Abounaddara. The Right to the Image

Prize Ceremony and Conference Thu 22 Oct 2015 5.00PM - Sat 24 Oct 2015 6.00PM The New School
New York City


Free Admission
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Presented in conjunction with the exhibition: Abounaddara. The Right to the Image

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Around the world new critical practices of image production, scholarship, artmaking, activism, and legal action are evolving to combat political and humanitarian crises. To dissect these practices, this conference is grounded in the work of the anonymous filmmaking collective Abounaddara who has released one film each week since the start of the Syrian revolution, presenting all sides of the conflict to global audiences in an "emergency cinema" that includes over 300 films to date. Collectively Abounaddara's films seek to establish the right to the image as a recognized human right. Each panel addresses one aspect of Abounaddara's practice through diverse contexts to see how it is enacted in other global socio-political situations and to build an analysis of methods of worldwide.

The three panels on October 23 reflect Abounaddara's filmmaking tactics and also mirror the three thematic shifts in the concurrent exhibition of their work at the Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design. Every week, the exhibition will focus on a different strategy and feature a different selection of approximately 30 films. These central tactics are: portraiture and participation, subverting images, and open-endedness as tactic. The two panels on October 24 shift to the deeper implications underlying Abounaddara's work first through a discussion of organizing in the contemporary world and concluding with an evaluation of their core campaign of the right to the image for all, proposed as an amendment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each panel opens with a brief section of related Abounaddara films, selected by the filmmakers.

Abounaddara. The Right to the Image conference launches The New School's public recognition of Abounddara as the recipients of the second Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics in conjunction with an exhibition, a film series, integration into classes across the university, and an upcoming publication.
    • Abounnadara Prize Ceremony And Conversation
    • Abounaddara. The Right To The Image Panel I Portraiture And Participation
    • Abounaddara.The Right To The Image Panel II Subverting Images
    • Abounaddara. The Right To The Image Intermezzo Revolution And Music
    • Abounaddara. The Right To The Image Panel III Open Endedness As Tactic
    • Abounaddara. The Right To The Image Panel IV Ways Of Organizing In Post Democracy
    • Abounaddara. The Right To The Image Panel V The Right To The Image
      • K Abounaddara: The Right to the Image Concept Paper Abounaddara: The Right to the Image Concept Paper Download - pdf (168 kB)
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (program details below)

DAY 1 – Thursday, October 22
5-6:30 pm Exhibition opening
Abounaddara. The Right to the Image
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons School of Design
66 Fifth Avenue @ 13th Street

6:30-7:30 Prize Ceremony and Conversation
Charif Kiwan, member and spokesperson, Abounaddara
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street

DAY 2 – Friday, October 23
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

11-1 Panel I. Portraiture and Participation
1-2 Lunch break
2-4 Panel II. Subverting Images
4-6 Panel III. Open-endedness as Tactic

DAY 3 – Saturday, October 24
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

12-2 Panel IV. Ways of Organizing in Post Democracy
2-3 Intermezzo. Revolution and Music
3-5 Panel V. The Right to the Image
5-6 Closing Reception and Book Launch for "Entry Points. The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice, No. 1"

PROGRAM DETAILS

DAY 1 – Thursday, October 22
The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
6:30 – 7:30 pm
Prize Ceremony
With David Van Zandt, President, The New School
James-Keith Brown, Chair, Vera List Center Advisory Committee
Carin Kuoni, Director/Curator, Vera List Center

Charif Kiwan, member and spokesperson, Abounaddara
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch


DAY 2 – Friday, October 23
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
Panel I: Portraiture and Participation
11am – 1pm
This inaugural panel offers an introduction to Abounaddara and their work. Film is a natural medium to depict a portrait - whether of a place, a person, a historic moment. Many of Abounddara's films present intimate portraits of individual Syrian's from all sides of the conflict telling their stories on film. Deeply rooted in histories of art and filmmaking alike, this method of portraiture complicates our fragmented understanding of what is happening in Syria.

