Yearly Archives: 2010

art not oil

Since 2004, Art Not Oil has aimed to encourage artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage.

It is designed in part to paint a truer portrait of an oil company than the caring image manufactured by events such as the BP Portrait Award, Shell’s sponsorship of classic drama at the National Theatre, and other ‘cultural activities’ of the oil multinationals which also happen to divert public attention away from their actual activities. Climate chaos is set to have a catastrophic effect on all of us, while hitting the poorest hardest. The companies most responsible are profiting handsomely, yet they’re still welcome it seems in many of our most prestigious public galleries and museums.

info@artnotoil.org.uk

art not oil – About Us.

Leonardo On-Line: Global Warning Symposium / 01SJ Biennial

The GLOBAL WARNING Symposium is organized by ZER01: The Art and Technology Network, City of San Jose Public Art Program and CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University in collaboration with LEONARDO/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and with additional support from the Montalvo Arts Center.

The two-day symposium examines the interconnectedness of ideas and actions and the current relationships between art-making, science and ecology. A group of distinguished artists, scientists and policy-makers will present and examine case studies of collaborative environmental projects. A session highlighting environmental policy and an overview of activist environmental art will provide context for scientist-artist dialogues engaging active audience participation. Three teams selected to develop designs for the Climate Clock—a landmark public art project that incorporates Silicon Valley’s measurement, data management and communications technologies to aid the understanding of climate change—will present their work. Public policy, urban planning, sustainable design and civic cultural/economic development strategies serve as platforms for a look at how public art can stimulate community dialogue about these issues of critical importance.

Day 1 of the Global Warning Symposium will be sponsored by Leonardo/ISAST. Participants include: Meredith Tromble (Moderator), Stephen Schneider, Gail Wight, Karen Holl, Andrea Polli and Marisa Jahn.

2010 01SJ BIENNIAL OVERVIEW

The 01SJ Biennial is a multidisciplinary, international contemporary art festival that focuses on the intersection between art, technology and digital culture. The 3rd 01SJ Biennial will take place September 16–19, 2010 in venues throughout downtown San Jose, CA.

BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD

The theme of the 3rd 01SJ Biennial, “Build Your Own World,” is predicated on the notion that as artists, designers, engineers, architects, corporations and citizens we have the tools to (re)build the world—in both large and small ways. It is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique, citywide platform for creative solutions and public engagement. It is about the inspiration needed to build a world we want to live in and are able to live with.

Leonardo On-Line: Global Warning Symposium / 01SJ Biennial.

American Bird Conservancy Receives Grant From Leon Levy Foundation

The American Bird Conservancy has announced a three-year, $743,130 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation for a campaign to encourage the use of techniques designed to eliminate bird collisions with wind turbines and promote the selection of safe sites for wind farms.

The campaign will include a wide variety of advocacy and communications efforts, including the development of a grassroots support network based on collaborative approaches that ABC has successfully undertaken in the past; the fostering of new techniques for bird avoidance at wind farms; and the advancement of critical research in collaboration with universities. ABC also will recommend that wind projects temporarily cease their power generation during times when bird mortality risk is anticipated to be greatest; that no-development buffer zones be established around sensitive bird habitats; and that compensatory mitigation practices be adopted for any unavoidable bird or habitat losses due to turbines.

The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that some 19,000 square miles of land in the U.S. will be occupied by wind turbines by 2030 and that as many as one million birds a year could be killed if collision mortality rates stay at current levels. Some species will suffer additional impacts from habitat fragmentation, while other species could be killed outright.

“ABC supports the development of wind power as a valuable, non-polluting, renewable power source that can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint in the U.S.,” said ABC president George Fenwick, “but it has to be done right, and it can be done right so large numbers of birds aren't needlessly sacrificed in the process.”

“American Bird Conservancy to Launch Campaign to Reduce Wind Turbine Risks to Birds — Supported by Three Quarters of a Million Dollar Grant From the Leon Levy Foundation.” American Bird Conservancy Press Release 5/10/10.

PND – News – American Bird Conservancy Receives Grant From Leon Levy Foundation.

