Job Offer: Revolution 3.0: Iconographies of social utopia in Africa and its disaporas

The research project “Revolution 3.0: Iconographies of social utopia in Africa and its Diasporas”, part of the “Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies”, an interdisciplinary reserach entity of the University of Bayreuth/Germany, invites application by scholars who aim to conduct a research in the field of cultural studies, film and media studies as well as art history with a focus on image production, archives and new media in Africa and its diasporas in relation to revolutions and their aftermath. Applicants should conduct a research of their own in close interaction and coordination with the overall interests research project; and take part in the Academy’s activities. More

The deadline has been extended to 1st of February.

 

24.01.2014 | par martalanca | PhD, Revolution

“Revolution 3.0: Iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diasporas”

“Revolution 3.0: Iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diasporas” analyzes images from the African revolutions, their movements and dynamics. Africa and its diasporas have produced diverse utopias and imaginations of future. Such visions draw on the pool of images and texts provided by the visual archives of revolutions and liberation struggles, which are remixed, re-interpreted or repeated in different dispositives such as painting, photography and audiovisual media. As much as referencing existing visions, such imaginations create new imageries. The research project investigates the entanglements of aesthetics and politics in situations of radical social transformation, and the becoming of icons. What constitutes the ‘seismographic power’ of images, and the sustainability of icons in terms of radicalism? Central to our investigation are diachronic and transcultural filiations within visual culture in the ‘longue durée’ of lusophone Africa. We investigate existing archives as well as aim at creating new image pools. As part of the larger transdisciplinary research project of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, “Future Africa – Visions in Time ”, we ask: 

  • Is there a ‘revolutionary potential’, an agency within an image?

How do images anticipate, ignite and accompany fundamental change? Which functions do images hold in different phases of revolution? How are images used in the aftermath of revolution, e.g. to consolidate order? 

What makes some of them attractive for ‘post-production’?    

Icon Lab

in our Media-Lab, we assemble images and their filiations, compare, and analyze them.

Presentation, discussion and recording are carried out with guests of the BA. Like this, we aim at understanding iconographies of revolution, radical change, and utopia along the images that make them work. Our aim is to develop of a method for working with images and to produce a dictionary of revolutionary iconography. 

Bayreuth Academy Workshop 3.0 

Tuesday, 25th of June 2013

Where: Associação Maumaus - Centro de Contaminação Visual Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 100 - 1o esq. 1

Who: Alexandre Pomar, Fernandes Dias, Manuela Ribeiro Sanches, Marta Lança, Francisca Bagulho, Catarina Simão, Ângela Ferreira, Luís Patraquim, Ute Fendler, Ulf Vierke, Nadine Siegert, Katharina Fink, Stefanie Alisch

0. Greeting
1. Introducing Bayreuth Academy and its sub project „Revolutions 3.0“ 2. Communicating intentions, aspirations and methods of the workshop 3. Presenting glossary of key terms
4. Introducing the Icon Lab

5.1 Discussion of methods 5.2 Bring images

Session 1: Reflect on images with visual techniques Lunch Goethe Institut (tbc.)
Session 2: Reflect on images with visual techniques Wrap-up session day 1

Dinner (Povo or Snob)

Wednesday, 26th of June 2013

Similar procedure with speakers of ECAS panel at Goethe Institut Lisboa (tbc.) “Revolution 3.0: iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diaspora” 

28.05.2013 | par martalanca | iconographies, Revolution

two weeks until deadline: CFP ECAS 2013 "Revolution 3.0: iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diaspora"

The main question guiding the panel is the emergence of images in the context of imaginations of futures. Images as seismographers of radical shifts within societies - especially the iconography of revolution as the epitome of social change - will be discussed from interdisciplinary perspectives; .

This panel investigates the emergence of images as imaginations of futures. As seismographers of radical shifts within societies, images often anticipate changes before they appear in the political and social discourse. Revolutions as epitomes of social change produce visual figurations in art, film and popular cultures.

