Kooj Chuhan’s video art at Royal Geographical Society: ‘Buy This v3’

The Impact Of Diasporas is a day-long event on Thurs 17th September 2015, including Kooj Chuhan’s video art at Royal Geographical Society titled ‘Buy This v3’ alongside key seminar presentations and a set of other video art works all under the umbrella title ‘Doh Mix Meh Up.  http://www.migration.ox.ac.uk/odp/impact-of-diasporas-event.shtml

Buy This v3 - video installation art by Kooj Chuhan

Buy This v3 – video installation art by Kooj Chuhan

The event is the culmination and conclusion of two innovative, multidisciplinary five-year research programmes, generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. It will showcase the work of these two programmes and celebrate their achievements.

It will have an academic focus with four themed panels: ‘Home and Away’; ‘Lost and Found’; ‘Coming and Going’ and ‘Remembering and Forgetting’. Both programmes will present research in the panel discussions and the audience will have the opportunity to engage in debate around these themes.

Alongside the event itself, there will be extensive displays of work from each programme in the form of project posters, photo-essays and publication displays; artist’s pieces from the Doh Mix Meh Up exhibit; and an exhibition by the Royal Geographical Society that will display a selection of their extensive archival holdings.

Buy This v3

Refugees and ‘third-world’ migrants bring with them intimate and undervalued knowledge about climate change.  ‘Buy This’ juxtaposes such voices on one screen against another, over-saturated with colliding imagery of wars, colonial struggles, environmental upheaval and UK racism, overlaid with scrolling news messages.

For more about the Buy This v3, see http://metaceptive.net/buy-this-v3-video-installation-art/

Doh Mix Meh Up

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Progressive media: Poster Film Collective in the 80s and other online pieces

Selected posts by Kooj Chuhan during July or so on Metaceptive’s Facebook page :

Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s

Whose World Is The World by Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s. Any parallels now? http://poster-collective.org.uk/whoseworld/index.php
These posters were often in the youth clubs and community centres that we worked in, running creative, campaigning and discussion activities focused on anti-racist and suppressed historical ideas and knowledge. They gave a continuity in the environment that the people who used the building could continue to reflect on after the activities and workshops, in an immediate and visual way without too much text clutter. I really think we need this kind of stuff again in our physical environment, maybe the digital world makes us forget these possibilities?

Migrant crisis: tackle the cause and not the symptom?

The Chance Or Choice report suggests long term answer lies in foreign policy.
http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/842_new_research_shows_asylum_seekers_do_not_choose_to_come_to_the_uk
A key paragraph from the report:

refugeeCouncil_chanceOrChoice_1426518702

ADDRESSING THE CAUSES OF FORCED MIGRATION
Given the strength of evidence on the underlying causes of asylum flows, policy efforts should focus on the root causes of forced migration (conflict and human rights abuse) rather than policies intended to prevent and deter asylum seekers from arriving. This will require joined-up policy making at the UK and EU level in relation to the promotion of human rights, humanitarian action, development aid and trade and investment (Castles et al. 2003).
Download the full report here: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0001/5702/rcchance.pdf
A detailed read but it makes sense – unlike most of the media reports.

Colonialism, Africa, Sustainable Food, Environment

How did ‪#‎colonialism‬ affect sustainable food in ‪#‎Africa‬? ‪#‎WalterRodney‬ explains, connecting ‪#‎race‬ with ‪#‎environment‬. Essential for raising political and cultural consciousness.
http://www.walterrodneyfoundation.org/12th-annual-walter-rodney-symposium-biographies/

Exhibition by Shahidul Alam on indigenous women’s rights

Posters in the meeting room where Kalpana and her comrades used to gather. Khagrachori. CHT. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Posters in the meeting room where Kalpana and her comrades used to gather. Khagrachori. CHT. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Recent exhibition about Kalpana Chakma indigenous women’s rights activist in Bangladesh, by Shahidul Alam. Excellent!
Extract: “You had reminded us that a nation that fought oppression, could not rule by oppressing. That a people that fought for a language, could not triumph by suppressing another’s. That the martyrs who died, so we might be free, did not shed their blood, so we could become tyrants. That we who overcame the bullets and bayonets of soldiers, must never again be ruled through the barrel of a gun.”
http://www.shahidulnews.com/kalpanas-warriors – again, an example of artistic work towards cultural consciousness.

