Discussion event in CAMP: War images: How to show that black lives matter

A warm welcome to the discussion event War images: How to show that black lives matter where audiences can partake in a full day of talks, performance, discussion, and workshops with thinkers and artists contributing to CAMP's new exhibition We shout and shout, but no one listens: Art from conflict zones.

The aim of the event is to discuss why in times of war (and peace!) some lives are protected and some are not, why some conflicts are silenced and others not? What role does media’s portrayal of armed conflict play in this ‘mechanism of differentiation,’ and how can art offer alternative visual accounts of atrocity, conflict, and war that make black lives matter?

Social and news media are overflowing with images of armed conflict leaving many of us cold to the pains and terrors they represent. This coldness seems only in part to express a compassion fatigue resulting from the pictorial bombardment, or an apathy as a result of feeling powerless to stop wars. As American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler has argued, it is as if our capacity for empathy, compassion, and solidaric action in the West is being restrained to exclude some bodies and lives to begin with. How do images come into play in this framing, and how could we represent for instance the Syrian Conflict or the armed conflict in South Sudan so that the frailty of those bodies and the precariousness of those lives afflicted begin to matter to the West? It seems that there is a division between Western and non-Western lives. How do we undo this division? In art and in society?

The discussion event features a keynote by Achille Mbembe (Cameroon / South Africa), a performance by Sandra Johnston (Northern Ireland), a roundtable discussion with the artists contributing to the exhibition – Khaled Barakeh (Syria / Germany), Gohar Dashti (Iran), Nermine Hammam (Egypt / UK), Amel Ibrahimović (Bosnia-Herzegovina / Denmark), Sandra Johnston – and workshops with the individual artists.

The event is conducted in English (with simultaneous interpretation to Farsi and Arabic) and is moderated by Mathias Danbolt (art historian and critic, Norway, based in Copenhagen). All are welcome. Free admission.

Program /

1–1:15:         
Welcome / by Frederikke Hansen and Tone Olaf Nielsen (directors of CAMP)
1:15–2:
Keynote / by Achille Mbembe (philosopher and political theorist, Cameroon, based in Johannesburg)
2–2:45:
Performance / by Sandra Johnston (artist, Northern Ireland, based in Belfast and Newcastle) followed by Q & A session
2:45–3:15:
Coffee and snack break
3:15–4:45:
Roundtable discussion / with Khaled Barakeh (artist, Syria, based in Berlin), Gohar Dashti (artist, Iran, based in Teheran), Nermine Hammam (artist, Egypt, based in Cairo and London), Amel Ibrahimović (artist, Bosnia-Herzegovina, based in Copenhagen), Sandra Johnston (artist, Northern Ireland, based in Belfast and Newcastle)
4:45–5:
Coffee and snack break
5–5:45:
Workshops / with the artists
5:45–6:15:
Closing discussion
6:15–7:
Community dinner