Posts from July 2012

Reminder:China in Britain #3: Theatre & Performance

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China in Britain: Myths and Realities
Theatre/Performance and Music

July 18th 2012, 9:45am – 5:30pm
The Old Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

You are warmly invited to the third in this University of Westminster/AHRC funded series. The day will present an eclectic programme with presentations from actors and broadcasters and academics. Dongshin Chang (City University of New York), Diana Yeh (Birkbeck College and University of East London), Simon Sladen (University of Winchester) and Ashley Thorpe (University of Reading) will present research that restores the history of China and Chineseness to the English stage, from Regency Extravaganzas, such as Chinese Sorcerer to chinoiserie theatre in the 1930s and Lady Precious Stream. We will look at subversive pantomime in Thatcher’s Britain, Poppy, and more recently Anna Chen’s Steampunk Opium Wars and Damon Albarn’s opera Monkey: Journey to the West.

The UK’s most high profile British Chinese actor, David Yip, remembered by many for his role as Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective will be talking about his new multimedia show Gold Mountain. There will be performances from comedienne, poet and political pundit, Anna Chen (aka Madame Miaow), actor David Lee-Jones, currently the lead in Richard III – the first British Chinese actor to be cast as one of Shakespeare’s English Kings – and Resonance Radio’s Lucky Cat DJ, Zoe Baxter, playing Korean Punk, Chinese Hip Hop and Reggae, Japanese Ska, Thai Country, and Singapore 60’s pop.

Entrance – including lunch and refreshments – is free of charge so for catering purposes it is essential to book your place by emailing:

La Ronde: A Circular Conversation on Love

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Sunday, 22 July 2012, 2:30-5pm

La Ronde: A Circular Conversation on Love
Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, 56-57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8EQ

Speakers: John Douglas Millar, Leon Redler, Stella Sandford, Hilary Koob-Sassen, and Sarah Turner.

A quick plug for an excellent-looking Sunday afternoon organised by our friends and neighbours at the Carroll/Fletcher Gallery. In an era of political, financial and environmental uncertainty, it seems vital to give time and focus to the subject of love. Inspired by the structure of Arthur Schnitzler’s play of 1897, La Ronde, this roundtable conversation will consist of a circular series of one-to-one exchanges. Each conversation will begin with a question that includes the word ‘love’ with the answer taking the form of a conversation. Twenty minutes will be allotted to each pairing, with an extra ten minutes for audience questions. While the original La Ronde explored the sexual mores of fin-de-siècle Vienna, we anticipate that our version will consider love in its many guises and from diverse perspectives.

Refreshments provided during breaks
£5, booking essential as places are limited:

More details at:

#Citizencurators: collaboration with Museum of London

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#Citizencurators is a history project that will record the experience of Londoners during the Olympic fortnight. Created for the Museum of London, #Citizencurators will collect tweets, moments and images using social networking to tell the story of everyday life in the capital. Directed by the IMCC’s Peter Ride and the Museum of London’s Hilary Young, with a project team made up of students from the MA Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture at Westminster, the aim is to investigate how new media/ social networking can provide alternative approaches to supplement contemporary collecting. As action research project, it is also designed to result in knowledge that can assist the Museum in the collection and management of ‘born digital’ material.

#Citizencurators explores what it is like to live in London during the Olympic fortnight (27 July – 12 August). The established narrative of the Olympics is focused on the experience of the athletes, participants, employees and tourists. However a larger part of the Olympic experience in London is not being articulated. This is the daily experience residents whose lives are inevitably caught up in the Olympics but who are ‘bystanders’. What will the Olympics mean to the single mum with a young family in Stratford, the work commuter who uses the Jubilee line, the resident in an apartment block partially occupied by the army, the young club-goer intending to enjoy a summer of fun, the foreign student or to the Starbucks barista? Will the Olympic experience unfold as community-strengthening activity or a headache of disruptions and an overflow of tourists?

To take part, simply tweet like you normally do and use the #citizencurators hashtag. Ultimately by following typical tweeters the team want to collect streams that document peoples’ lives in London during the Games in a way that reflects the normal use of social media, not something out of the ordinary.

For further details, see:

Design Diplomacy seminars

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Two very interesting panel discussions taking place this week, as part of the Design Diplomacy series associated with the International Architecture and Design Showcase in Westminster’s P3 gallery at Marylebone.

Expanded Territories
Thursday 5th July, 2.00–4.00pm

This colloquium invites the audience to engage in a gallery talk and dialogue with participants of the Ambika P3 International Architecture and Design Showcase around questions of architecture’s role in (de)colonization, social (re)construction, national identity formation, human development and global (dis)integration in their countries. Participants include: Phillip Luell, Zahira Asmal, Bryan Bullen, John Allsop and Kevin Talma

Post-Colonial Legacies: South Africa and Namibia
Friday 6th July, 6.00–8.00pm

This panel discussion will exchange knowledge, ideas and experience about the agency of design (urban, architectural, industrial, fashion, graphic) in transforming life in cities in Namibia and South Africa since the end of apartheid. These will include questions of design’s agency in overcoming socio-spatial legacies of the past; design’s complicity in the recolonisation of cities by neo-liberal and market forces; the impact of mega events on host cities and priorities for design education to meet contemporary challenges. Panelists include: Marion Wallace, Guilermo Delgado, Diana Mitlin, Zahira Asmal, Yvette Gresle, Lesley Lokko and Philip Luehl.

For further details go to:

Nuclear Criticism

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Great piece by Chris Daley in the new online journal Alluvium about nuclear criticism. Here’s the first paragraph:

In 1984, the journal Diacritics set out to define what it labelled as the developing academic terrain of ‘nuclear criticism’. The opening section of the journal entitled ‘Proposal for a Diacritics Colloquium on Nuclear Criticism’ established that ‘critical theory ought to be making a more important contribution to the public discussion of nuclear issues’ and proceeded to list a series of nuclear themes that required immediate consideration. Among these were an examination of the nuclear arms race and the ‘dialectic of mimetic rivalry’ it provoked, ‘the power of horror’ and most pertinently ‘the representation of nuclear war in the media as well as in the literary canon’. This last topic was all the more powerful for a mid-eighties audience as the early years of the decade had seen a re-emergence of nuclear anxieties that were reminiscent of the fears twenty years earlier during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and his subsequent verbal assaults on the ‘evil empire’ of the Soviet Union, energised the ferocious ideological divide between the two superpowers that had ebbed and flowed in intensity throughout the Cold War. Meanwhile, in both the United States and Britain a variety of cultural and media productions speculated on the consequences of such intense political rhetoric. While these texts were predominantly non-canonical and therefore often overlooked by the nuclear critics, they nonetheless question and evaluate the purpose of the nuclear referent in the political power struggle of the Cold War.

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