Murders of environmental activists in Brazil

Half the killings worldwide of ‪#‎conservation‬ ‪#‎activists‬ are in Brazil. Story of ‪#‎ChicoMendes‬ is inspiring http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/20/brazil-salutes-chico-mendes-25-years-after-murder   and vital to understand the continuing politics in Brazil today. Apart from this brief Guardian article I’d recommend reading the book “Fight For The Forest: Chico Mendes in His Own Words”.

Exxon-Mobil massively fund climate denial
Exxon-Mobil spent vast amounts of money over decades to promote ‪#‎climatedenial‬ . Can they be held to account? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/08/exxon-climate-change-1981-climate-denier-funding

Amnesty International on Israel’s civilian targets:
New forensic 3d modelling by Amnesty International shows Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza; tools for truth are always needed and this is a well put together media clip – good work.

https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/595303030611208

Black Women Matter:
100 years ago, Thomas Rutling was buried in Harrogate – he spoke out against the brutalities still endured by Africans in America after slavery. 100 years later & we are still speaking out – there must be hope for the future.
https://www.facebook.com/forharriet/videos/910802722299848

Does ‪#‎film‬ industry in UK have ‪#‎institutionalracism‬ rearing its ugly head? http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/does-britain-have-a-problem-with-race-when-it-comes-to-film-distribution-10364511.html
Some important arguments put forward in this article.

Revolutionary poetry in Pakistan
Awarded ‪#‎LeninPeacePrize‬, twice nominated for ‪#‎NobelPeacePrize‬, imprisoned in Pakistan, spend time with Yasser Arafat during exile, was a journalist in Soviet Russia, married and English woman, wrote about African independence during a trip to Kenya… Faiz Ahmed Faiz, he was a revolutionary poet of huge stature. I think he really needs some wider recognition outside Urdu poetry circles. (see example video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRVEfc5zcoE)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faiz_Ahmad_Faiz

Royal Family’s ties with Hitler and the Nazi’s are finally revealed.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/19/nazi-hitler-royal-family

Eye-opening video by the Quakers about the militarisation of schools, strongly related to national identity and foreign policy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgJ83yYIR1g

Silence Would Be Treason performance by Platform plus Footprint Modulation events weekend

Silence Would Be Treason / Footprint Modulation

performance, poetry, music, film event by arts-activists Platform on Sunday 28th June
+ weekend of events as part of the Footprint Modulation exhibition 27th-29th June
Justice campaign for Ken Saro-Wiwa; divestment from corrupt fuel; diaspora responses to climate refugees; miners and workers rights.  In partnership with the international conference ‘Human Migration and the Environment’ www.durhamconference.eu at Durham University

Silence Would Be Treason performance by PlatformFive events over three days 27th-29th June as a part of Footprint Modulation exhibition – art and interventions exploring climate change, global justice and human displacement www.footprintmodulation.net . Download PDF flyer-programme HERE .

SUNDAY 28TH JUNE (a great day out!)
7pm-11pm PERFORMANCE NIGHT: Oil, politics, poetry with a performance by Platform ‘Silence Would Be Treason’ and also Transition Durham – at EMPTY SHOP HQ
4.30pm-6.30pm DEBATE-DISCUSSION: Workers rights, migration, miners and climate change – at Miners’ Hall
2pm-4pm ARTIST PRESENTATIONS + DISCUSSION: Connecting migrant realities in the UK – at Oriental Museum

SATURDAY 27TH JUNE
2pm-4pm PANEL DISCUSSION: Art, Climate Change, Migration and Activism – at Durham Art Gallery

MONDAY 29TH JUNE
6.30pm FILM SCREENING + PANEL DISCUSSION: ‘EXIT’ film by Diller Scofidio + Renfro – at Appleby Theatre, Geography West Building, Durham University (free, but registration necessary at www.exitfilm.eventbrite.co.uk)

webcast-wendy-brown_sw+ LIVE WEBCASTS OF KEYNOTE CONFERENCE SESSIONS
29th June – 1st July

Selected keynote presentations will be webcast live! No special software needed.
http://metaceptive.net/footprint-modulation/webcast/

 

PREVIEW – Watch a short extract of the interview with Shahidul Alam on YouTube, right now:


  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC8GOonSSjI

FULL DETAILS BELOW (incl. performance by Platform):

 

How to find Empty Shop HQ

All venues easy to find except Empty Shop, this photo should help.

