Please RSVP to individual reading groups by email. Note spaces are limited, so only book if you are sure to participate.
As part of the exhibition Reverse Shot by Marwa Arsanios we have designed a reading room as a space for thinking collectively. Visitors are invited to self-organise gatherings and readings activating the space as a site of connection and organising. Arsanios has curated a selection of books ranging from political to philosophical that seek to initiate discussion around questions of radical ecology. Taking an intersectional approach, the reading room offers a site for alternative visions to mainstream ideologies relating to ecology, politics, anarchism, and feminism.
If you would like to organise a participatory gathering in the reading room in January, please write to email@example.com
This page is regularly updated, please stay tuned for more reading groups.
. Decolonising Botany: Reading Group
Sunday 22 January, 2-4pm
Join members of Decolonising Botany working group for this reading room session, to explore how expanded modes of reading can be acts of destabilising knowledge production, opening multiple ways of listening and witnessing collectively. This session proposes listening as reading, asking how bodies can be witness to multiple forms of knowledge and events arising through the encounter with these lands and legacies of extraction, collective decolonial struggle and cultural practices.
Ayesha Keshani, Youngsook Choi and Laura Burns will guide a collective listening of a text from Taey Iaho and three recordings: Vietnamese folk sounds from Tuan Mami’s living installation project Immigrating Garden, Ayesha Keshani’s field recording of an oil palm plantation in Malaysia, Cian Dayrit’s summoning of key vocabulary of the bungkalan collective farming movement in the Philippines. We will bring our communal practice into form through a simple collective embroidery, tracing sound as material, and bodies and texture-as-text as we go.
Decolonising Botany explores alternative methodologies, counter-perspectives and experimental collaboration with the other-than-human, defining decolonising works not as subject matters but as methodological matters, with a focus on challenging and complicating the colonial system of knowledge production around nature, science, ecology and migration. The working group members are Laura Burns, Youngsook Choi, Cian Dayrit, Ayesha Keshani, Taey Iohe, Tuan Mami and Helen Pritchard.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
. Law & Theory Pop-up Reading+Viewing Group
Wednesday 23 November, 4-6pm
Join us for a reading+viewing group meeting, the first in a series of events led by Helene Kazan as Artist in Residence at The Westminster Law and Theory Lab, Westminster Law School, University of Westminster, during 2022-23.
During her residency at the Law and Theory Lab, Kazan will continue to work on her interdisciplinary film installation series Frame of Accountability, a multimedia project that engages feminist, decolonial, critical-legal and artistic practice and theory to explore the possibilities of dismantling the effects of law as a form of structural violence.
Kazan’s film, (Un)Touching Ground (2022), which is part of the Frame of Accountability series, is being screened at The Mosaic Rooms on 29 November, 7pm, followed by a conversation between Helene Kazan and Marwa Arsanios. More details here.
The pop-up reading+viewing group organised by the Westminster Law and Theory Lab on 23 November will explore the themes of law, land, and colonial appropriation that Kazan and Arsanios share.
Reading: ‘Introduction’ of Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2018. (link to text is in the Eventbrite invite)
. B|TW|N THE L|AV|S: A Critical De/Compost Reading Group #4 Anna Tsing, “The Forest of Collaborations”
Wednesday 16 November, 4-6pm
Join artist Becky Lyon/ ELASTIC FICTION and researcher Georgia Perkins for the fourth B|T|W||N THE L|AV|S reading group, which turns to Anna Tsing’s essay on ‘The Forest of Collaborations,’ on the model of community-managed forests in Indonesia. Tsing offers us “friction” as a tool to assess the sticky complexities of “community-based” collaboration; different agendas across common projects; “productive confusion” and “awkward coalescence”. The reading traces some of her key ideas on the politics of difference to survival in her well known chapter ‘Contamination as Collaboration,’ in The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015).
B|TW|N THE L|AV|S: A Critical De/Compost Reading Group is a series compiled by artist Becky Lyon/ ELASTIC FICTION and researcher Georgia Perkins engaging with processes of decay, decomposition, fermentation and rot to explore what might be possible, and what might emerge in states and times of “ruin”. We navigate these ideas from a range of texts spanning queer feminist materialisms, indigenous cosmologies, more-than-human phenomenology and science fiction. In each session, we will collectively activate methodological tools proposed by the authors in order to sensorially engage with their texts. This group is compiled as a form of research and insight for the forthcoming book chapter, ‘Erasing Decomposition, composting as counter-craft: the rotten log as a site of co-flourishing, a recalcitrant ecology and site of counter-capitalist reproduction.’
Please RSVP to email@example.com to book your place and receive the reading.
. Battle Cry: A Poetry Reading
Sunday 13 November, 4-6pm
Join artist and publisher Shahrzad Kamel in reading selections of Forugh Farrokhzad’s first poetry collection, Captive, published in 1955 in Tehran; revealing that her work, written sixty years ago, remains relevant and inspirational even today.
Farrokhzad’s poems will be read in Farsi and English and participants are also encouraged to share their own poems.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.