THROUGH THE RUINS: TALKS ON HUMAN RIGHTS & THE ARTS 1 is the inaugural volume in a series of publications dedicated to exploring and engaging with innovative art practices that challenge human rights violations and grassroots activism that uses creative tools of resistance.
This volume comprises talks given by eight such activists and artists in the spring months of 2021 at the Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College (CHRA) and through the Open Society University Network, a group of forty universities around the world. Introduced by scholars and curators, their presentations draw, delve and expand into what it means to be alive right now in protest, art, act and song. And, too, fellowship, which seems resonant between the speakers, who include: Faustin Linyekula (Kisangani); The White Pube (London); Cassils (LA); Emily Johnson (New York); Border Forensics (London); Ashmina Ranjit (Nepal); Mark Sealy (London); and Hamed Sinno (Philadelphia).
Fawz Kabra writes, “In their own ways, all the presenters are in fact moving through inherited ruins, each proposing something generative and transformative. Their projects, experiments, and actions are driven by a collective desire to shapeshift and maneuver in the spaces between. They ask how we can work in between the mechanisms of oppression and create new imaginaries where renewed language and perspective grow out of our interwoven journeys.” These paths are further explored in an edited transcript of the audience’s responses and questions for the “artivists.” The sense of exchange, performance and declaration is further enhanced by the collection’s emphatic typography and bold design, including headline types that themselves form a primer to:
“The rising stomp. Exchange, an underneath. The vibratory lift. Their names rip through me, I breathe beyond the capacity of my lungs, some people call this endurance. And I meet it—Endurance, again and again and again; endurance I call survival, I call refusal, I call demand, I call wailing, I call thriving, I call healing, I call future, present.” (Emily Johnson, from “Land and an Architecture of the Overflow”).
This is a co-publication between Station Hill Press's imprint Natus Books and the Bard College Center for Human Rights and the Arts.
Literary Nonfiction. Art. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
THROUGH THE RUINS is edited by writer and curator Fawz Kabra, cofounder and director of Brief Histories, an art gallery and publishing platform based in New York. Kabra has served as assistant curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York and has curated exhibitions at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit; BRIC Arts and Media House, Brooklyn; and Art Dubai Projects. Her writing has been published in Art Papers, Canvas, Ibraaz, Protozine, and Ocula. Kabra earned her MA at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2013.