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Tag: Identity

What connections are there between art forms and political systems? Rabih Mroué’s works revolve around the social situation in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. For “Why Are We Here Now?” he examines, together with representatives from the post-civil war art scene, Lebanese concepts of identity and the special role of the lecture performance. To article...

Where does tolerance and Laissez-faire end? When do silence and omissions become violence? The writer Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor summarizes positions by writer Taiye Selasi, cultural theorist Theo Goldberg and historian Achille Mbembe and sketches a range of social phenomena against the background of an increased potential for violence. To article...

The nation state has largely established itself as the international organizing principle of modernity. However, what do forms of resistance and alternative models to its conflict-laden demarcations and capitalist motivations look like? The political scientist James C. Scott examines “Zomia”, an upland region extending across South East Asia and the Tibetan Plateau whose indigenous population has resisted incorporation into empires and nation states since time immemorial. An excerpt from his groundbreaking book “The Art of Not Being Governed” (2009). To article...

For his installation in the exhibition “2 or 3 Tigers”, Chia-Wei Hsu, together with the frog god Marshall Tie Jia, reconstructed his temple in Wu-Yi that was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. In the journal interview the artist discusses the common features of spiritual and digital worlds, his process-driven work with local communities, and the valuation of multiple variants of history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s “Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures” provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...

Does truth exist? And do we still need it? Taking the concept of Négritude as their point of departure Nobel laureate in literature Wole Soyinka and film theorist Manthia Diawara talked about a universal idea and it’s relevance today. A short survey of edition #3 of the Dictionary of Now. To article...