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Critical Evasions: Counter Aesthetics in Visual Culture of the Global South

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Organizer: R. Shareah Taleghani

Co-Organizer: Nathaniel Greenberg

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This seminar examines how filmmakers and artists are circumventing state censorship while producing a critical aesthetic discourse capable of shaping public debate and challenging the narrative of the state.
 
The organizers are MENA specialists, but we welcome submissions from anyone addressing this dynamic in the context of the Global South. We seek papers that explore following:

What specific aesthetic strategies of evasion do artists and filmmakers create, adopt, and adapt to circumnavigate state oppression and avoid state co-option of their works? Who benefits from evasive counter aesthetics?

How have cultural producers used irony, satire, allegory, and parody to oppose the state and evade repression?  Why are these modes, in particular, effective in producing critical evasions?
 
To what extent and effect do particular artists and filmmakers engage with a politics of self-reflexivity as part of their aesthetic strategies of evasion? How is such self-reflexivity connected to sex, love, and identity?
 
What new genres that engage with critical evasions of state or other forms of power hierarchy have emerged over the past fifty years, and what genres have been erased, ignored, or destroyed?
 
How have new forms of technology enhanced, effaced, or exposed artistic methods of evasion in visual culture? How does information warfare capitalize on or contravene programs of aesthetic evasion?
 
We welcome proposals investigating any form of visual culture produced by artists and filmmakers from 1970 to the present. Interested participants should submit abstract proposals through the ACLA portal by September 20th at 9:00 am EST. For questions, please contact the seminar organizers Nathaniel Greenberg (ngreenbe@gmu.edu) or R. Shareah Taleghani (taleghani.s@gmail.com or rtaleghani@qc.cuny.edu).

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