Extinction looms from all sides, scientists agree, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to breathe. The current unfolding of the Anthropocene has brought with it a widespread loss of habitats, a poisoning of land, water, air, and food, all of which is now amplified by the general effects of climate change. Entire assemblages of life, containing humans, trees, animals, plants, rocks, and bodies of water, are breaking apart, threatening the mutually bonded, multi-species breathing relationships. But isn’t the Anthropocene a flat term that assumes ‘a blanket humanity, a blanket history, and a blanket geological record’ (Vansintjan 2016)? A racial term (Vergès 2017) that eclipses the role of colonial and military violence in its formation? Multi-species constellations had been choked to death by militarized atmospherics in regimented geographies such as the Middle East long before talk of the Anthropocene gained widespread currency.
‘Affective Ecologies’ presents imaginative methodological exercises in documenting the multi-species afterlives of militarized spaces in the present-day Middle East. The workshop explores the intersection of ethnography and the arts as it provides a haunting, sensual, and dissident document of the militarized, poisonous, and neglected rhythms of daily life in Middle Eastern ecologies. Giving an account of a rigorously affective relationship between the human and the non-human, giving equal aesthetic attention and ethnographic weight to the military and to the ecological, the workshop examines the possibilities of affective ecologies that turn post-human interpretations into situated political fragments.
The workshop researches the convergent and nomadic movement of works that document, but are not necessarily documentaries. It does not attempt to classify these works as genre-defining documents, but is interested instead in researching the anarchic possibilities offered by genre-crossing methods in describing the affective afterlives of life under militarism.
17:00 Welcome by Umut Yildirim
Introduction and Discussion of Texts
with Françoise Vergès
18.30 Coffee Break
19:00 Part II
Panel discussion followed by a Q&A
Marwa Arsanios (Akademie der bildenden Kunst in Vienna)
Nadine Hattom (Berlin Program for Artists)
Munira Khayyat (American University of Cairo)
Umut Yildirim (ICI Berlin)
Françoise Vergès (Collège d’études Mondiales -FMSH)
The event, like all events at the ICI Berlin, is open to the public, free of charge. The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin. If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.
The workshop requires prior registration by 17 June 2019. Materials will be distributed in advance in order to promote an active engagement in the discussion.
Image Credit © Claudia Peppel, collage (detail)