PERFORMANCE NIGHT: Oil, politics, poetry with Platform and Transition Durham
https://www.facebook.com/events/1842905645935669/

Sunday 28th June, 7pm-11pm at EMPTY SHOP HQ  35c Framwellgate Bridge, DH1 4SJ  www.emptyshop.org
Silence Would Be Treason: Between Nigeria and here by Platform
20 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa’s murder and Shell still haven’t cleaned up. Campaigner Jane Trowell (Platform) and poets Sai Murray and Selina Nwulu encourage you to ‘get the Bus to Nigeria’ to force change to happen in this performance by Platform.
+ De-Oiling Durham by Transition Durham
Screening of a film documenting their work to reduce Durham’s oil and fossil dependency plus live poetry from Mika Laiho and a discussion about local activism.

AlexRandall+DaveDouglass_lessWide_swWorkers rights, migration, miners and climate change
Sunday 28th June, 4.30pm-6.30pm at Miners Hall  www.durhamminers.org
Provocative debate where Dave Douglass (trade unionist, miners historian and writer), Alex Randall (UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition) and others battle out their positions, incl. a guided tour of the art works on show at the Miners’ Hall.

Connecting migrant realities in the UK
Sunday 28th June, 2pm-4pm at Oriental Museum  www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum
Presentations and discussion by artists Maya Chowdhry, Tracey Zengeni, Mazaher and Apu Chowdhury incl. guided tour of the art works.

artworks on show at Miners' Hall, Durham

Above image: artworks on show at Miners’ Hall, Durham

Art, Climate Change, Migration and Activism
Saturday 27th June, 2pm-4pm at Durham Art Gallery  www.dlidurham.org.uk
Gallery tour, talks and discussion with artist Kooj Chuhan, Alex Randall (UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition), Janet Stewart (Director, Centre for Visual Arts and Culture) and Andrew Telford (climate change researcher, Geography Dept, Durham University).

Diller Scofidio + Renfro 'EXIT' hiresAdj_s‘EXIT’ film by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (USA): Screening + panel discussion
Mon 29th June, 6.30pm at Appleby Theatre, Geography West Building, Durham University
Digital film-art visualising climate migration data, a recognised key work addressing the theme.   Free public tickets available online at www.exitfilm.eventbrite.co.uk .  A part of the ‘Human Migration & Environment’ conference  www.durhamconference.eu .

Footprint Modulation exhibition continues to 5th July www.footprintmodulation.net .

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ Diaspora Art incl. Buy This v3 by Kooj Chuhan

On 1st Nov, ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ Diaspora Art event and exhibition in Oxford explored Diaspora and Identity in Art, great work and a provocative panel discussion involving Dr Jennifer Langer, Sharelly Emanuelson, Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, Sunil Shah and chaired by Alpha Abebe.  I especially felt Kringelbach’s presentation developed very well both the strength and difficulties of the diaspora role in relation to a post-colonial framework.

'Doh Mix Meh Up' Diaspora Art Oxford 1st Nov 2014 'Doh Mix Meh Up' Diaspora Art Oxford 1st Nov 2014

Featured artists include: Pablo & Roxana Allison, Raymond Antrobus, Phoebe Boswell, Rosa Couloute, Scarlett Crawford, David Creedon, Afra Dekie, Sharelly Emanuelson, JJ Bola, Justice in Motion, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, Lynette Letic, Caroline Molloy, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, Miyuki Okuyama, Kajal Nisha Patel, Sharon Paz, Mikaela Toczek, Kooj Chuhan/Virtual Migrants and Clare Walter.

Curated by: Sunil Shah.

