Culture+Conflict organises panel discussions, seminars and conferences. We also participate in an increasing number of activities managed by other organisations. Our most recent event was on Thursday 2 March 2017 with artists Mariam Ghani and Bisan Abu Eisheh, chaired by Pablo de Orellana. The discussion, Whose identity? Whose history? was held in partnership with, King’s College London. Abu Eisheh talked about his current residency at King’s (described below), and his use of archives and collected objects as tools to investigate history and politics relating to Palestine. Ghani has collaborated with artist Chitra Ganesh since 2004 on the ‘Index of the Disappeared’, an experimental archive of post-9/11 detentions, deportations, renditions and redactions. She referenced this and other work including her research into Afghan film and the Cold War.
This event was preceded by a series in partnership with Goethe-Institut London called Promised Land (the title of a 2011 film by Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen), bringing together artists, curators and academics to discuss two views of Europe: the promise of Europe as a place of human rights, security and prosperity; and the Europe of borders, refugee camps, populism, euro scepticism, conflict, and tendencies towards neo-nationalism.
Our events are always organised in partnership and our previous partners include: Amnesty International; Delfina Foundation; Free Word Centre; the Mosiac Rooms; the Royal College of Art; Imperial War Museum; the Institute of Contemporary Arts; the House of Lords; Goldsmiths College, University of London; the Royal Court Theatre; the Southbank Centre; and the University of Manchester.
In partnership with Goethe-Institut London, Culture+Conflict commissioned a new work by Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen in 2016 on the subject of reverse migration, supported by the Danish Embassy and the Danish Arts Council. The new work, Quicksand (2016), imagines people fleeing the UK in 2035, and was premiered as a sound installation in London in December 2016. It will be shown in its second iteration, with added visuals, from April 2017 as part of Hull UK City of Culture, curated by Film and Video Umbrella.
Our first C+C artist residency is currently taking place at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College London, and the Foyle Special Collections Library. Bisan Abu Eisheh is exploring books and documents related to British colonial history and the foundation of Israel, and considering how these have impacted on Palestinian identity. A second residency follows later in 2017 with Jananne Al-Ani.
The residencies are generously supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and Arts Council England.
We have developed a strand of activity focused on education in order to further our mission to provide support and exposure for artists and cultural organisations working in conflict areas, and to encourage and enable cultural exchange. Our initial focus is on Afghanistan, which began with support for a filmmaker to attend the ‘Cinema, Human Rights and Advocacy Summer School 2015′, held at the University of Galway, Ireland, led by photographer Nick Danziger. This provided Kabul-based filmmaker Masooma Pouya with an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading filmmakers and photographers, bring her own experiences and knowledge to the school, and build international networks.
A new scholarship supports Afghan artist Orna Kazimi who is studying for a Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 2016/17, generously supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation. The scholarship is providing an opportunity for her to gain a post-graduate qualification, develop career opportunities, and exchange experiences with staff and students in London. This is a partnership with Caspian Arts Foundation, who manage scholarships for emerging artists from the Middle East.
We continue with our research into the work of artists addressing the subject of war and conflict, and have built up a considerable archive of projects both on this website and on our Facebook pages. Through our events, conferences and research, we explore the role and value of art in the context of international conflict. In 2013 we published an online anthology of essays called Art and Conflict, and more recently published an article in the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) journal called ‘The Power of Art’ (2016).
Exhibitions, events and projects taking place internationally are featured on this website and Facebook and Twitter.