Whitney Museum of American Art: Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010  5–8 PM   Calendar event download icon

THE KITCHEN: 512 WEST 19TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10011

Please join us for the free opening reception of Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art, curated by the Whitney Independent Study Program’s 2010 Curatorial Fellows Anik Fournier, Michelle Lim, Amanda Parmer and Robert Wuilfe. This exhibition considers the concept of ethical cohabitation – how to negotiate our differences within our shared environment. Cohabitation implies power relations in flux; relations that seem at first harmonious can in fact be antagonistic. In this context, how does one choose to act? The exhibition includes projects by: Gina Badger, Amy Balkin, Rachel Berwick, Matthew Buckingham, ecoarttech, Pablo Helguera, Alfredo Jaar, Tatsuo Miyajima, Lize Mogel, Andrea Polli, Emily Roysdon, spurse and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Please note that Undercurrents does not take place at the Museum. The Kitchen is the primary site of the exhibition; additional sites include the High Line, the Little Red Lighthouse and the North River Waste Treatment Plant. Please consult individual calendar listings for details. All events are free and open to the public.

via Whitney Museum of American Art: Opening Reception: Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art.

ME’DI.ATE Announces Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND

Bay Area’s Most Innovative Festival Explores Environmental Performances and Works From June 6 to August 13 2010.

San Francisco USA (April 8, 2010) – ME’DI.ATE Art Group is excited to announce the return of the acclaimed Soundwave Festival this summer for its fourth season, entitled GREEN SOUND, exploring the natural world and environmental issues. Arguably the largest collection of artists and performances the Bay Area’s avant-sound scene has ever seen, Soundwave ((4)) GREEN SOUND will feature over 75 participating artists and musicians, in over 35 inspired performances, exhibits and talks, in 18 events over the span of 2 ½ months.

Full festival details at www.projectsoundwave.com. Infoline: 415.320.6685

The astonishing season will feature events in the most stunning environments around the Bay Area including Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands, the de Young Museum, Civic Center Plaza, Yerba Buena Gardens, Sunday Streets in the Mission, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and a month-long residency at The Lab where ME’DI.ATE turns the gallery into an artist-imagined forest. The most eclectic array of artists will perform including Bay Area luminaries like sound artist Jim Haynes, improviser Cheryl Leonard, singer Odessa Chen, electroacoustic band BarnOwl, chamber ensemble REDSHIFT with composer Mason Bates, avant-jazz band The Drift, as well as, national and international artists such as Texas artist Alyce Santoro, Chicago artist Brett Ian Balogh, Japanese sound artist Takahiro Kawaguchi, Norwegian artist Elin Øyen Vister, French composer Géraud Bec, amongst others.

“These innovative artists will investigate environmental compositions, solar and wind-powered performances, interactive eco-systems, climate change and pollution, natural- and human-powered performances, sustainable productions, reinvention and recycling, real and imagined environments and creatures, endangered species, water, plantlife/animal life, and other artist imaginations,” says Alan So, ME’DI.ATE Director and Artistic Director of the Soundwave Festival. “Soundwave promises to astound audiences with the locations, productions, and artist ingenuity, while challenging people to refocus attention on the beauty and destruction of our world, its needs for survival and implications to our community.”

Soundwave ((4)) GREEN SOUND begins June 6th at the historic WWII site Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands. ME’DI.ATE is collaborating with the National Park Service for two events at the Battery. Artists will perform without electrical power using only the extreme natural resonance of the structure to amplify sound in this stunning environment. Audiences are encouraged to ‘buspool’ to the remote site leaving from The Lab gallery in San Francisco. “The battery today represents many things to many people – from national defense to the preservation of these former Army lands as a National Recreation Area,” says John Martini, Historical Consultant of Battery Townsley. “The historians and volunteers of Battery Townsley are excited to have artists explore the historic structure in new ways, and make it accessible to a new and diverse audience.”

From the resonances of bunkers, GREEN SOUND takes you to the resonances inside the majestic St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on June 12th featuring over a dozen vocalists and musicians. June continues with special free events in San Francisco at Yerba Buena Gardens June 13th featuring the Bay Area Sound Ecology, a sonic art installation/performance at Civic Center Plaza June 17th and a bicycle-powered music stage at the city’s Sunday Streets in the Mission District June 20th in collaboration with Rock the Bike.

