Exile Writing, Arts and Technologies of Women

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Abstract:

  • Workshop Statement
    The workshop takes place in four full days and is into four sections:
    1) “Reflections on Exile” – Woman’s I/Eye in In-Between Spaces
    2) The Castle of Crossed Destinies – a laboratory of digital photography on Istanbul
    3) Reading Visions: Women and Survival
    4) Digital Diaspora/ Diasporic Dance
    On the first day, in the morning, there will be the presentation of the general problematic, also in reference to psychoanalysis, and the following questioning: How does exile affect the feminine psyche? What does it produce in terms of dreams, delirium, nightmares? What links the experience of exile to memory? In the afternoon, the workshop will present and debate the technologies of  ‘photography’ and ‘video-art’ as the specific areas where female artists usually find hospitality for their creative re-elaborations of the experience of exile. The second day will be dedicated to the planning, production and editing (the gathering of material, narration, structure, discussion) of a ‘photo-story’ (participants are asked to bring along their own cameras, iPhones, smartphones, etc.) inspired by the novel by Italo Calvino, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, and  devoted to Istanbul. The participants will be invited to choose specific ‘in-between’ sites of city (stations, squares, the port, markets) that they will identify as places of transit, passage, encounters, in order to trace back their personal experiences (of loss, displacement, non-belonging, postponement) of inhabiting a foreign city. The third day will retrace this experience of narration in the area of video-art, with a focus on migration. The critical issues of this section will involve the critique of male realism, the post-colonial critique of the documentary, which are the elements that mark a new conception of the cinematic experience when directed by exiled female artists. Here, examples of this new form of contemporary cinema will be discussed in a ‘transnational’ perspective, also with an emphasis the female practice of transposition of literary texts into cinematic visions. On the fourth day, the workshop will focus on the re-elaboration of the condition of (digital) diaspora through two focal forms of communication: the use of blogs, youtube, facebook, etc. which countersigns the female experience of exile on the Internet and the digital experimentation in the art of contemporary video-dance. The last section of the workshop will be an open discussion on the results of the workshop, organized in the afternoon of the fourth day. In this occasion, the participants and the public will also partake in a discussion on the publication – on the blog (La lingua di Cleopatra – linguadicleopatra.wordpress.com) – of the devised photo-story.
    The main visualities will be:
    Photography:
    Shirin Neshat, Women of Allah (series)
    Newsha Tavakolian – www.newshatavakolian.com
    Video/Cinema:
    Deepa Mehta, Earth (1998) / Water (2005) / Videsh (2010)
    Trinh T.Minh-ha, Night Passage (2004)
    Shirin Neshat, Turbulent (1998) / Women without Men (2008)
    Reha Erdem, Kosmos (2009)
    Michelangelo Frammartino, Il dono (2003) / Le quattro volte (2010)
    Blogs:
    egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com
    atunisiangirl.blogspot.com/
    Video-Dance:
    Isabel Rocamora, Memory Release (2003) / Portrait in Time and Gesture (2005) Horizon of Exile (2006) isabelrocamora.org/home.html
    Literary Works:
    Italo Calvino, Il Castello dei destini incrociati, Torino, Einaudi, 1973, [Trans. by William Weaver, The Castle of Crossed destinies, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1977.
    Shahrnush Parsipur, Women without Men, New York, The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2004.
    Kenji Miyazawa, Milky Way Railroad, Berkeley, Stone Bridge Press, 2008.
    Bapsi Sidhwa, Craking India, Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 1991; Water, Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 2006.
    Riverbend, Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq, London and New York Marion Boyars, 2005.
    The bibliographical material will be available on the blog La lingua di Cleopatra, in the section entitled: Isea2011Istanbul.