Public Programs And Events

Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies Into Darkness - Day 2

Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies Into Darkness - Day 2

Starr Foundation Hall, Room UL102, University Center
General Public 

Over the past year, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School has partnered with ARTICLE19, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the New York Peace Institute, and Weeksville Heritage Center, to address the perennially contested right to free speech. The effort stems from an invitation by artist and filmmaker Amar Kanwar, and his artwork, Such a Morning (2017), which can be seen as an allegory for retreating into darkness to consider ideas and realities that require profound reorientation. In the context of today's fraught political climate in the U.S. and internationally, the partner organizations came together to present public seminars from each of their particular perspectives as well as those of artists, writers, and poets. This two-day Closing Convening assembles both the partners in this project, as well as presenters from the original seminars, to engage in a public discussion of where this in-depth series of conversations has led us.

The Closing Convening is organized around a letter that the professor featured in Such a Morning pens. Letter number 7 suggests four phases to create a curriculum for studies into darkness. The first, Arrival and Context, addresses legal and psychological frameworks of individual bodies, and the body politic, in relationship to freedom of speech. It includes formative uses of free speech ranging from poetry to manifestoes, and addresses physical space as a site of expression. Then, Anticipation sets in, imagining how we might make ready or prepare for desired futures. Third comes Order and Disintegration, and here existing structures and their logics are examined alongside strategies for interruption and subversion. Finally, Silence and Transformation, the state wherein withdrawal and silence create a generative space for thinking and future action, where transformation might be possible.

The Closing Convening kicks off on Friday evening with this final state, Silence and Transformation. Renowned artist Amar Kanwar provides a reflection on the seminars and their meanings, and distinguished poet and language activist Nathalie Diaz reads from her work.

On Saturday, the afternoon begins with a roundtable discussion including all the partner organizations, moderated by Svetlana Mintcheva, programs director at NCAC. Next, Arrival and Context features a presentation by artist and criminal lawyer Vanessa Place, followed by responses by cultural historian Kazembe Balagun and a cognitive psychologist. Artist Shawné Michaelain Holloway presents in the Anticipation section. Artist and educator Kameelah Janan Rasheedcontemplates Order and Disintegration, with responses by artist Chloe Bass and writer and critic Aruna D'Souza. Each discussion is followed by a Q & A.

The Convening closes with a newly commissioned sound work and performance by Mendi and Keith Obadike, featuring the writings of Audrey Lorde. A reception will follow.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is required.

Saturday Schedule
1:00-2:00pm
Conversation with Amar Kanwar, Svetlana Mintcheva and representatives of ARTICLE19, National Coalition Against Censorship, New York Peace Institute, and Weeksville Heritage Center

2:00-2.45pm: Arrival and Context
Kazembe Balagun, cultural historian, activist, and writer
Vanessa Place, artist, writer, and criminal appellate attorney specializing in sex offenders and sexually violent predators
Moderated by Gabriela López Dena, VLC Graduate Student Fellow

3:00-3.45pm: Anticipation
Shawné Michaelain Holloway, artist
Moderated by Carin Kuoni, Co-curator, Freedom of Speech

3.45-4.30pm: Order and Disintegration
Chloe Bass, artist
Aruna D'Souza, writer and art historian
Kameelah Janan Rasheed, artist and educator
Moderated by Laura Raicovich, Co-curator, Freedom of Speech

Participants
Kazembe Balagun, cultural historian, activist, and writerChloe Bass, artist
Aruna D'Souza, writer and art historian
Natalie Diaz, Mojave poet, language activist, and educator 
Shawné Michaelain Holloway, new media artist
Amar Kanwar, artist and filmmaker, New Delhi
Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs, National Coalition Against Censorship
Mendi and Keith Obadike, artists
Vanessa Place, artist, writer, and criminal appellate attorney specializing in sex offenders and sexually violent predators
Kameelah Janan Rasheed, artist and educator



Additional Details

The seminar series Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness is organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics as part of the center's 2018–2020 curatorial focus If Art Is Politics. It is directed by Carin Kuoni, Director/Chief Curator, Vera List Center, and writer and curator Laura Raicovich, with assistance by Gabriela López Dena. Partner organizations for the seminars are ARTICLE 19the National Coalition Against CensorshipNew York Peace Institute; and Weeksville Heritage Center


Submit your application

Undergraduate

To apply to any of our Bachelor's programs (Except the Bachelor's Program for Adult Transfer Students) complete and submit the Common App online.

Graduates and Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctural, Professional Studies Diploma, Graduates Certificate, or Associate's programs, or to apply to the Bachelor's Program for Adult and Transfer Students, complete and submit the New School Online Application.

Close