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Interdisciplinary Performance Research Laboratories 2018

Shadows of the Dawn: Migration and the Indeterminacy of Community and Immunity

Coordinated by Johannes Birringer

Over the past two years, a few researchers at Brunel University London formed a working group – Transcultures-Survival (Hosts and Guests) – and began to network with others equally concerned with survival politics and a critical understanding of migration and hospitality.

The aim of the 2018 research workshops is to incite debate and knowledge exchange between fields – theatre, social works, education, human geography, political science, ethnography, media arts – on pressing questions regarding notions of imagined communities (originally argued in 1983 by Benedict Anderson) during the current resurgence of ethno-nationalism, exemplified by xenophobic hostilities, divergent responses to the so-called refugee crisis, Britain voting to leave the European Union, the election of Donald Trump, the rise of right wing populism on the European continent. During two symposia-workshops in April and June 2018, participant researchers and practitioners will consider interlaced thematic focal points that deal with community and immunity.

  • Natural History of Migration/Immunity and Biopolitics/Racism and Patriotism/ Institutional and Systemic Sexual Violence
  • Security, Nationness, Ethno-futurism, and the Theatre of Resistance

The planned activities include scholarly presentations / shorter provocations, workshops and practice-based performances or fieldwork demonstrations (film) to be presented over the two symposia in April and June 2018. The format and compositional method of the Series are intended to be open and innovative as well: curatorial propositions will be solicited from invited guests and volunteer participants. The event is open to the public and anyone interested in the subject, and it is free of charge.

Performance Research Seminar Coordinator: Johannes Birringer 

Symposium 1 - Wednesday 18 April 2018

13:30 Arrivals and Welcome - Artaud Performance Center, Brunel University London

14:00 Opening Address

  • Johannes Birringer, DAP-Lab, Theatre, Brunel University London
  • Maria Kastrinou, Anthropology, Brunel University London

14:15 – 16:00 Workshop 1

  • Yohai Hakak (Social Works, Brunel University): Muslim Parenting Discourses in the West: Democracy and Psychology for Maintaining Communal Boundaries
  • Emma Wainwright (Education, Brunel University): ): Social housing: stigma, welfare and dependency
  • Anne Chappell (Brunel Department of Education): Institutional responses to supporting victims of sexual violence.

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 -18:15 Workshop 2

  • Anders Kreuger (Senior Curator, MHKA Antwerp) “Ethno-Futurism” [not confirmed]
  • Goran Sergei Pristas, BADco. Zagreb (Croatia) “Time Bombs, and Institutions need to be constructed”
  • Tomislav Medak, BADco./ Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University: “Time Bombs, and Institutions need to be constructed”
  • Daniele Rugo (Brunel) film project on refugees (both Syrians and Palestinians in Shatila and Bourj Hammoud)

18:15 Refreshments

18:45 -21:00 Workshop 3 and Performance

  • Workshop: conducted by IraqiBodies
  • Presentation: Rite of Exile by Iraqi Bodies, directed by Anmar Taha and Josephine Gray (Gothenburg, Sweden)* 

* Iraqi Bodies' visit is supported by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee 


Lambros Pigounis performing in Sacrificial Mirror [The Ritual], Off-Europa Festival, Leipzig 2017


Symposium 2- Wednesday 13 June, 2018

13:30 Arrivals and Welcome - Artaud Performance Center, Brunel University London 

14:00 Opening Address:

  • Johannes Birringer, DAP-Lab, Theatre, Brunel University London 
  • Maria Kastrinou, Anthropology, Brunel University London

 14:15 – 16:00 Workshop 1 

  • Mark Neocleous Political Science, Brunel University London) Imagined Immunities 
  • Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths) End of Man – dealing both with 'the shadows of the dawn' in the sense of the finalist narratives about human extinction and a new tomorrow, and with community and immunity via the analysis of the current turn to populism and of the various forms of social “encystment.” 
  • Fuad Marei (Freie Universität Berlin) on resistance geography

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 -18:15 Workshop 2 

  • Maria Kastrinou (Anthropology, Brunel University) The guests of Lesbos: Hospitality among Syrian refugees in Greece
  • Adam Ramadan (Human Geography in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Birmingham University)
  • Effie Plexousaki (Social Anthropology, Lesbos, Greece) 
  • Mariza Dima (Film/TV/Media/Games Design, Brunel University) Draw My Life: a volunteer run project that provides a set of tools for field workers, the humanitarian community, and the public to understand, visualise and share the experience of refugee children.

18:15 Refreshments 

18:45 -21:00 Workshop 3 and Performance 

  •  Caridad Svich (playwright, New York) ), Fereshteh Vaziri Nasab (playwright, Frankfurt), with Nilofaar Bijanzadeh (actress, Darmstadt), and Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso (director, London): on theatres of resistance, moderated by Johannes Birringer



The young school children in front of Art Arsenale, after performing in Letters to the Unknown Friend from New York, theatre installation, Kiev, Ukraine, 2017-18. photo courtesy of Olga Danylyuk 

Film: Olga Danylyuk (Ukraine): Letters to the Unknown Friend from New York (Children of militarized conflict)

Interactive Sound Art Performance:Lambros Pigounis (Greece): Sacrificial Mirror 


All Research Seminars are co-produced with dance-tech.net and the special DAP-LabTV: