Symposium at Goldsmiths University and Birkbeck related to reading groups as a political format and the ongoing research on the "Trostsky Rehearsals/Proben zu Peter Weiss" organized in collaboration with Claudia Firth.

Birkbeck/Goldsmiths' Art Department, University of London
and The Field, New Cross.

Reading the Word, Reading the World

On Display:
The Aesthetics of Resistance*
25th - 27th April 2016

Research Symposium organized by Claudia Firth (Cultural and Critical Studies, Birkbeck) and Achim Lengerer (Art Depart­ment, Goldsmiths) in collaboration with Kristien Van den Brande (Art Department, Goldsmiths), Cristina Ribas (Art Department, Goldsmiths) and Vera Weghmann (Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, Nottingham University). The events will take place at both Goldsmiths' Art Department and Birkbeck, with an informal workshop session to be hosted at The Field, an alternative community space in New Cross.

Taking Peter Weiss’ historical novel The Aesthetics of Resistance as a loose starting point, the symposium will take a sideways glance at questions of how we might ‘read’ leftist historical narratives. While deferring an interrogation of the term resistance to a later point in time (and a further symposium in October at Birkbeck), we will follow a thread of collective learning and sharing knowledge and ask how subjectivity and politics might intersect through the process of ‘reading' together. One of our questions will be: how are these processes of collective ‘reading‘ organised and what can we draw from this collective experience for a contemporary artistic-activist praxis.

Events include: debates on the crossovers between work; education and workers’ education from a historical and a contemporary perspective; the reading group as cultural, social and historical form in relation to The Aesthetics of Resistance; the historical essay as exhibition and films by Peter Weiss; reading groups as a practice outside or at the margins of institutions; the interrelations between collective reading and political praxis.

Please download Symposium programme here:

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