July’s events start on July 2nd with special performances featuring experimental cello/violin duo Myrmyr at the spectacular de Young Museum, the first of two events here. “The de Young is very pleased to be collaborating with ME’DI.ATE Art Group for their Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND on this site-specific concert inspired by James Turrell’s “Three Gems,” says Renee Baldocchi, de Young’s Public Programs Director. “This experimental project is part of Cultural Encounters, which encourages artists to respond to the de Young’s collections and building.”

July 9th opens ME’DI.ATE Art Group’s most ambitious project ever. ME’DI.ATE will present a month-long exhibition entitled “The Illuminated Forest” at The Lab, San Francisco’s premier experimental art space. ME’DI.ATE Art Group is creating an artist-imagined natural world inside the gallery walls with environmental artist works and an immersive multi-media interactive exhibit and performance installation by Agnes Szelag, Jorge Bachmann, Ben Bracken, Alan So, Suzanne Husky, Jessica Resmond, Sam Easterson, Vaughn Bell, Alyce Santoro, and Reenie Charrière. Every Friday and Saturday night during the exhibition run, the Forest will host experiential performances inside the installation by some of the most compelling artists and musicians. “The Lab eagerly anticipates ME’DI.ATE’s residency here for Soundwave,” says Eilish Cullen, Executive Director of The Lab. “Our mission is to support the experimental and the daring, and ME’DI.ATE’s work continues to push those boundaries of presentation and performance.” The exhibition closes August 7th.

August 1st sees the second event at the gorgeous site of Battery Townsley and the festival concludes with a special GREEN SOUND ‘Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young’ on August 13th.

Full Calendar of Events with list of participating artists availablehere. Extended descriptions are available at the festival website:www.projectsoundwave.com. Press Images available atwww.projectsoundwave.com/press. Ticketed events will be at affordable rates between $10 and $15 available online starting May 3rd at www.projectsoundwave.com/buy-tickets/. RSVP to free events atrsvp@me-di-ate.net

Soundwave Festival ((4)): GREEN SOUND gratefully acknowledges support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Japan Foundation, SF Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Meet the Composer MetLife Creative Connections, The M-Line, The Lab, the de Young Museum, National Park Service, Rock the Bike, Yerba Buena Art and Events, and many individual donors and volunteers.

About the Soundwave Festival
ME’DI.ATE’s Soundwave Festival is San Francisco’s premier experiential arts festival held every two years over the span of two months over the summer. Bringing together sound purveyors from across the sonic spectrum (from sound art to experimental to classical to popular music), Soundwave presents experiential performances and activities that challenge the way audiences see and hear sound and music. Each season investigates a new idea through sound that incites diverse artists and musicians to create work that explores the season’s theme in new and innovative directions. Led by Artistic Director Alan So, Soundwave has completed three incredible seasons: 2004’s Free Sound, 2006’s Surround Sound and 2008’s Move Sound. Soundwave has established itself as one of the most anticipated events in the San Francisco Bay Area avant-sound scene and a growing reputation in the global sound and art communities. Among its accolades, Soundwave won Best ’07 Award and called a ‘Future Classic’ by San Francisco Magazine, ‘Inspired’ by 7×7, ‘Unique and participatory’ by SF Chronicle, ‘Magical and deeply personal’ by SF Weekly, featured on numerous local and international radio programs including the BBC (UK), CBC (Canada), NPR (New York), KPFA (Berkeley), KUSF (San Francisco), as well as an in-depth feature on the PBS-KQED television program SPARK* with an accompanying experimental music Educator’s Guide.www.projectsoundwave.com

About ME’DI.ATE Art Group
ME’DI.ATE is a volunteer-driven, San Francisco-based non-profit arts group. Founded in 1998, our mission is to develop innovative exhibitions, products and live events that challenge perspectives and inspire new and unique experiences within ourselves and the world around us; present diverse artists, mediums and places to exchange ideas and collaborate; connect new and diverse audiences to experimental arts and visions; and provide an innovative forum and an essential voice for progressive ideas to be seen, heard and explored critically, imaginatively and without limitation. ME’DI.ATE showcases emerging and established local artists, as well as national and international artists, to bring innovative ideas and perspectives to Bay Area audiences. For more information about us, please visit our websitewww.me-di-ate.net.

