Public Programs And Events

Cultural Production During BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel)

Cultural Production During BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel)

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
General Public 

Cultural Production During BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) 

Lecture by Ramallah-based curator and writer Adam Marillo, preceded by Teach-in

4:00–6:00 p.m.–Teach-in, with select New School faculty and students
6:30–7:30 p.m.–Adam Marillo, Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No 
8:00–9:00 p.m.– Discussion, with respondents and audiences

Cultural production opens avenues for new ways of thinking. But how can withdrawal and boycott be productive or conducive to politically oriented artistic practices? This series of seminars poses an alternative view: to consider boycott and withdrawal as special conditions for discourse and artmaking. The seminars address timely questions of the agency of artists in the social and political sphere, and how culture can enact and perform change within a politics of disengagement. 

Cultural Production During BDS
In the face of the intractable conflict and inequity between Israel and Palestine, Palestinian civil society called for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel in 2005, and has recently renewed the call. There has been passionate and profound debate in the United States and internationally about what this boycott stands for, particularly as it pertains to cultural boycott, and how individuals and organizations might respond to it. While these debates continue, this seminar proposes to open another front in the discourse as it relates to artists and cultural producers. Too often the discussion of boycott is a proxy for the underlying political issues and does not address what the contours of artistic production within boycott looks like. 

In his presentation, Adam Marillo argues that boycott initiatives in contemporary art are surprisingly common, but are yet to be theorized. It also challenges the notion of boycotts as bringing dialogue to an end; the notion of restrictive, silencing mechanisms has little to do with historical experience and more to do with the self-understanding of contemporary art as something inherently indeterminate, open-ended, and dialogical. 

Sponsored by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School for Public Engagement.

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