, von Begehren und seinen Pfaden. In diesem Sommer werden wir bei Between Bridges in fünf Sitzungen über zehn Tage hinweg gemeinsame Texte diskutieren, an Workshops mit Künstler:innen teilnehmen und verschiedene Formen der geistigen Produktion und des Austauschs erkunden.“

Für die Seminarteilnehmer:innen fallen keine Kosten an, außer der Notwendigkeit, für die Dauer des Seminars in Berlin anwesend und untergebracht zu sein. Das Seminar findet in englischer Sprache statt. Das Seminar ist offen für alle Interessierten. Unser Ort ist mit Rollstuhl zugänglich. Die Kapazität des Seminars ist begrenzt, daher werden die Bewerbungen von Jack Halberstam, Tavia Nyong'o und Damon Young gesichtet und Teilnehmer:innen ausgewählt.

Das Bewerbungsdokument kann hier heruntergeladen werden: Un/Worlding Application Questionaire

Bewerbungsfrist ist der 28. Mai 2023 (24 Uhr MEZ), das Bewerbungsdokument kann über diese email eingereicht werden:  

Die erfolgreichen Bewerber:innen werden per E-Mail benachrichtigt


Jack Halberstam hat eine Professur für Gender Studies und Englisch an der Columbia University inne und Autor der Bücher Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, Female Masculinity, In a Queer Time and Place, The Queer Art of Failure, Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, The End of Normal, und, in jüngster Zeit, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance. Das Places Journal zeichnete Halberstam 2018 mit dem Arcus/Places Prize für innovative öffentliche Forschung über das Verhältnis zwischen Geschlecht, Sexualität und der geschaffenen Umwelt aus. Halberstam veröffentlichte außerdem kürzlich Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire und arbeitet derzeit an einem Begleitband mit dem Titel The Wild Beyond: Art, Architecture, and Anarchy

Tavia Nyong'o lehrt Black und Queer Studies an der Yale University, wo er Professor für African American Studies, American Studies und Theater & Performance Studies ist. Er ist der Autor von zwei Büchern, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory und Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life, sowie von zahlreichen Artikeln in akademischen und künstlerischen Zeitschriften. Er ist Mitherausgeber der Buchreihe Sexual Cultures bei New York University Press.

Damon R. Young ist Associate Professor für Französisch und Film & Media an der University of California, Berkeley, wo er auch im Rahmen des Programms für kritische Theorie, Frauen-, Geschlechter- und Sexualstudien und des Berkeley Center for New Media unterrichtet. Er ist Autor von Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies sowie zahlreicher Artikel über zeitgenössische Kunst, Queer Theory, Psychoanalyse, Film und digitale Medien. Derzeit arbeitet er an einem Buchprojekt mit dem Titel Century of the Selfie.

During the first days, the seminar is accompanied by an evening programme open for everyone to join. It includes a talk by feminist theorist of culture Ewa Majewska, the German premier of artist Rory Pilgrim’s latest film, a screening by artist and filmmaker Theo Cuthand followed by a contribution by writer and scholar Macarena Gómez-Barris.

Monday, July 10, 7pm 
Ewa Majewska: Queerstories beyond the West. Dialectics of the Weak. 
Talk and conversation

In the 1970s two Czech thinkers – Jan Patocka and Vaclav Havel – conceptualized the moment of uncertainty and weakness, typical, as they thought, for those living in Central Europe. Such positioning could lead to plain resignation, but it also opens to ways out – lignes de fuite –, as Deleuze and Guattari wrote in similar times. Just, as in the "Refrain" chapter of their book Mille Plataux, also in The Power of Powerless by Havel and in Solidarity of the Shaken by Patocka, we encounter a subjectivity forming its escape from fear and impossibility by means of ordinary, weak, common practices, such as singing a consoling song, using everyday methods of disobedience or relating to others. The dialectics of the weak can be seen as a perspective reversing the traditional, patriarchal, colonial, heteronormative hierarchy of forms of political agency, which used to prioritize the forms of action, which resemble male, privileged strategies, while at the same time marginalizing and diminishing agency of the oppressed. Following Jack Halberstam and the concept of "queer art of failure", as well as Eve Kosofsky-Sedgwick's use of "weak theory"; feminist intersectional critique and James Scott's "weapons of the weak", I discuss the resignation from heroic, decisive, violent strategies and forms of action.