Abounaddara Films
In the name of the father
The Unknown Soldier (part 3)
Aïcha

Panelists
Charif Kiwan, member and spokesperson, Abounaddara
Lisa Wedeen, Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and the Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago
Edward Ziter, Associate Professor of Drama, New York University
Peter Lucas, Assistant Professor, Graduate Program of International Affairs, The New School, moderator

Panel II: Subverting Images
2 – 4 pm
Appropriating and recontextualizing images is a key tactic in Abounaddara's work. Subverting film and video to layer deeper meaning within a complex political reality is a method with ties to creators across the world.

Abounaddara Films
Kill Them
Vanguards

Panelists
Peggy Ahwesh, filmmaker, Professor of Film and Electronic Arts, Bard College
Kader Attia, artist
David Levi Strauss, writer/critic, Chair, Graduate Program in Art Writing, School of Visual Arts, New York
Christiane Paul, Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School, moderator


Panel III: Open-endedness as Tactic
4 – 6 pm

Representations of narratives and histories without closure leave space for audience interpretation and engagement. Abounaddara enacts open-endedness as a tactic in their filmmaking, engaging not only global audiences but also methods of sustaining local networks from far to support people living in challenging political environments to remain in their homeland. In this way open ended art has political potential for processes of reconciliation.

Abounaddara Films
The Syrian Street
All the Syria's Futures

Panelists
Moustafa Bayoumi, Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Ruba Katrib, Curator, SculptureCenter, New York
Aleksandra Wagner, Assistant Professor of Sociology, The New School, moderator


DAY 3 – Saturday, October 24
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
Panel IV: Ways of Organizing in Post Democracy
12 – 2 pm

Activists and artists alike are increasingly adapting new organizing tactics as the structures of power shift around them. These new ways of organizing respond to the challenges imposed by shifting post-democratic regimes of power, whether they are anonymous, governmental, or artistic.

Abounaddara Films
The Lady of Syria Part I
What Justice?

Panelists
Emanuele Castano, Chair, Psychology Department, The New School for Social Research
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center/Director, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, City University of New York
McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media Studies, Lang College for Liberal Arts, moderator

Intermezzo: Revolution and Music
2 – 3 pm

Music and revolution are deeply intertwined. This legacy will be provoked through an intervention of sound pieces created by New School students in response to Abounaddara's work. Coordinated by Evan Rapport, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Eugene Lang College, The New School.

Panel V: The Right to the Image
3 – 5 pm

Representations of human suffering and injustice are not only aesthetic choices but also political and ethical choices. In an era where images can be captured in one place and consumed instantly around the world, the proposed "right to the image" is a complex and multilayered solution that promotes freedom of speech and is not associated with any single right but a group of rights. This conversation questions the next steps for developing a right to the image that protects the dignity of subjects, as well as the integrity of the journalists, filmmakers, photographers, and researchers who work in these situations.

Related Abounaddara Films
2 Minutes for Syria
The Child Who Saw the Islamic State

Panelists
Charif Kiwan, member and spokesperson, Abounaddara
Hani Sayed, Chair, Department of Law and Associate Professor, The American University in Cairo
Jasmine Rault, Assistant Professor, Culture and Media, and
TL Cowan, 2015-16 Bicentennial Lecturer of Canadian Studies in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and Digital Humanities Fellow, Yale University, moderators

Closing Reception and Book Launch
"Entry Points. The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice, No. 1"
5 – 6 pm


The conference Abounaddara. The Right to the Image is curated by Carin Kuoni and Johanna Taylor , Vera List Center. The conference as well as the exhibition are generously supported by the Founding Supporters of the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics. Abounaddara's New York participation in the exhibition and the related conference is also supported by CEC ArtsLink.




Photo Album Conference Day One


Photo Album Conference Day Two