Promised Land

  • Promised Land Symposium Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Ulrike Guérot: Keynote Speech Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Promised Land Symposium Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Tobias Zielony on “Europe from Outside and Within” Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Jemima Montagu, Bisan Abu Eisheh and Phoebe Boswell on “Home and Belonging” Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Promised Land Symposium Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Promised Land Symposium Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Nanna Heidenreich, Emeka Okereke and Tobias Zielony on “Europe from Outside and Within“ Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
  • Nikolaj Bendix Skykum Larsen on “Displacement“ Photo: © Nikola Zelmanovic
Following on from a sold-out panel discussion at the ICA in October 2016 our one-day symposium Promised Land in December 2016 provided a unique platform for artists, curators, writers, intellectuals and experts to address the promise of Europe as a place of human rights, security and prosperity; and the Europe of borders, refugee camps, populism, and heightened nationalism.

Speakers included Professor Ulrike Guérot (European Democracy Lab; keynote speech) who has a positive proposition for a new radical version of democracy; artist Tobias Zielony talking about his work The Citizen for the German pavilion at Venice Biennial last year, a self portrayal by refugees, rather than the ubiquitous accounts in the media of the ‘other’; Emeka Okereke, artist and initiator of Invisible Borders (Nigeria), whose work prompts an Afro-centric conversation about Europe, including an account of an overland journey crossing borders from Lagos to Sarajevo; Nanna Heidenreich, Professor of Digital Narratives at the International Film School, Cologne; Giacomo Orsini, conducting research into borders at the University of Essex; Palestinian artist Bisan Abu Eisheh, currently living in Glasgow, who suggests a shared awareness around the details often lost within grand narratives and tangible stereotypes, addressing questions about national identity, mobility, migration and socio-political injustices; Dutch video artist Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, who creates captivating visual responses to challenges within today’s society such as migration and disempowerment; and artist Phoebe Boswell, born in Kenya, a childhood in the Middle East before coming to London, who will explore the meaning of ‘home’ and belonging. 

Following works of art framed and led the narration of the event: screenings by Christoph Schlingensief (Foreigners Out! Schlingensief's Container, 2002), Nina Katchadourian (Accent Elimination, 2005) and Philip Scheffner (Havarie, 2016) as well as the premiere of Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen’s new audio installation Quicksand, imagining a future UK where people flee via the same routes currently being used by refugees coming to Europe.

Read more about the symposium in Alex Quicho's blog story: The European Project - Promised Land No More?

Listen to the presentations of the invited panelists at our symposium:

Keynote: Ulrike Guérot: The European Republic is under Construction
 
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Panel 1: Europe from Outside and Within, speakers: Nanna Heidenreich (chair), Emeka Okereke, Tobias Zielony
 
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Panel 2: Displacement, speakers: Michaela Crimmin (chair), Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Giacomo Orsini, Nanna Heidenreich
 
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Panel 3: Home and Belonging, speakers: Jemima Montagu (chair), Bisan Abu Eisheh, Phoebe Boswell
 
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Presented by the Goethe-Institut London in partnership with Culture+Conflict and Central Saint Martins.

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