Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Amar Kanwar on the Human Condition

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Amar Kanwar presented a talk entitled The Little Museum with reflections on the image that lies between sorrow and resistance. This exploration included extracts from different film projects such as Shrines 1991-2007, which emerges from labor and indigenous people’s resistance movements, The Torn First Pages, which emerges from the Burmese democracy movement and The Lightening Testimonies, which emerges from the search for language to understand the narratives of sexual violence in areas of conflict.

Ntone Edjabe on Chimurenga

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Ntone Edjabe speaks about the recently published edition of Chimurenga at the Zones of Emergency event A Conversational Revolution? His work addresses the absence of local literature, poetry, and voices of the young and the poor in post-liberation Africa. In his talk “Chimurenga, Felasophy and the Quest for Lightness in the New South Africa,” he describes the complex ways in which musician and activist Fela Kuti, aka Felasophy, resisted the military state of post-colonial Nigeria.

Conversation between Thierry Nlandu, Marjetica Potrc, Ute Meta Bauer

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

The contrast between Thierry Nlandu’s and Marjetica Potrc’s approaches made this conversation particularly intriguing. Thierry focused on building dialog and critique within the community about the larger democratic system within which the citizens are a part. He points out that while a large number of the participants in his program are illiterate, all participants have the most important skills needed to participate in democracy, that is the ability to “see, judge, and act.” Marjetica Potrc, on the other hand, focused on the ways in which communities fragment or “pixelate” finding alternative configurations outside of larger governing structures.

Dr. John Tirman on the Human Cost of War in Iraq

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Dr. John Tirman joined a conversation with David Small at Zones of Emergency on March 10. Dr. Tirman, the Executive Director of MIT’s Center for International Studies, will speak about the website Iraq: The Human Cost. The conversation brought up issues relating to the aesthetic and social issues surrounding the communication and representation of emergency situations.

Thierry Nlandu on Participatory Democracy

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Thierry Nlandu joined Marjetica Potrc at the Zones of Emergency event on April 14 in Bartos Theater. Thierry gave an amazing talk about his project Picture Book on Participatory Democracy: An Art’s Act of Resistance against Facade Democracy that is intended to incite dialog about participatory democracy among the people in and around Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He offered this description:

The picture book is meant to offer a didactic tool to the different organisations that, in DRC struggle to inform citizens and help them to build a democracy that will refuse to be a façade democracy to offer a better future to this rich nation. A didactic tool, the present picture book is an act of resistance against a democratic process made of elections only and so called free democratic institutions without any democratic praxis or culture.

Marjetica Potrc on Frontier Power

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Marjetica Potrc joined Thierry Nlandu in conversation at the Zones of Emergency event on April 14. Marjetica spoke about her research in three areas: the Western Balkans (LHE), the Amazonian state of Acre and the city of New Orleans. She argues that “the territory of the body and the structures that shelter it are … at the core of the existential concerns of contemporary society. From there, new citizenships are articulated, an example being patterns on painted facades in Tirana, Albania.”

Tad Hirsch on Activist Infrastructure

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Tad Hirsch spoke about Dialup Radio, a tool that delivers human rights and independent media via telephone. Currently Dialup Radio is being developed for the citizens of Zimbabwe, but the system has been designed to meet the needs of human rights activists around the world. This project is one example of what Tad calls “activist infrastructure” drawing on his knowledge of technology, system design, and his experience working with human rights and non-governmental organizations. Like Mako’s voting machine for the masses, Tad’s projects show the power of artists, technologists and policy makers working together towards projects that can effect lasting social and political change.

David Small on the Power of Display, the “Look” of Emergencies

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

David Small’s talk highlighted his collaboration with British Architect David Adjaye to design four large scale installations for the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.

Mark Tribe on Networks, Tactics and Reenactment

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Last week Mark Tribe spoke at ZOE about net art, tactics, and political reenactment. He reminds us that while emergencies require urgent intervention and immediate action, a state of emergency “can also be used as a rationale for suspending civil liberties.”

Benjamin Mako Hill on Disasters + Free Software

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

A good friend from the MIT Media Lab, Benjamin Mako Hill joined us last week to talk about the importance of free software in disaster response management. He described Sahana, a system deployed during the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2005, pointing out that often a free and decentralized method for creating and deploying technology can be more effective than a closed response driven by economic interest. I find this overview particularly helpful in understanding the power of this approach. Mako also touched on Selectricity, an online voting machine or the masses that he designed while doing his Masters at MIT.