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October 2019, transfer

Seven Things that Happened While You Were Sleeping: Reflecting on Traces, Documents and Archives

Image from Ahmad Ghossein's “My Father is Still a Communist - Intimate Secrets to be Published” (2011). Courtesy of the Artist.

The archive — traditionally defined as a repository or ordered system of documents — has incessantly played a significant role in the construction of historical knowledge. Manifesting itself in various forms of traces, it remains until today the primary site for storing, retrieving and interpreting the past. But how could the archive account for all the moments that have not been recorded, the moments of which there has not been a physical trace as such? The 10-week workshop is participatory, discussion-based, multi-disciplinary and open to artists, writers and researchers with interest and/or experience in the subject matter. Sessions will start on October 15 and will take place weekly through December 17 every Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm at silent green Kulturquartier.

Through readings, discussions, screenings and guest lectures, the workshop – lead by Mohammad Shawky Hassan – deals with the archive not only as a collection of records or documents, but rather as an omnipresent linguistic and discursive system. Participants will engage with the canon of archival theory, while putting it in conversation with critical texts, films and videos that question this canon by deconstructing the notion of the ‘archival’, destabilizing the fetishization of the document as an unquestionable locus of knowledge production and calling into question the very definition of an ‘event’ worthy of documentation. 

More information and registration here.