Our public program began with choreographer Bhenji Ra reflecting on her body-centered practice to approach community, prison abolition, permaculture, and radical trans love. Omar Al-Ghazzi (London School of Economics) moderated the event.
Friday, Feb. 25, 12pm EST via Zoom
Taking (A)part: Human Rights, Human Rites, “Human Writes”
Activist scholar Kendall Thomas revisits his 2005 collaboration with William Forsythe’s dance company on a performance-installation about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to explore the uses and limits of “participation” and the construction of a culture of human rights. Moderated by Pamila Gupta (University of the Witwatersrand).
Tuesday, March 8, 5:30pm EST in person, RKC 103 Bard College, NY
“Bombs, women, children, etc”: Humanization, Victimhood, and the Politics of Appeal
Palestinian activist, writer, and poet Mohammed El-Kurd will join us for our first in-person event at Bard College. Co-presented by the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Bard College.
Friday, April 1, 12pm EST via Zoom
My Art Is a Being: Building a Relationship to Art through Agreement, Ethics, and Pleasure
Oglala Lakota poet and artist Layli Long Soldier’s webinar talk will be moderated by Monica Lucia Espinosa Arango (Universidad de los Andes.)
Monday to Thursday, Mar 14–17, in person
Imaging Land, Labor, and Infrastructure
One of CHRA’s 2021–22 fellows Nadine Fattaleh is curating screenings of documentaries by filmmaker Omar Amiralay, one of Arab world’s most prolific documentarians, alongside works by Atteyat Al-Abnoudy and Haile Gerima. The screenings will be followed by an online roundtable in May 2022 that invites scholars, artists, and activists to reflect on the contemporary reverberations of Amiralay’s films.
Wednesday, April 19–20, in person
Memory of the Earth: Land Dispossession, Violence, and War in Colombia
CHRA’s other 2021-22 fellow Oscar Humberto Pedraza Vargas will present a screening and talk about his work with Colombia’s truth and reconciliation commission.
ACTIVISM IN PROGRESS
Friday, April 29, 12pm EST via Zoom.
CHRA’s first round of annual Activism in Progress collaborations will include a panel featuring our collaborators: Damj (Tunisia), Ernesto Pujol (Puerto Rico), and Last Exit Kabul (Afghanistan) as they discuss an interactive performance on the legacy of the first Tunisian queer rights organization, the listening school and the cultivation of wild gardens in Puerto Rico, and a visualization of evacuation narratives and patterns from Afghanistan.
TWO DIGITAL COMMISSIONS FOCUS ON FOOD POLITICS
Friday, April 15, 12pm EST via Zoom
Artist Amitis Motevalli will be joined by Anzhela Harutyunyan (American University of Beirut) to launch her performance video on hybridized recipes for healing. A companion text by Manijeh Moradian, writer and founding member of Raha Iranian Feminist Collective, will be published as well.
Friday, May 6, 12pm EST via Zoom
Artist and scholar Ama Josephine Budge will launch her new visual essay which makes visible and then unsettles the ways in which Black women artists internalize labor-(as)-capital. The event will be moderated by J.T. Roane (Arizona State University) and features a companion text by Chelsea M. Frazier.
CHRA Awards Grants to Twenty-Three OSUN Students and Faculty Members
11 students and 12 faculty members from 19 OSUN institutions will receive support for their student-led initiatives and faculty research projects as part of CHRA’s 2021–22 grant cycle.
COMMON GROUND: An International Festival on the Politics of Land and Food
Four Network Projects culminating in Common Ground: an international festival on the politics of land and food, initiated by CHRA and The Fisher Center Lab Biennial at Bard College. Three curators: Emily Jacir, Boyzie Cekwana, and Juliana Steiner from Palestine, South Africa, and Colombia will curate Network Projects supported by CHRA in their respective cities in collaboration with Al-Quds Bard, University of the Witwatersrand, and Universidad de Los Andes.
CHRA fellow Oscar worked with the Colombian truth commission on counter-forensic investigations into the 1985 Palace of Justice siege in Bogota, where more than 20 people who left the building were disappeared, killed and tortured by the Colombian armed forces. The results of this research culminated in an exhibition titled Huellas de la desaparición (Traces of Disappearance) featuring an investigation of land dispossession in the banana enclave of Urabá, a mural on the destruction of the Colombian Amazon and a mural and physical model of the Palacio and the military facilities where people were taken to be interrogated, tortured and disappeared. The exhibition is now on view at the Miguel Ángel Urrutia Museum in Bogotá.
CHRA SUPPORTS TWO WORKSHOPS
The week-long Border Forensics Seminar (July 5-9, 2021) convened 35 scholars, practitioners, and human rights activists working across the US-Mexico and Sahara border zones. The goal was to create a space of common thinking from which new methods and practices might emerge to better document, prevent and seek accountability for border violence. The workshop focused on comparative case forensics, mortality data, geospatial analysis, deportation and externalization practices.
A two-day workshop on “Image and Ethics,” convened in collaboration with photographer Lisa Ross and UBC scholar Aynur Kadir, brought together 20 participants, including members of the Uyghur diaspora, scholars, artists, and human rights advocates. The workshop participants discussed the ethical and political complications of sharing images from the Uyghur region while Uyghurs still living in China continue to face a range of threats, and the competing imperative to make Uyghur visual materials available for advocacy and archival purposes
CLASSES ON HUMAN RIGHTS & THE ARTS
CHRA has hosted and supported a range of classes in human rights and the arts, including network collaborative courses on human rights advocacy, freedom of expression and migration, taught in conjunction with colleagues at al-Quds Bard, American University of Central Asia, and elsewhere. CHRA also helped bring into being an innovative collaboration between Bard College Berlin, Universidad de los Andes, and the University of the Witwatersrand called “Research-Creation: Artistic Approaches to Forced Migration and the Dilemma of the Nation State.” OSUN classes were also featured strongly in the curriculum, including Adam Stepan’s Visual Storytelling and Nuruddin Farah and Thomas Bartscherer’s seminar “Country of My Imagination,” which brought together a series of internationally-acclaimed novelists to discuss their work and explore, among many other issues, the intersection of art and politics.