The October school was conducted as part of the network initiated by the IFCAR Institute for Contemporary Art Research at ZHdK Zürich, in which The Shiv Nadar University is a partner. The October School (Convened by Associate Professors Sharmila Samant and Tushar Joag and conceived, curated and organized by Associate Professor Tushar Joag) brought together 32 participants of which 17 international participants were from the partnering Universities namely Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg, South Africa and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico.
‘Emotions in the public sphere’ what one wears, utters, eats, or the performativity of religion/regional identity/ethnicity/race /caste, sexuality or gender may open up issues of varying perceptions of identity that compete. Texts and images as they circulate in the public domain have an affect which as Sara Ahmed says ‘aligns subjects with collectives by attributing ‘others’ as the source of our feelings’. The October School explored these phenomena and studies based on examples, methods and strategies for art to influence public debate and opinion building. The various modules explored 4 areas:
- Antagonism and Intolerance (in the public sphere). Does conflict and dissent ruin the democratic public sphere or is it an essential component?
- Affect and Power (in the public sphere). Is power conducted by thought and language or is it as Sara Ahmed calls an “affective economy” rather than a set of ideas.
- Narrative of Othering : Gender/Race/Caste/Religion/sexuality (in the public sphere) The way images are reproduced in the public domain, create communities and categories of the ‘other’
- Emotions on web2.0
The eminent educators who conducted the modules were: Prof. Shiv Visvanathan, (Vice Dean Institution Building, Jindal Global Law School) Dr. Lawrence Liang (Alternative Law Forum, Dean, School of Law, Governance and Citizenship Ambedkar National University) Jeebesh Bagchi (Artist, Raqs Media Collective) Prof. Hilal Ahmed (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) Prof. Amitesh Grover (Artist, National School of Drama) Sudhanva Deshpande (Actor and Director, Jana Natya Manch) Shubigi Rao (Artist and Writer) Anand Patwardhan (Independent Film Maker) Dr. John Xaviers (Art Theorist) Premjish Achari (Curator and Writer) Prof. Deepak Mehta (Head, Department of Sociology (SNU) Prof. Urmila Bhirdikar (Department of Sociology, SNU) Prof. Aniket Jaaware (Department of English, SNU) Prof. Akhil Katyal (Poet, Department of English, SNU) (Prof. Akhil Katyal also curated 'Who lies beneath your Spell Tonight': an evening of poetry and Prof. Ashwin Ramanathan curated a package of films for the October School.)
The 10 day October School was programmed as interactions and learning modules in various formats such as lectures, group discussions, workshops and actual hands on engagement.
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