CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
Join us on December 1st at Slought Gallery for the "Claiming Blackness" event, to include film screening, conversation, and a book release with our Fall 2022 CEE Fellow Damani Partridge. At the event, Damani will discuss his Filming the Future of Cities project, as well as his new book "Blackness as a Universal Claim: Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen, and Black Power in Berlin", released November 2022 with the University of California Press.
In this bold and provocative book, Damani J. Partridge examines the possibilities and limits of a universalized Black politics. Young people in Germany of Turkish, Arab, and African descent use claims of Blackness to hold states and other institutions accountable for their everyday struggle. Partridge tracks how these youth invoke the expressions of Black Power, acting out the medal-podium salute from the 1968 Olympics, proclaiming "I am Malcolm X," expressing mutual struggle with Muhammad Ali and Spike Lee, and standing with raised and clenched fists next to Angela Davis. Partridge also documents the demands by public-school teachers, federal-program leaders, and politicians that young immigrants account for the global persistence of anti-Semitism as part of the German state's commitment to antigenocidal education. He uses these stories to interrogate the relationships among European Enlightenment, Holocaust memory, and Black futures, showing how noncitizens work to reshape their everyday lives. In doing so, he demonstrates how the concept of Blackness energizes, inspires, and makes possible participation beyond national belonging for immigrants, refugees, Black people, and other People of Color.
Damani J. Partridge is the Fall 2022 Fellow at the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Professor of Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. He is also an affiliate with the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and has published broadly on questions of citizenship, affect, urban space, sexuality, decolonization, post-Cold War “freedom,” Holocaust memorialization, African-American military occupation, Blackness and embodiment, the production of noncitizens, the culture and politics of “fair trade,” and the Obama moment in Berlin. He has also made and worked on documentaries for private and public broadcasters in the United States and Canada, and currently directs the Filming Future Cities Project in Detroit and Berlin (see filmingfuturecities.org). His first book, Hypersexuality and headscarves: Race, sex, and citizenship in the new Germany, was published in the New Anthropologies of Europe series with Indiana University Press in 2012. His forthcoming book, Blackness as a universal claim: Holocaust heritage, noncitizen politics, and Black power in Berlin will be published with the University of California Press in 2022.
Death/Fast is a 52-minute experimental video documentary about the 2,286-day mass hunger strike (2000-2007) undertaken by political prisoners contesting the regime of isolation in Turkey's newly instituted F-type, high-security prisons. Anchored in in-person interviews with survivors, the documentary recovers the experience of hunger strikers which serves as the disavowed condition of possibility for the retroactive self-authorization on the part of political organizations. Juxtaposing rehearsed narratives about their transformations in relation to time, to others, to truth—and to death—with imagery taken from everyday life in public locations across contemporary Istanbul, the documentary probes the (non)relation between the distinct temporality of the hunger strike and the heterogeneous temporalities of urban life immersed in daily activity/inactivity, between the violence of the prison and the violence hidden in everyday life.
Produced by Brian Karl and Özge Serin and first screened in 2017, Death/Fast uses ensembles of visual and audio techniques, including image flashes of extremely short duration, emulating the scar effects of long-term starvation on memory; extreme cropping within the larger frames of moving images, representing isolation outside prison; and the use of faint image-traces of speaking subjects, creating ghostly figures to suggest the ephemerality and tentativeness of any single subject position. Together, the combined effect of excerpts from interviews and formal choices in representation within the audio and video of the documentary challenge and loosen the conventional links between the experience of dying and those grammars that purport to represent and politicize it.
Join in virtual conversation with CEE for October's Third Thursday event, where Ken Lum is in conversation with Billy Dufala of RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency). Billy is the Director of Residencies and Co-Founder of RAIR, a non-profit arts organization situated inside a construction and demolition waste recycling company called Revolution Recovery in northeast Philadelphia. RAIR's mission is to challenge the perception of waste culture by providing a unique platform for artists at the intersection of art and industry.
WRITING SESSION SCHEDULE
10:00 AM: Check in with a brief discussion of your project and writing goal for the session [This is also when we sometimes have visitors to our group!]
10:20: Individual writing/editing time
12:00: Check in with a brief note (or progress report or lamentation) on our progress.
12:30-1:00 Break for individual lunch (or keep writing if you choose!)
1:00 PM: Check in about big-picture structural plans (or other writing goals)
1:15-??: Individual writing/editing time.
Join CAMRA at the CEE Lounge every second Thursday from 3:30PM to 6:00 PM to workshop your multimodal projects, ideas, or concepts!
Starting October 2022, CAMRA will be hosting a monthly workshop space for people to bring in, share, and work through their multimodal projects with a community of people interested in and/ or are engaged in multimodal work.
Expect visits from CAMRA mentors, faculty, members and alumni through the semester. We will be at the Center for Experimental Ethnography and will have access to video and audio technology for those who might need it. Some of us will also be using this space to work on on Screening Scholarship Media Festival (SSMF) submissions
PENN MUSEUM 336
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