Theatre, Film, Debate on the Ruins and the Future of Europe
THE WHITE WEST III
While the West indulges in fantasies of reverse colonization involving the subjugation of white people, the process of recolonization has been renewed with increased ferocity. Recent events in Bolivia, driven by the hunger for lithium, make apparent the structuring force of race in geopolitics, as well as the role of the digital economy in the production and reproduction of a new settler frontier.
In his famous essay ‘Discourse on Colonialism’ poet Aimé Césaire argued that what in Europe is called ‘fascism’ is just colonial violence finding its way back home. The White West III: Automating Apartheid is the third in a series of White West conferences, devoted to theorizing the afterlife of fascism and the undertheorized relation of settler colonialism to fascism and National Socialism.
With: Florian Cramer, Radhika Desai, David Golumbia, Marina Gržinić, Rose-Anne Gush, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Nitzan Lebovic, Olivier Marboeuf, Kalpana Seshadri, Felix Stalder, Ciraj Rassool, Dorcy Rugamba
The conference is part of a collaborative series of events organized by the new teams running Burgtheater and Kunsthalle Wien, including Kasino project EUROPAMASCHINE (February–March 2020), leading up to exhibition ... of bread, wine, cars, security and peace at Kunsthalle Wien, which will open on March 8, 2020.
Conference conceptualized by Kader Attia and Ana Teixeira Pinto
Organized by Kunsthalle Wien in cooperation with Burgtheater
Detailed conference program:
Thu 13/2, 3–9 pm: The Structuring Force of Race in Geopolitics
3 pm: Welcome and Introduction by WHW followed by an introduction to the White West by Kader Attia and Ana Teixeira Pinto
3:30 pm: The Measure of (Re)barbarization
- Florian Cramer – The Meme of the "Political Compass"
- Radhika Desai – Imperialism, Fascism and the Geopolical Economy of the 21st Century Capitalism
- Rose-Anne Gush –The Fantasy of Misogyny as World Structure
- Dorcy Rugamba – All Crimes against Humanity are Interrelated
Florian Cramer will try to reconstruct the historical and ideological origins of the “political compass”, its use as a political propaganda tool and its growth into a meme and functional replacement of political education.
Radhika Desai will focus on the rise of what is widely called “populism”, its relation to fascism, historical and contemporary, and how that, in turn, is connected to the decline of Western imperialism.
Rose-Anne Gush will theorise the fantasy of misogyny as world structure by considering the paradoxical politics of its micro and macro dimensions.
Taking as a starting point his play Bloody Niggers, Dorcy Rugamba will situate the 1994 Rwandan genocide in a long chain of mutually reinforcing crimes. 5 pm: Moderated discussion plus Q&A with the audience
5:40 pm: Break
6 pm: Necropolitics and Racialized Science
- Kader Attia – Restoring the Irreparable
- Ciraj Rassool – Human Remains Restitution and the Politics of Undoing Race in the Museum
- Marina Gržinić – How to blow the world of racial global necrocapitalism and provoke rebellion, power, thoughts
Kader Attia will examine the parallels between the expropriation of cultural artefacts and the phantom limb phenomenon.
Ciraj Rassool will consider the potential of human remains restitution to radically disrupt the museum as a fundamental structure of coloniality and racism.
Marina Gržinić will describe fascism as working hand in hand with capitalism, colonialism, anti-Semitism and turbo nationalism.
8:15 pm: Moderated discussion plus Q&A with the audience
Fri 14/2, 3–9 pm: Boundary Disputes
3:30 pm: Whither the Frontier?
- Felix Stalder – Digital Colonialism
- Nitzan Lebovic – Biometrics and “Universal Suspicion”
- Kalpana Seshadri – Is the Post in Posthumanism the Post in Post-Racialism?
- Ana Teixeira Pinto – Capitalism with a Transhuman Face
Felix Stalder will describe the concept of digital colonialism, explaining how practices of exploitation and population management that were first developed by the Western colonialist project are now applied within Western countries by means of digital infrastructures.
Nitzan Lebovic will analyze the politics of contemporary biometric surveillance, grounding it in a long history of physiognomic and racial taxonomy.
Kalpana Seshadri will argue that implicating post-humanist thought in the politics of post-racial “colorblindness” fails to grapple with the continuities between humanism and racism.
Ana Teixeira Pinto will use Marinetti’s 1910 novel Mafarka the Futurist to illuminate the etiology of fascist violence as well as the enduring presence of white supremacist biopolitics.
5:20 pm: Moderated discussion plus Q&A with the audience
6:00 pm: Break
6:20 pm: Whither Whiteness?
- David Golumbia – Blockchain – The White Man’s Burden
- Olivier Marboeuf – White Skin, Black Mask: Appropriation of Identity Politics
- Zakiyyah Iman Jackson – Insect Poetics and the Biopolitics of Reproduction in Simone Leigh's Trophallaxis
David Golumbia will challenge the claim that blockchain technology can work to the benefit of the impoverished Global South, and examine the parallels between the rhetoric used for the promotion of blockchain and the “white man’s burden” discourse of earlier colonial periods.
Olivier Marboeuf will address the issue of appropriation and distortion of identity politics by fascist movements in Western countries.
Taking Simone Leigh’s Trophallaxis and the artist’s stated interest in “black women as a kind of material culture” as her starting point, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson will demonstrate how two scientific histories— mammary and insect— that are often thought apart illume and irradiate one another.
8:15 pm: Moderated discussion plus Q&A with the audience