Tuesday, July 11, 7pm
Rory Pilgrim: RAFTS, 2020-2022

In moments of change and transition, what supports us and keeps us afloat? A raft is the simplest and most fragile vehicle of survival on open water. Ancient as human language, rafts are still needed during urgent crossings. From the Abrahamic story of Noah’s Arc to the idea of Earth as a lonely life raft floating in space, the symbol of a raft has often represented the ultimate preserver of life. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, artist and composer Rory Pilgrim develops RAFTS as the second chapter in a body of performance, film and sonic work exploring how the climate crisis relates to support structures in our everyday lives. The commission is narrated by the voices of eight residents of Barking and Dagenham from Green Shoes Arts: Hugh, Carina, Liam, Butterfly, Katy, Dee, Mark, and Eddie, who each in their own way reflect on what the symbol of a raft means to them. At the heart of RAFTS is a concert broadcast that interweaves stories, poetry and reflections around a seven-song oratorio that makes connections between work, mental health, home, recovery, and our environment. Further voices and people from near and far join the journey, including members of Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance, members of Project Well Being – a group for those experiencing homelessness in Idaho, USA – and solo singers Declan Rowe John, Robyn Haddon and Kayden Fearon. Inspired by the original Radio Ballads as vessels of time, the concert explores how we mark time and act to enable support and prevent harm in both the short- and long-term. Using tools of prophecy, reflection and creativity, the concert takes us on a journey that contemplates which ‘rafts’ could be needed to navigate the future in times of change and uncertainty.

Wednesday, July 12, 7pm
Theo Cuthand: Extractions (2019) and Macarena Gómez-Barris
Screening, talk and conversation

Extractions (2019) is part of NDN Survival Trilogy (finished in 2020) by artist, filmmaker, and writer Theo Cuthand. The film investigates extractive capitalism and its impacts on First Nation Indigenous people and parallels resource extraction with the rampant apprehension of Indigenous children for the profitable foster care system in Canada. Cuthand reviews how these industries – and growing up in a culture of anti-Indigenous misogyny and intergenerational trauma caused by colonization, land dispossession and ecocide – have affected his community and himself. The screening is followed by a presentation by author and scholar Macarena Gómez-Barris and a subsequent conversation between conversation between Cuthand and Gómez-Barris.

Ewa Majewska is a feminist theorist of culture, associate professor at the SWPS University in Warsaw, Poland, working on the queer studies/archive theory project Public against their will. The production of subjects in the archives of "Hiacynt Action”, examining the state action targeting gay men in the 1980s Poland. She taught at the UDK Berlin, University of Warsaw; she was a visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley; ICI Berlin and IWM in Vienna. She published seven books, incl. Feminist Antifascism (Verso, 2021), as well as numerous articles and essays in journals, magazines and collected volumes: e-flux, Signs, Third Text, Journal of Utopian Studies and others. Her research focuses on archive studies, dialectics of the weak; feminist critical theory and antifascism. She co-curated the exhibition of Mariola Przyjemska at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (2022-2023).

Rory Pilgrim works in a wide range of media including songwriting, composing music, film, music video, text, drawing and live performances. Centred on emancipatory concerns, Pilgrim aims to challenge the nature of how we come together, speak, listen and strive for social change through sharing and voicing personal experience. Strongly influenced by the origins of activist, feminist and socially engaged art, Pilgrim works with others through a different methods of dialogue, collaboration and workshops. In an age of increasing technological interaction, Rory's work creates connections between activism, spirituality, music and how we form community locally and globally from both beyond and behind our screens. Solo Shows include: Chisenhale Gallery, London (2024), Vleeshal Centre of Contemporary Art, Middleburg (2024), WAMX, Turku (2023), Kunstverein Braunschweig (duo-2021), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2020), Between Bridges, Berlin (2019) Ming Studios, Boise (2019), Andriesse-Eyck Gallery, Amsterdam NL (2018) and South London Gallery (2018). Rory has also made commissions, screenings and performances for Serpentine Galleries, London (2022), MoMA, New York (2022), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2021), Glasgow Film Festival (2020), Images Festival, Toronto (2019) and Transmediale Festival, HKW, Berlin (2019). In 2019, Pilgrim was the winner of the Prix de Rome. He is currently nominated for the Turner Prize.

Theo Jean Cuthand has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, Queer identity and love, and Indigeneity since 1995. They have screened in festivals internationally, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paolo, ImagineNATIVE in Toronto, Ann Arbour Film Festival, Images in Toronto, Berlinale in Berlin, New York Film Festival, Outfest,and Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. His work has also exhibited at galleries including the Remai in Saskatoon, The National Gallery in Ottawa, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, MoMA in New York, and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.   He is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Macarena Gómez-Barris is author of four books including The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. She is Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.