Displacement and Situatedness: Autumn Laboratory 2014

Politics and tactics within displacement.  An international laboratory exploring the embodied politics of relating across places, contexts and social spheres.

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Displacement is a key paradigm of our time, for who can afford not to move, to shift, to change, to develop and improve – or to be moved, shifted, displaced?

Situatedness is a key condition for solid and sustainable practices, in politics, arts, research or otherwise. Yet situatedness is not something we can take for granted today. What is the meaning of situatedness within displacement?

In this autumn laboratory we share and develop collective strategies and tactics around situatedness in displacement, emphasising mapping, diagrams, drifts and poetics as method. We look across the dimensions of macropolitics (such as power/state relationships), micropolitics (social and collective dynamics) and nanopolitics (relationships and embodiments) as we explore examples and experiences of situated practices marked by displacement. This laboratory brings together facilitators who work across social movements, culture/arts and research/theory, proposing different tools and perspectives on situatedness and displacement. Sessions will be in English, with the option of partial translations into Spanish.

What do politics and ethics mean in the context of frequent displacements? How do we understand and give account of our positionality and trajectory as itinerant subjects? What tools do we have for orienting ourselves in new contexts, for mapping out stakes, problems and possibilities of relating? We will share and develop collective strategies and tactics around situatedness in displacement, emphasising mapping, diagrams, drifts and poetics as method. We will look across the dimensions of macropolitics (such as power/state relationships), micropolitics (social and collective dynamics) and nanopolitics (relationships and embodiments) as we explore examples and experiences of situated practices marked by displacement.

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As precarious, itinerant, flexible subjects we frequently (re)invent our politics and ethics in relation to our contexts. We interact and work with people who come from very different positions, memories and histories, in a space of dislocations, migrations. Moving between jobs, places, disciplines, social spheres, relations and priorities leaves us in an ambivalent space: caught between transversality and shiftiness. ‘Displacement’ can both be understood and experienced as something we have been subjected to, and as a self-determined movement/action: the difference between the two can be blurry. We all have strategies and tactics for how to deal with this, explicit or implicit, as groups and individuals.

Situating ourselves is not just difficult because we are compelled to move, but also because the world around us changes rapidly and we find ourselves frequently isolated and individualised. Situatedness means not just orienting oneself, nor is it just a matter of settling or knowing ones context. It implies mapping out ones positionality within the social and material world, as well as inhabiting ones own trajectory and subjectivity in relation to this world. To situate oneself is a diagrammatic labour of connecting given realities and limitiations with singularities and possibilities.

This laboratory brings together facilitators who work across social movements, culture/arts and research/theory, proposing different tools and perspectives on situatedness and displacement. It will not be carried out from a speculative or abstract perspective, but depart from the embodied experiences of participants in order to produce common notions and relate them to broader processes. Drawing on a variety of pedgogical formats and references, such as drifts, mapping, relational games, writing and theatre, we will think our trajectories and bodies in relation to those of others and build a toolbox for thinking and practice. Sessions will be in English, with the option of partial translations into Spanish. Facilitators: Manuela Zechner, Marcelo Expósito, Paula Cobo-Guevara, Claire English, Marc Herbst, Esquizo Barcelona Group, and Bue Rübner Hansen.

What does is mean to struggle against precarity, globalization and neoliberalism in embodied terms? How do we forge networks of care, post-national struggles and solidarities in our everyday? When do we resist displacement and how do we resist through displacement? How do we think consistency and sustainability? What terms serve us to think an ethics and politics of displacement – situated/adrift, local/global, intimate/alienated, individual/collective, independent/interdependent, coming/going, flight/promise, transversality/intersectionality? What are the ways in which contemporary practices of displacement are produced by the neoliberal paradigm and embedded within structures and systems of governance?

Day 1 \\\ Methodologies: mapping, diagram, drift

2-5pm
Defining concepts and stakes: situatedness and displacement. Sharing experiences and stories. Methodological considerations. Manuela Zechner & Paula Cobo-Guevara
6-8pm
Diagrammatic currents: mapping and thinking through diagrams. Examples from within and between art, activism and social movements in South America and Europe. Marcelo Expósito

Day 2 \\\ Positionalities

2-5pm
Where we stand, how we move. Diagrams of class/race/gender, inhabiting the social. What bodies can do in context. Manuela Zechner

6-8pm
Materialist dispositions, questions of orientation: what it means to be positioned. Bue Hansen

Day 3 \\\ Trajectories

2-5pm
Telling, tracing and mapping trajectories. Giving account of itinerancy. The role of care/affective/work networks. Paula Cobo-Guevara & Manuela Zechner

6-8pm
How to tell the story of a collective trajectory. To produce or not to produce? Grupo Esquizo Barcelona (tbc)

Day 4 \\\ Thinking context, composition and organisation

2-5pm
Crossing contexts: between arts, activism and academia. Movement workers within their ecosystems. Marc Herbst
6-8pm
Composition and organisation in difference: struggling around migration. Derootedness and its potentials for remapping borders and limits. Disrupting codes of exclusion, discrimination and injustice. Imayna Caceres

Day 5 /// Strategies, politics and ethics

2-5pm
The ethics and politics of situatedness and displacement. thinking across nano, micro and macropoltics. Conclusions and final discussion. All

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