ME’DI.ATE Art Group – ME’DI.ATE Announces Soundwave Festival ((4)) GREEN SOUND.

Mary Jo Aagerstoun: Art from recycled objects and materials is not EcoArt

Today I received word of yet another use of the term “EcoArt” to describe artworks made partially or wholly of recycled materials. Because this is becoming a serious detriment to SFEAP's efforts to educate the South Florida public about what EcoArt is, I wanted to remind SFEAP supporters on FB and elsewhere of how SFEAP does define this work (from our website www.sfeap.org)

” practices… inspired by the precepts of Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” and [which] address environmental problems with creative combinations of conceptual art, process art, connective aesthetics, participatory and socially engaged practices, phenomenological and eco-philosophies, direct democracy processes and other social/aesthetic forms and techniques.

SFEAP seeks nothing less than development of a large contingent of ecoartists committed to staying in South Florida and who are, or wish to become, master cross-disciplinary learners and social system choreographers, skilled at drawing into the collaborative creation of ecoart stakeholders from grass roots community organizations, scientific institutions, public policy agencies and pioneering philanthropic entities. SFEAP will dedicate itself to development and promotion of the best ecoart projects: those that engage and mobilize community while employing, enhancing and melding techniques, knowledge and wisdom from landscape architecture, environmental biology and chemistry, planning and engineering and many other disciplines, and collaborating with their practitioners, while drawing from the deep roots of art history and the broadest lexicon of aesthetic methods.”

While art works that include or are made wholly of recycled materials can be interesting objects and demonstrate how art does not have to be made of new materials, SFEAP, Inc. does not include such work in our definition of EcoArt. We see EcoArt as having an active role in environmental amelioration, and which must include direct community engagement and collaboration with scientists and environmental experts. SFEAP is dedicated to bringing many Florida based artists into EcoArt practice. This is the primary mission of the organization. We currently have our pilot community EcoArt education and artist apprenticeship well underway in Martin County. The apprentice EcoArtists there have just installed their first EcoArt work at the Florida Oceanographic Society. A video about the apprentices and this first project can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6a4VQznh8Ua

Please feel free to cut and paste this definition into an email to anyone in South Florida who is using the term EcoArt in relation to art that uses recycled objects or materials.

Thanks. MJ Aagerstoun

Facebook | Mary Jo Aagerstoun: Art from recycled objects and materials is not EcoArt.

Trash the Tate: Tax Yourself for the Cleanup.

I got invited to a facebook event the other day. It was a protest. It instructed attendees to wear black and march up San Francisco’s Market Street in a statement against the ongoing BP oil spill. And for the first time in my adult life, I found myself wondering “Why protest?” Nothing makes a statement quite like hundreds of thousands of crude oil flooding the gulf. No amount of marching equals the dramatic impact of the loss of marine life and fisheries. The spill is not suffering from a lack of media coverage: it’s a constant point of discussion on blogs, television news broadcasts, The Daily Show. In the same way that the Exxon corporation has become synonymous with the Exxon Valdez spill, so this spill will haunt the reputation of BP, and justifiably so. Why march? Why not, say, collect natural fibers for booms and send them to the gulf, to aid in the cleanup effort?

I had a similar reaction to Rising Tide’s recent “Liberate Tate” action. The organization sent a letter to Tate Modern Museum officials, stating:

By placing the words BP and Art together, the destructive and obsolete nature of the fossil fuel industry is masked, and crimes against the future are given a slick and stainless sheen.

It goes on to threaten:

Beginning during your 10th anniversary party and continuing until you drop the sponsorship deal, we will be commissioning a series of art interventions in Tate buildings across the country. Already commissioned are Art Action collective, with a birthday surprise at this weekend’s No Soul For Sale event, and The Invisible Committee, who will infiltrate every corner of Tate across the country in the coming months.

