Abounaddara. The Right to the Image (Day 3 of 3)

Saturday 24 October, 2015
12 - 6pm, $0

New School, Lang Community Center
55 West 13 Street, Arnhold Hall, Floor Two

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Around the world new critical practices of image production, scholarship, artmaking, activism, and legal action are evolving to combat political and humanitarian crises. To dissect these practices, this conference is grounded in the work of the anonymous filmmaking collective Abounaddara who has released one film each week since the start of the Syrian revolution, presenting all sides of the conflict to global audiences in an "emergency cinema" that includes over 300 films to date. Collectively Abounaddara's films seek to establish the right to the image as a recognized human right. Each panel addresses one aspect of Abounaddara's practice through diverse contexts to see how it is enacted in other global socio-political situations and to build an analysis of methods of worldwide. 

The three panels on October 23 reflect Abounaddara's filmmaking tactics and also mirror the three thematic shifts in the concurrent exhibition of their work at the Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School for Design. Every week, the exhibition will focus on a different strategy and feature a different selection of approximately 30 films. These central tactics are: portraiture and participation, subverting images, and open-endedness as tactic. The two panels on October 24 shift to the deeper implications underlying Abounaddara's work first through a discussion of organizing in the contemporary world and concluding with an evaluation of their core campaign of the right to the image for all, proposed as an amendment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each panel opens with a brief section of related Abounaddara's films, selected by the filmmakers.

Abounaddara. The Right to the Image conference launches The New School's public recognition of Abounddara as the recipients of the second Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics in conjunction with an exhibition, a film series, integration into classes across the university, and an upcoming publication.

DAY 3 – Saturday, October 24
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Panel IV: Ways of Organizing in Post Democracy
12 – 2 pm 
Activists and artists alike are increasingly adapting new organizing tactics as the structures of power shift around them. These new ways of organizing respond to the challenges imposed by shifting post-democratic regimes of power, whether they are anonymous, governmental, or artistic.
Abounaddara Films 
The Lady of Syria Part I 
What Justice? 
Emanuele Castano, Associate Professor of Psychology, The New School for Social Research
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center/Director, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, City University of New York
McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media Studies, Lang College for Liberal Arts, moderator
Intermezzo: Revolution and Music
2 – 3 pm 
Music and revolution are deeply intertwined. This legacy will be provoked through an intervention of sound pieces created by New School students in response to Abounaddara's work. Coordinated by Evan Rapport, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Eugene Lang College, The New School.
Panel V: The Right to the Image
3 – 5 pm
Representations of human suffering and injustice are not only aesthetic choices but also political and ethical choices. In an era where images can be captured in one place and consumed instantly around the world, the proposed "right to the image" is a complex and multilayered solution that promotes freedom of speech and is not associated with any single right but a group of rights. This conversation questions the next steps for developing a right to the image that protects the dignity of subjects, as well as the integrity of the journalists, filmmakers, photographers, and researchers who work in these situations.
Related Abounaddara Films 
2 Minutes for Syria
The Child Who Saw the Islamic State
Charif Kiwan, member and spokesperson, Abounaddara
Lea Shaver, Associate Professor, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University
Hani Sayed, Chair, Department of Law and Associate Professor, The American University in Cairo
Jasmine Rault, Assistant Professor, Culture and Media, and
TL Cowan, FemTechNet Chair of Experimental Pedagogies, School of Media Studies, The New School, moderators
Closing Reception and Book Launch
"Entry Points. The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice, No. 1"
5 – 6 pm
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