Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

The ‘Guava’ platform’s conceptual & practical movement and its part in social/political change

In the search of creating the most effective way to incorporate art with social-political change in the area, this research projects seeks to develop the “Guava”platform - its method and approach of action and its conceptual inquiry of movement and change.

Contact
Thalia Hoffman

“Guava” is a platform for ‘art actions’[1] challenging the possibility of free movement of residents and information, and the dismissal of borders in the Middle East. It practices political imagination involving the area of the Middle East and its residents through film, video, performance and community involved art. The platform spans a large number of works, including an geo-based website, a symbolic tour to Beirut, a short film and a radio broadcast.

The “Guava” platform creates and organises ‘art actions’directed at the residents of the area rather towards the regime or rulers of the area. The actions deal with interactions between people and are not merely about creating objects in the world. Action, claims Arendt[2], is the only activity which exists directly between people without the mediation of things or material.

The ‘art actions’ practice political imagination which stimulates physical and conceptual movement of language, identity and thought, challenging perceptions regarding one’s direct surroundings. They seek to establish new connections understandings between people and of ideas that transgress national boundaries. The political imagination invites discussions about living conditions that put aside the national issue and replace it with the concept of a shared place.

The platform creates actions in different artistic mediums in correlation to the specific context. Through the interaction with the action itself, or through participation in its outcome as viewers, a way to take part in significant social-political change might appear. By practicing ‘political imagination art actions’ the “Guava” platform seeks to open up a wholly new, unanticipated and unexpected engagement of art with social-political change within the area and its residents.

In the search of creating the most effective way to incorporate art with social-political change in the area, this research projects seeks to develop the “Guava”platform - its method and approach of action and its conceptual inquiry of movement and change.  The theoretical part of this research will investigate the concepts of movement and change - the poetics of movement in everyday practice and the philosophical discussions upon movement and its connection to change.


[1] The platform follows the distinction Hannah Arendt established between labor, work and action.
[2] The Human Condition, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1958

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