That No Soul for Sale surprise involved hanging balloons of oil in several Tate galleries and littering them with dead birds, forcing portions of the exhibition to close. The blogs Liberal Conspiracy, Art Threat and Indymedia UK touted the action as powerful and appropriate. In the meantime, museum workers were attempting a cleanup of their own artful oil spill.

PLATFORM London argues:

A decade ago tobacco companies were seen as respectable partners for public institutions to gain support from – the current BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery was previously sponsored by British American Tobacco. Now it is socially unacceptable for tobacco to play this public role, and it is our hope that oil & gas will soon be seen in the same light.

It’s undeniable that many companies see arts sponsorship as helpful rebranding following ecological or administrative catastrophes. My question is: if the Tate were to drop BP sponsorship, ending a 20-some-year relationship, what would prevent another, differently socially acceptable, differently bad, corporation from taking its place? The Tate has not disclosed the specific amount it receives from BP, and its account reports available for download do not specify BP’s contributions, but the museum does acknowledge that fully 60 percent of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships.

The Liberate Tate action is the brainchild of John Jordan, a former co-director of PLATFORM and the co-founder of the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii). It’s his feeling that arts funding should come from “taxes not corporations,” despite the fact that the British government is reducing arts subsidies. While “Liberate Tate” has no alternative-funding actions planned, Jordan cites’ the Tate’s budgetary silence: “Even if we did find other funders who could take their place, we would never know how much were talking!” In the meantime, “Liberate Tate” will continue to pummel the museum with insurrectionary actions.

I live in California: my taxes don’t fund the Tate. I can similarly not regard the Tate as my neighbor. But I am an employee of a San Francisco museum, and as such I can’t help but feel a bit of sympathy for the Tate, a bit of shock. Seriously? We’re going to punish art institutions for the crimes of its funders? And simultaneously: seriously? BP is just now starting to use natural fiber booms? Why shouldn’t corporations fund initiatives that seek to reconcile their most grievous errors, like Tate’s Rising to the Climate Challenge? Or are the taxpayers to shoulder the burden of cultural advancement, as they will shoulder the burden of the oil spill’s ecological cleanup?

To be fair, Jordan took the issue up with Tate officials directly before beginning the “Liberate Tate” campaign, engaging with director Nicolas Serota via a forum led by the Guardian, and emailing director Penelope Curtis,

Does what takes place outside the citadel that is Tate not feature in the decision-making of the Ethics Committee? If not, is that Committee held back from doing what is right by legal restrictions forcing it to act only in the interests of Tate itself? If so, how can we help change that situation?

This in response to Curtis’ statement that

Without BP’s support Tate would be less able to show the collection in a changing and stimulating way. Given that the majority of Tate’ s funding is self generated, it is necessary for the gallery to work across a wide range of corporate organisations and the sponsorship policy is regularly reviewed by the Trustees. The points you raise are important ones.

Jordan is well versed in disobedience against art institutions: the Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center dropped a workshop led by the Labofii when it became clear the the resulting “tools of civil disobedience” were to be used in COP15 actions. The Art Center feared a clash with the City of Copenhagen, a funder of the museum. Similarly, participants in Labofii’s “Art and Activism” workshop at the Tate Museum learned largely about actions against Tate and its funders, specifically because the Tate stated, in workshop preparations, that it could not host any such actions. The resulting insurrection hung a large “Art Not Oil” sign under the Tate’s “Free Entry” welcome.

In an age where environmental artists are using their skills to solve problems both cultural and ecological, are protest and disobedience really the most useful tools in the box? Or are they just the most dramatic? If there are artists working in soil health, reforestation, and urban gardening, can we not also have administrative artists? Where are the massive bureaucratic art “actions”? And, finally: who would be willing to donate 10 pounds to the Tate for every 5 pounds of BP funding dropped from its budget?

SEEDS|Earthdance 2010 – NOURISHMENT: A crop’s environment

SEEDS|Earthdance is a unique festival dedicated to Somatic Experiments in Earth, Dance, + Science. We are very excited about the festival in its third year, 2010 – this summer will be quite an adventure! I hope you can join us for a workshop, for the whole event, for the research projects, or the public events. Please come and be a part of this experiment in interdisciplinary arts and ecology. Get in touch if you have any questions, or go right to the site and sign up.

