Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production

ASSUMING BOYCOTT: RESISTANCE, AGENCY, AND CULTURAL PRODUCTION -- Seminar Series Thu 18 Sep 2014 4.30PM - Mon 1 Dec 2014 9.00PM The New School
New York City
Free admission; space is limited and registration required at Participants are strongly encouraged to make use of each event's Resource Guide, available on the respective event page.
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Cultural production opens avenues for new ways of thinking. How productive or conducive can the methods of withdrawal and boycott be for politically oriented artistic practices? This series of seminars poses an alternative view: to consider withdrawal and boycott as special conditions for discourse and engaged artmaking. The goal of the seminars is to study boycotts as cultural work, and understand their motivations (why a boycott), practices (how a boycott) and consequences (what effects). The seminars, which will culminate in a public colloquium in spring 2015, address timely questions of the agency of artists in social and political spheres, and how culture can enact and perform change within a politics of disengagement.

Examples abound of contemporary artists holding institutions, exhibitions, and projects accountable for their practices. Labor issues in the United Arab Emirates, funding structures of the Sydney Biennale or the current São Paulo Bienal, participation in this year's Manifesta in Saint Petersburg, and calls to renew a cultural boycott of Israel—artists are leveraging their power to affect shifts in the ways culture is produced on individual, civic, and educational levels.

This series of seminars addresses:

The Legacy of the Cultural Boycott in South Africa
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cultural Production During BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel)
Monday, October 20, 2014

Going the Distance: Cultural Work in Far-flung Political and Geographical Spheres
Monday, December 1, 2014

Considering Palestine/Israel: What Does the Boycott Mean?
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Who is Silencing Whom? Censorship, Self Censorship and Charlie Hebdo
Monday, February 23, 2015

Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Each seminar begins in late afternoon with a film screening, conversation, performance, or another related event. It is followed from 6:30–7:30 pm by a succinct lecture or panel on core issues relating to the topic, and closes at 9:00 pm after an in-depth discussion between presenters and audience members. A Resource Guide, announced online in advance of each seminar, serves as an introduction to each conflict.

The seminar is open to the public. Registration is accepted on a first, come first served basis at All participants are encouraged to avail themselves of the Resource Guides, introductory readings to each seminar, announced on each seminar event pages at

The program is curated by Carin Kuoni, director/curator, Vera List Center, and Laura Raicovich, Creative Time's director of global initiatives. It is organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics as part of the center's 2013–2015 curatorial focus on Alignment.