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Towards a Decolonial Cultural Front

11th June 2016 · 1:00pm - 3:00pm

In person | Virtual event

 Towards a Decolonial Cultural Front

Artists, activists and academics in New York are working towards the emergence of a decolonial cultural front in New York City to create actions, conversations and artwork to hold our cultural, academic and art institutions accountable to the struggles being waged today.

In this time, Professor Nicholas Mirzoeff will report back on how this project has unfolded and actions that have taken place, connecting BlackLivesMatter to Palestine, migrant labour and indigenous activism. Earlier efforts in NYC failed in considerable part because their effort to be decolonial was not grounded in  anti-racism. Many of the key actions since Occupy Wall Street—like the Black Out Tour of the American Museum of Natural History; the occupation of the Guggenheim by Global Ultra Luxury Faction; and the counter-museum practice of the Natural History Museum—are efforts to decolonize the art world that have taken that lesson to heart. New projects will be shared!

In an era of invisible, electronic capital, moved only by the touch of a computer key, cultural capital is now capital made visible. The very materials used in artworks and the buildings constructed to house them are monuments to colonial domination, forced labour, and biosphere destruction. Decolonizing the (art) world is certainly an impossible demand. But like all such demands, it opens a different way of seeing. Together, we’ll talk about how we can build power with and support each other’s’ struggles toward a shared horizon of liberation in transnational cultural work.

Nicholas Mirzoeff is a Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. His many publications include How To See The World (2015) and as editor The Militant Research Handbook (2013). He’s been an activist and organizer since Occupy Wall Street with groups like Strike Debt, Free University NYC and Global Ultra Luxury Faction. As a participant in #BlackLivesMatter, he’s given talks on the movement across the US and in Europe and Canada. He is an editor at Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy and has written extensively online in places ranging from the literary magazine Blunderbuss to Waging NonviolenceThe New Republic and even Time. He is also a member of the art-activist collective MTL.

This event is part of Antiuniversity Now, a festival of free events on 9-12 June 2016.

Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to revisit and reimagine the Antiuniversity of 1968 in a programme of events inspired by the spirit, people and activities of the Antiuniversity of East London.

The Antiuniversity Now programme challenges academic and class hierarchy through an open invitation to teach and learn any subject, in any form, anywhere.

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