[artinfo] Welcome to the former West: herbst Academy 2016 workshop call

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Wed Jul 6 10:51:26 CEST 2016

Welcome to the former West. Mental maps and 
decolonial perspectives on the here and now

herbst Academy 2016: workshop call

October 6-9, 2016

Application deadline: July 15

steirischer herbst

T +43 316 816070
<MAILTO:info at steirischerherbst.at>info at steirischerherbst.at

The herbst Academy 2016 investigates Europe's 
current state from a postcolonial and decolonial 
perspective and invites students and 
practitioners from the fields of arts and theory 
to meet on a green field site. The international 
Mamaza collective proclaims a temporary "Garden 
State" at Graz's Orpheum theatre, creating a 
participatory setting for discursive encounters 
and critical dialogue. Within this context, 
steirischer herbst festival is running four 
workshops (Thursday, October 6 & Friday, October 
7) and a two-days conference (Saturday, October 8 
& Sunday, October 9).

Workshop 1
Chinafrika. Under Construction
With Jochen Becker (Germany), Daniel Kötter (Germany) & international guests

China and the African continent, it is assumed, 
are the two world regions where the future of 
globalization is being drawn up. The research and 
art project "Chinafrika. Under Construction" has 
been analyzing the cultural relations between 
both areas for several years, highlighting a 
process that has fundamentally changed the role 
of Europe, among other things. With a wide range 
of research materials and documentaries from 
Guangzhou, Lagos, Hong Kong, Lubumbashi and other 
regions, the workshop illustrates the cultural 
and economic transformations ensuing from this 
transnational process. Accompanied by guests from 
China, Africa and Styria, the participants in the 
workshop will be exploring theoretical and 
everyday experiences of the Chinafrika phenomenon.

Workshop 2
Critical Whiteness and more
With Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst (Germany), Institute 
of African Studies and Egyptology, Cologne 

What does it mean to be white? This seemingly 
banal question remains rarely asked. Most people 
who identify themselves as white have never 
thought about being white, implicitly considering 
it the norm from which all "others" who are not 
white deviate. Whiteness almost always remains 
unmarked and unreflected-with the focus usually 
being on the others. Yet being white is quite 
obviously connected with privileges and power 
relations that identify relationships and 
interactions with "other" people. In the workshop 
held by professor of African Studies Marianne 
Bechhaus-Gerst, the participants react on what it 
is like to be white or not white, and about their 
experience. The aim is to make whiteness visible 
as a constructed category of power. Where can we 
identify white power in everyday culture? And can 
white people decide to opt out of whiteness?

Workshop 3
From Modernity to the Decolonial
With Rolando Vazquez (Netherlands/Mexico), 
University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University

The workshop held by Mexican-Dutch sociologist 
Rolando Vazquez focuses on the decolonial 
critique of modernity. It will show how 
coloniality is deeply embedded in our everyday 
life. In a dialogue with participants, Vazquez 
questions the common understanding of progress, 
development and consumption that cannot be 
thought in separation from processes of 
destitution, extraction, denial and erasure. In 
the "Garden State" setting the aim is to discuss 
to what extent the modern notion of the subject 
contradicts forms of community, responsibility 
and the possibility of an ethical life. The 
decolonial option presents questions hitherto 
excluded from the modern canon. What are the 
conditions to recover the possibilities of 
relating, of listening to truly intercultural 

Workshop 4
Participating in World Building
With Marjetica Potrã (Germany/Slovenia), Design 
for the Living World class, University of Fine 
Arts, HFBK Hamburg

For Marjetica Potrã, the appropriation of space 
by the local community-be it in the rainforest or 
at the heart of the city-is essential for the 
construction of a new citizenship. What is the 
role of artists who do community-based projects? 
How can they support the needs of local groups 
without imposing their own ideas? How should they 
interact with local groups, institutions and 
government? And crucially, what is the role of 
residents in shaping their own environment? The 
Slovenian artist and architect based in Ljubljana 
and Berlin reports from her practice and invites 
workshop participants to contribute their own 
examples and experiences and to discuss them at 
the New Graz exhibition at the center for 
contemporary art <rotor>.

Welcome to the former West. Mental maps and 
decolonial perspectives on the here and now
October 8-9
Garden State / Orpheum

<mailto:academy at steirischerherbst.at>academy at steirischerherbst.at 
/ T +43 664 24 500 76

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