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ is a one-day international art exhibition and performance programme featuring artists and artworks selected from an open call entitled ‘Exploring Diaspora through the Arts’. The event brings together artist works, photography, film, spoken word poetry, theatre and a panel discussion as a way of exploring the varied and multifaceted experiences of those around the world who have moved from home to make a new life elsewhere.

Diasporas exist globally and include people with layered and diverse experiences. Art provides a means to express these complexities and creates a platform for alternative narratives, which often challenge existing power structures. Art also invites the viewer to engage with these narratives at a personal level and interpret the subject for themselves. The range of media and creative approaches on show here are as diverse as the people and stories being told.

Buy This v3 video art installation a part of ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ Diaspora Art

Of course, the exhibition included a presentation of video art by me, Kooj Chuhan / Virtual Migrants, titled “Buy This (v3)” on race-migration-climate issues which is itself detailed at this page: http://metaceptive.net/buy-this-v3-video-installation-art :

Buy This v3 video art by Kooj Chuhan at 'Doh Mix Meh Up' Diaspora Art Oxford 1st Nov 2014

 

Buy This (v3) by Kooj Chuhan – video installation art archived by Vtape (Toronto)

The 2-screen installation ‘Buy This (v3)’ created with support from Virtual Migrants as part of their Centre Cannot Hold ongoing exploration of climate imperialism, was re-formatted as a single screen artists’ video and toured Canada as part of the Monitor 9 programme by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto.  We now have this video installation art archived by Vtape, a non-profit distribution and resource centre in Toronto.  Vtape is the leading distributor for video art in Canada, established in 1980. They represent a collection of over 5000 titles, accessible to artists, curators and educators.

Buy This (v3)  by Kooj Chuhan - video installation art archived by VtapeThe original ‘Buy This (v1) installation was more complex and interactive, exhibited at The Arnolfini in Bristol (2009) as a part of the ‘C Words’ exhibition about climate justice. This later non-interactive video-based version (v3) was premiered at the first Platforma Festival in December 2011 as a proper 2-screen installation followed by Manchester’s local Chorlton Arts Festival in 2012, and then in 2013 toured a few venues in Canada courtesy of South Asian Visual Arts Centre (Toronto) as part of Monitor 9 with the two screens compiled into a single screen for ease of exhibition, and then also at No.W.Here Gallery in London.

BuyThisV3_MG_7055_sAlthough this work has been screened as a single video stream, it is best viewed using two separate projectors as an installation because the intention is that the two screens loop at different rates so that the imagery juxtaposition continually changes.   Here is the original description of the work:

Buy This (v3) video installation 

by artist Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan, 2012, a part of an ongoing exploration by Virtual Migrants artists’ group

Year of completion: 2012
Country of production: UK
Running time: 6 mins 20 secs as a continual loop

Refugees and ‘third-world’ migrants bring with them intimate and undervalued knowledge about climate change.  ‘Buy This’ juxtaposes such voices on one screen against another, over-saturated with colliding imagery of wars, colonial struggles, environmental upheaval and UK racism, overlaid with scrolling news messages.

An exploration of how environmental change is integral to the economic and political forces bringing about human displacement and racial inequality, and a continuation of the “Centre Cannot Hold” project discussing climate imperialism and the violent commodification of humans and the environment.

Increasing numbers of people in the UK are sceptical of man-made climate change, outnumbering those who accept climate change as man-made.  Many local members of refugee communities have recent personal experiences and observations from their originating countries which are able to testify to environmental change.  By enabling local refugees to express first-hand observations from countries they have recently migrated from, collaborating with scientists and social scientists to discuss their data, local people can intimately appreciate changing conditions in other countries.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to raise discussion in the UK about the global connections between race and climate, and also how they may impact on issues such as asylum in Europe and the West.

The media-saturated culture which we in the western world inhabit is a facet of a wider approach to (over-) consumption which has become the norm, and which is fundamental to ideas of maximising economic growth with the resultant process of murdering the planet’s resources and bringing about climate devastation.  More than this, the arts, media and cultural sectors is largely complicit in nurturing false illusions and political amnesia, this ‘soft’ consumption of particular cultural and aesthetic meanings actually forms our ways of thinking, seals our disconnections, and this video work taunts the viewer to Buy This.