Africa is rarely discussed with a perspective on revolution and utopia in the sense of positive powerful concepts of futures. We argue that the investigation of visual archives of African revolutions may provide knowledge about appearance and trajectories of dynamic icons and the ‘agency’ of images (Gell 1998). Their affiliations and clusters in different media provide a deeper understanding of projections of futures and their relation to the past. If revolutions aim at something new, a “concrete utopia” (Bloch 1985), this has to be reflected in images as well. New images, we argue, can only emerge in the field of aesthetics, where imaginations of utopian space and time (Rancière 2006) are possible. Art emerges not as a tool for propaganda, but as powerful element of social and aesthetic discourse.

We invite interdisciplinary perspectives from literature, cinema and art studies, visual anthropology and cultural studies. We ask for different projections of the future from Africa and how these imaginations are traceable in art, film, and popcultures. How are they related to historical moments: revolutions, independences and the aftermaths? How can they (re-)define historical events? How can new images, imaginations, concepts of future be generated? How do aesthetic practice and politics relate in situations of change?

more Info:

http://www.nomadit.co.uk/ecas/ecas2013/panels.php5?PanelID=2081

05.01.2013 | par nadinesiegert | Africa, african art, Conference, film, iconography, images, Revolution, utopia

CFP: ECAS 2013 "Revolution 3.0: iconographies of utopia in Africa and its diaspora"

The main question guiding the panel is the emergence of images in the context of imaginations of futures. Images as seismographers of radical shifts within societies - especially the iconography of revolution as the epitome of social change - will be discussed from interdisciplinary perspectives; .

This panel investigates the emergence of images as imaginations of futures. As seismographers of radical shifts within societies, images often anticipate changes before they appear in the political and social discourse. Revolutions as epitomes of social change produce visual figurations in art, film and popular cultures.

Africa is rarely discussed with a perspective on revolution and utopia in the sense of positive powerful concepts of futures. We argue that the investigation of visual archives of African revolutions may provide knowledge about appearance and trajectories of dynamic icons and the ‘agency’ of images (Gell 1998). Their affiliations and clusters in different media provide a deeper understanding of projections of futures and their relation to the past. If revolutions aim at something new, a “concrete utopia” (Bloch 1985), this has to be reflected in images as well. New images, we argue, can only emerge in the field of aesthetics, where imaginations of utopian space and time (Rancière 2006) are possible. Art emerges not as a tool for propaganda, but as powerful element of social and aesthetic discourse.

We invite interdisciplinary perspectives from literature, cinema and art studies, visual anthropology and cultural studies. We ask for different projections of the future from Africa and how these imaginations are traceable in art, film, and popcultures. How are they related to historical moments: revolutions, independences and the aftermaths? How can they (re-)define historical events? How can new images, imaginations, concepts of future be generated? How do aesthetic practice and politics relate in situations of change?

more Info:

http://www.nomadit.co.uk/ecas/ecas2013/panels.php5?PanelID=2081

 

 

26.11.2012 | par nadinesiegert | Conference, iconography, Revolution

These winds of change may now reach across the Sahara

The revolutions in the north have inspired sub-Saharan Africans. We can only hope the region’s leaders take note

Wangari Maathai

As protests against authoritarian rule spread throughout north Africa and the Middle East, I’ve been asked whether similar pro-democracy protests could take place in sub-Saharan Africa too.

At first glance, the conditions appear ripe. Many sub-Saharan Africans also struggle daily with the consequences of poor governance, stagnating economies and dehumanising poverty, and rampant violations of human rights.

It’s difficult for an outsider to know the local reasons why people in any society finally decide they’ve had enough of their leaders and rise up against them. It’s also dangerous to assume that revolutions occurring simultaneously have the same root causes. But certain factors do help explain the volatility in north Africa and the relative quiet to the south – and why that may not persist indefinitely. The first is the idea of the nation itself, along with regional identity. Because the great majority of peoples of north Africa and the Middle East are Arabs, their ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural connections provide a degree of solidarity within and across national boundaries. The majority think less along ethnic and more along lines of national identity. Al-Jazeera provides a wealth of information in the region’s common language, Arabic, and allows one country’s news to reach a broad regional swathe practically instantaneously.