Thank you

Olive Bieringa, SEEDS co-curator

The theme of this year’s 10-day long SEEDS festival is NOURISHMENT: A crop’s environment—including soil, topography, and climate—imparts a characteristic taste and flavor and must be taken into consideration in cultivation. With care, through interaction we hope to create an ultra-lush, enriching, and regenerative culture in which to grow our art.

Come for a performance or a film, a workshop, a jam, or the whole festival!

You are also invited to sign up for workshops, for the whole festival, for research projects, in addition to evening  performances, discussions, jams, and films as well as the Saturday Community Day as part of your participation.

SEEDS workshops:

WWW.EARTHDANCE.NET/seeds

Quantum Poetics: A Science Experiment for the Stage

Stolen Chair launches its 8th season with a workshop presentation of its 13th original work, developed in conjunction with America’s first Community Supported Theatre:

Quantum Poetics: A Science Experiment for the Stage

June 11-13, 2010

“Scrappy”-American Theatre “Endearingly eclectic” -Village Voice “Inventive” -TimeOut NY “Smashes genres in an aesthetic supercollider” -NY Press

Laboratory theatre meets laboratory science in Kiran Rikhye’s latest “unholy hybrid,” Quantum Poetics: A Science Experiment for the Stage. Directed by Jon Stancato, the one-weekend workshop production runs June 11-13 at the Connelly Theatre.

Quantum Poetics is a mind-bending science experiment for the stage. Setting out to prove the existence of his creations, God, a god, enlists the support of a quantum physicist, a 19th century children’s book author, a 13th century mystic nun, a 16th century alchemist, a 7-year old girl, and, stepping straight from the pages of a storybook (or movie musical), Lancelot and Guinevere, taking the audience on a time-travelling adventure through the multiverse. Impossible paradoxes and cognitive dissonance abound in this Escher-esque philosophical romp.

The production stars returning Stolen Chair veterans David Berent, Liz Eckert, Liza Wade Green (Gemini Collisionworks’ George Bataille’s Bathrobe), Chris Hale, Timothy McCown Reynolds (Untiled Theatre #61’s Rudolf II), and Noah Schultz, welcoming Sarah Engelke (Banana Bag & Bodice’s Sandwich) and Miriam Lipner, with production design by David Bengali. The production was made possible, in part, by the Nancy Quinn Fund and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. It was created in Stolen Chair’s Community Supported Theatre (CST). Drawing inspiration from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Stolen Chair’s pilot CST brought theatre-goers into the studio with theatre-makers each month for the entire development process, offering work-in-progress sharings of Quantum Poetics paired with thematically linked cultural activities, like an intimate talk with quantum physicist Gabriel Cwilich, a screening with science cartoonist Odd Todd, and the science-themed Atoms & Eves Valentine’s party. The CST is made possible by The Field’s Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) program, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2008 Cultural Innovation Fund

Named “Best Genre-Bending Theatre” by New York Press, Stolen Chair is a theatre laboratory dedicated to the creation of playfully intellectual, wickedly irreverent, and exuberantly athletic original works. Since its inception in 2002, Stolen Chair has created 13 critically-acclaimed original works including the absurdist noir Kill Me Like You Mean It, the Weimar child’s-play cabaret Kinderspiel, and the vaudevillian memento-mori, Theatre is Dead and So Are You.

Quantum Poetics runs Jun 11-13, Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 6pm, with a free post- show panel with the company, science journalists, and physicists following the Saturday performance. The Connelly Theater is located at 220 East 4th Street, accessible from the F at 2nd Ave-Houston St or the 6 at Bleeker. Free wine at all performances.

Tickets are $12, available at 1-800-838-3006 or www.stolenchair.org

The 13th conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration CFP

CALL FOR PAPERS

The 13th conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) will be hosted by the Refugee Law Project, Kampala, Uganda from June 26 to 30, 2011.  Abstracts are due by October 31, 2010.

