Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness

When 11 Nov 2018 - 12 Nov 2018
Where UnionDocs
322 Union Ave
United States

Opening event of the seminar series Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness

Sunday, November 11, 2018
6:30 pm Reception; 7:30 pm Screening & Discussion

The Vera List Center and UnionDocs in association with Marian Goodman Gallery present a screening of Indian artist and filmmaker Amar Kanwar’s Such a Morning, in the artist’s words “a modern parable about two people’s quiet engagement with truth… Such a Morning navigates multiple transitions between speech and silence, democracy and fascism, fear and freedom.” This screening of Kanwar’s film will kick off the Vera List Center’s Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness and will be introduced by Carin Kuoni, Director and Chief Curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, to frame the program in the context of the wider series. Following the film, Laura Raicovich, co-curator of the seminar series, will provide a response to help guide and prompt discussion between Kanwar, critic and writer Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, and Nitin Sawhney, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The New School. This dialogue will focus on what knowledge can be produced by art, and how the unknown can be a productive incubator in times of crisis.

Mapping the Territory

Seminar 1 of the seminar series Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness
Monday, November 12, 2018
6:30-8:30 pm

The New School
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, second floor
New York City
Register here
On registration, participants will receive preparatory reading material.

This is the first seminar in a year-long examination of Freedom of Speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees four specific freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and protest, and freedom of religion. With Indian artist Amar Kanwar’s film Such a Morning (2017) as a point of departure, this seminar series imagines these four freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as points on the compass rose, which can be overlaid with intersectional thinking from artists, Indigenous peoples, feminists, and innumerable other perspectives, to question current circumstances, and to confront the inequities and uncertainties in our times, especially as they pertain to freedom of speech. This seminar will begin to chart some of the key issues that will inform the series through fall 2019, among them the legal and social ramifications of freedom of speech, assembly, and protest as foundational to democracy; the question of whether these seemingly unassailable rights should have limits in today’s context; and how to contend with the poetic and artistic articulations of these rights, all overlaid by international as well as Indigenous perspectives.

Christopher Allen, Founder and Executive Artistic Director, UnionDocs
Mark Bray, political organizer, historian of human rights, terrorism and political radicalism in Modern Europe, and author
Abou Farman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The New School
Amar Kanwar, artist and filmmaker, New Delhi
Carin Kuoni, Director/Chief Curator, Vera List Center for Art and Politics
Vanessa Place, artist, writer, and criminal appellate attorney specializing in sex offenders and sexually violent predators
Mendi and Keith Obadike, artists
Laura Raicovich, independent curator and writer

Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs, National Coalition Against Censorship

As well as 
Representatives of the partner organizations to the seminar series ARTICLE 19; the National Coalition Against Censorship; New York Peace Institute; and Weeksville Heritage Center.

Photo courtesy of the organizer.

For more information, please click here.