Many in the younger generation are well-educated professionals, eager to make their voices heard. And in Tahrir Square, we heard the protesters chant: “We are all Egyptians,” no matter where they came from in Egypt, their social status, or even their religion (Egypt has a small but significant population of Coptic Christians). That sense of national identity was essential to their success. But that national spirit, sadly, is lacking in much of sub-Saharan Africa. For decades, under colonial rule and since independence, many leaders have exploited their peoples’ ethnic rivalries and linguistic differences to sow division and maintain their ethnic group’s hold on power and the country’s purse strings. To this day, in many such states, ethnicity has greater resonance than national identity.

Instead of encouraging inter-ethnic understanding and solidarity, leaders have set communities against each other in a struggle for resources and power, making it difficult for citizens to join together for the national interest.

Continuez à lire "These winds of change may now reach across the Sahara "

16.03.2011 | par martalanca | Revolution, sub-Saharan Africans

In search of an African revolution International media is following protests across the 'Arab world' but ignoring those in Africa.

Must a revolt be filmed and photographed to succeed? [EPA]

Demonstrations are continuing across the Middle East, interrupted only by the call for prayer when protesters fall to their knees on cheap carpets and straw mats and the riot police take a tea break. Egypt, in particular, with its scenes of unrelenting protesters staying put in Tahrir Square, playing guitars, singing, treating the injured and generally making Gandhi’s famous salt march of the 1940s look like an act of terror, captured the imagination of an international media and audience more familiar with the stereotype of Muslim youth blowing themselves and others up. 
 
A non-violent revolution was turning the nation full circle, much to the admiration of the rest of the world.

“I think Egypt’s cultural significance and massive population were very important factors in ensuring media coverage,” says Ethan Zuckerman, the co-founder of Global Voices, an international community of online activists.

“International audiences know at least a few facts about Egypt, which makes it easier for them to connect to news there,” he says, drawing a comparison with Bahrain, a country Zuckerman says few Americans would be able to locate on a map.

Zuckerman also believes that media organisations were in part motivated by a “sense of guilt” over their failure to effectively cover the Tunisian revolution and were, therefore, playing “catch up” in Egypt.

“Popular revolutions make for great TV,” he adds. “The imagery from Tahrir square in particular was very powerful and led to a story that was easy for global media to cover closely.”

The African Egypt versus the Arab Egypt
 
Egypt was suddenly a sexy topic. But, despite the fact that the rich banks of the Nile are sourced from central Africa, the world looked upon the uprising in Egypt solely as a Middle Eastern issue and commentators scrambled to predict what it would mean for the rest of the Arab world and, of course, Israel. Few seemed to care that Egypt was also part of Africa, a continent with a billion people, most living under despotic regimes and suffering economic strife and political suppression just like their Egyptian neighbours.

“Egypt is in Africa. We should not fool about with the attempts of the North to segregate the countries of North Africa from the rest of the continent,” says Firoze Manji, the editor of Pambazuka Online, an advocacy website for social justice in Africa. “Their histories have been intertwined for millennia. Some Egyptians may not feel they are Africans, but that is neither here nor there. They are part of the heritage of the continent.”

And, just like much of the rest of the world, Africans watched events unfold in Cairo with great interest. “There is little doubt that people [in Africa] are watching with enthusiasm what is going on in the Middle East, and drawing inspiration from that for their own struggles,” says Manji.

He argues that globalisation and the accompanying economic liberalisation has created circumstances in which the people of the global South share very similar experiences: “Increasing pauperisation, growing unemployment, declining power to hold their governments to account, declining income from agricultural production, increasing accumulation by dispossession - something that is growing on a vast scale - and increasing willingness of governments to comply with the political and economic wishes of the North.

“In that sense, people in Africa recognise the experiences of citizens in the Middle East. There is enormous potential for solidarity to grow out from that. In any case, where does Africa end and the Middle East begin?”

Continuez à lire "In search of an African revolution International media is following protests across the 'Arab world' but ignoring those in Africa."

22.02.2011 | par martalanca | Africa, arab world, Revolution

Egyption Revolution

Duncan Sharp Sky News

21.02.2011 | par martalanca | Egipto, Revolta no Egito, Revolution

Why fear the Arab revolutionary spirit?

The western liberal reaction to the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia frequently shows hypocrisy and cynicism.

Article by Slavoj Žižek (The Guardian)

04.02.2011 | par ritadamasio | Egipto, Egypt, Revolta, Revolution, Tunisia