IASFM 13: Governing Migration

Introduction

This conference aims to explore key dimensions of the relationship between forms and tools of governance on the one hand and patterns and experiences of forced migration on the other.  To what extent is lack of ‘good governance’ a factor in generating forced migration?  Are some rights violations and particular types of ‘weak state’ more intimately related to forced migration than others?  How does the governance of migration intersect with other areas of governance, such as identity, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity?  What can be said about the international refugee rights regime and the more recent IDP Guiding Principles as forms of international and/or global governance which both contribute to and detract from the protection of forced migrants?  Does the gradual emergence of regional blocs such as the EU, OAS, SADC, ECOWAS and the East African Community create another layer of governance with particular beneficial or negative impacts on forced migration?  Do discourses and policies of ‘Good Governance’ help to stabilize situations and thereby contribute towards ‘durable solutions’ and a reduction in forced migration, or can they be better understood as a direct or indirect cause of it?  How is the relatively new field of Transitional Justice related to that of Good Governance, and do the fields of Transitional Justice and Forced Migration have anything to offer each other and the broader discussion of Good Governance?

In summary, the conference, under the title ‘Governing Migration’, will enable a wide-ranging exploration of both the direct and indirect relationships between conflict, governance and forced migration and transitional justice.  While relevant to forced migration situations around the globe, the theme has particular resonance in Uganda (the host country for IASFM 13) and the Great Lakes region of which it is part, Latin America and some Asian countries.   The Great Lakes region has seen some of the most extensive forced migration in recent times, including but not limited to the ongoing cycles of violence and forced migration in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the exodus of Rwandans following the 1994 Genocide, the mass internal displacement of people in northern Uganda as a result of interminable ‘war’ between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army, and an influx of Kenyans in the wake of rigged elections in early 2008.  The tabling of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill in late 2009 has also foregrounded the intimate relationship between attempts at governing sexuality and people being forced to move.  Whereas such dynamics are clearly emerging in the Great Lakes region of Africa and in Asia (e.g. in Sri Lanka, Burma and Indonesia), Latin American countries were among the first to experience internal forced migration caused by political conflict while in Central America lack of labour and post-conflict contexts force people to travel within countries and from country to country.

To enable broad involvement while at the same time seeking to significantly inform key policy discussions, we propose to structure IASFM 13 around the following three major themes and one cross-cutting theme, each of which has multiple strands:

  1. Governance and Patterns of Forced Migration
    Strands within this should include causes, perpetuation and solutions, meanings and practices of citizenship as part of the experience of forced migration, and the potential of citizenship policies to alter the relationship between forced migrants and the state.
  2. Governance and Protection
    Sub-themes may include regimes of rights, entitlements, and social protection, in addition to other related issues such as the linkages between transitional justice, displacement and reparations; transitional justice and property restitution; identities and citizenship (as a means of accessing certain rights, an indicator of or an antidote to migration); and governance & sexuality.
  3. Conflict, Forced Migration, and Transitional Justice
    Key themes within this strand include: to understand how forced migration may be a focus of, and challenge for, post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice; Transitional Justice as an instrument of good governance; to consider the trauma associated with forced displacement, and the extent to which transitional justice remedies may be used to address this trauma.  Should therapy be at the individual, household, or state level?  At what point in processes of displacement and return can transitional justice mechanisms best serve to address the traumas involved?  When is justice (or the lack thereof) a cause of forced migration? Could it serve to consolidate durable solutions?
  4. Relating domestic (and local), international and global governance,
    whether in respect to climate change, which, understandably, is not limited to state responsibility, but also as a wider global responsibility to protect as causes of destabilization, factors in (lack of) protection, or help and hindrance to domestic post-conflict recovery.

Specific objectives of IASFM 13

  • To juxtapose a number of discourses and areas of policy within the overall theme of governance (e.g. transitional justice & forced migration, sexuality and forced migration, justice & durable solutions) in order to prompt greater recognition of their mutual significance and the need to address them holistically;
  • To thereby widen and deepen the field of forced migration studies while at the same time promoting the importance of democratic citizenship as an anti-dote to forced migration;
  • To examine the extent to which existing international instruments and adjudicative institutions adequately address forced displacement (e.g. UNHCR, IOM, ICC, ICTR, ICTY, Special Court in Sierra Leone, CAVR in East Timor, etc.);
  • To examine the key variables affecting the number of refugees and IDPs and the variables affecting emergence of new legal instruments, such as the African convention on the Protection and Assistance of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.  Alongside this is the related topic of how refugees and internally displaced people face and rebuild their lives after forced migration.

Structure of Conference

The Conference will create a space in which academic rigour engages with the compromises inherent in policy, as well as the challenges of practical work in the field. As such, while presentations of academic research will continue to provide the intellectual backbone of the conference, these will go hand in hand with round-tables engaging policy makers and governmental stakeholders, as well as presentations and discussions around practical approaches to dealing with forced migration from a range of practitioners.  Furthermore, the conference will draw on non-academic analyses, interpretations and representations of forced migration(e.g., portrayals of displacement using art & crafts, music and dance, fictional literature) in order to diversify the entry points into discussion of the major themes identified.
Alongside traditional panel presentations, the conference will also consist of plenaries, round-table discussions, public dialogues, film shows and cultural events. While the core of IASFM membership is academic, and academic contributions will be at the heart of the conference, there will also be a strong presence of policy-makers and activists, as the conference seeks to influence the relevant policy discussions and civil society interventions.

All participants, whether academic, policy-makers, donors, activists or forced migrants themselves, will present from their particular perspectives, but with an emphasis on stimulating live debate and pushing the boundaries of the discussion about the relationship between forced migration, key areas of governance, and justice (including transitional justice), as well as the boundaries of these respective fields. RLP, for example, is particularly concerned to continue our dialogue on gender, sexuality, masculinity, and their connections to violence, and the extent to which these can and should be accommodated in transitional justice thinking, as well as being factored into our understanding of forced migration. In relation to this, conference participants are encouraged to identify and establish panels examining comparative experiences, for example on Latin America and the Great Lakes.

Perhaps most importantly, the conference will include direct participation from refugees, asylum seekers and deportees. It is essential that refugees and asylum seekers—across a wide range of sex, class, national, and educational backgrounds—can participate directly in these debates which concern their very livelihoods and well-being. As the host organisation, and with a client base representing all the countries in the region, Refugee Law Project will ensure refugee representation in the conference as well as interpretation where possible. In this regard, the Conference methodologies will be adjusted to accommodate the presence of affected persons and therefore the Conference shall also consider ethical issues and psychological needs of people as it progresses.

Outcomes of the Conference

The conference is expected to be agenda-setting, and to produce tangible outcomes, including but not limited to press releases, an edited collection summarising key debates and discussion, and the publication of a book and a short documentary. Most importantly, however, the conference intends to insert the linkage between forced migration and governance into the larger policy debate, thus setting an agenda that is better able to address the human rights of forced migrants in the Great Lakes Region and elsewhere.

SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS

We invite submissions of abstracts of 250 words from academics, graduate students, practitioners, policy makers, individuals working with forced migrants and forced migrants themselves.  Submissions from all disciplines are welcome.  We wish to encourage practice-based presentations and other non-traditional means of exploring forced migration and its study, including film screenings, installations, and exhibitions.

Submissions may be of two types: (i) individual paper presentations, (ii) proposals to organize a panel of up to four individuals on a particular theme or topic.

The submission deadline for abstracts is October 31, 2010.  Submissions will be reviewed by the Programme Committee.  Presenters should expect to receive confirmation by 15 January 2011 if their submissions have been accepted.

Conference participants are responsible for their own expenses for attendance at the conference.  Some financial assistance may be available to assist those who might be otherwise unable to attend the conference.  Priority will be given to graduate students and individuals from the Global South.

Financial assistance will generally only be available to individuals presenting at the conference.  Details of this assistance will be posted on the IASFM website in the second half of 2010.  Further details about the conference and the online submission form can be found on the IASFM conference website: www.iasfmconference.org

Requests for further information can be made to the following email address: iasfm13@iasfm.org.