Tag Archives: Global South

A Punkspat: The Geo-politics of the New South Ripple

Rev. Dr. William Barber and Kane from the Sacrificial Poets

Rev. Dr. William Barber and Kane from the Sacrificial Poets

The South in our discussion mainly relates to lands in the southern hemisphere but at the same time they are influenced by theories from the Global South. I however wonder if we should include the important influence from the American deep south, after all the oppressed peoples in those States are mainly suffering from the intergenerational trauma of their ancestors being torn from the South. Nor can we exclude the pervasive influence of the Civil Rights movement on the political thought of the South. To designate the American South as only belonging to the Northern political theory sphere, I would argue is a misrepresentation of the peoples. Rather it is a reflection of the experience of the South caught in the borders of the North. And we must remember much of the movement was influenced by Ghandi. So it was perhaps one of the most famous South South theoretical transfers.

So I would suggest that we also consider the political activities in the Deep South in the Moral Monday rallies which are lead by the charismatic black reverend William Barber and are slowly but surely gaining momentum across North Carolina. The important element in this demonstration is the use of the word ‘moral’ in an era of blatant gluttony by the 1% of the global population. I would suggest that the most pressing issue is a moral issue in which we must consider the future of the young and not leave behind a pre French Revolutionary lifestyle of social division in which up to 90% of the population were peasants.  But most importantly in relation to that era we must remember that five years before the revolution the Icelandic volcano caused havoc that bought about famine and refugees. The impact unravelled Europe and caused revolution that spread to the Americas.  Once again we are seeing the aftermath of an Icelandic eruption of 2010/11 followed by austerity measures.  We still don’t really know the continuing environmental and economic impact of that eruption, but Europe does seem to be on the verge of something. However, we must also remember how many people from The South are caught up within those borders as refugees and their voices must not be dismissed in our discussions due to their geo-positioning.

I would also like to develop this point of geo-positioning. This may seem like popularism by some, but as Naomi Kline argues, it is up to social commentators to realize that leadership and social protest is no longer the way it used to be. ‘Bring me your leader’ is for the old boys. Even major Venture Capitalists such as Julie Meyer are trying to educate the Goliath industries that the – top down ‘big stick’ – approaches are ineffective, if they want to harness innovation which is born of the internet generation. We must remember the Goliaths were not born of the internet but came to it late in life and are therefore not hardwired to the intellectual and ‘savvy’ way of operating in an networked business landscape. A disadvantage as we have seen with the US intelligence industry. It may be able to put us all in a surveillance cage but there are a lot of up and coming keyhole pickers with a moral conscience out there and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this up and coming generation of cyberpunks who actually care.

So our understanding of the South, on one hand, may need to take into account the ‘domestic south’ in influential countries like the US. And on the other the surveillance cage we are all in now. As Assange warned this is the last ‘free generation’ before the surveillance becomes all pervasive. And as Julie Meyer recommends we need to consider the new types of social contracts we want before technology leads us into unchartered waters.

If anything there is a dissolving of the hemispheres in the internet generation which sees itself more laterally and borderless including those without access who appear to use the mobile phone in a similar way. Life is beyond physical borders or maps and instead we may be seeing the rise of generations that relate to their local space with a global perspective, rather than a hemisphere dominated and nation bound mentality of the 1%. The 1% goliaths may have power for now, but it is slowly with the help of Nature and her unpredictable behaviour moving the other way and perhaps this is the very reason surveillance has become global because that is actually were we are heading or have arrived.

However, we also have another geo political dilemma in that the BRICS nations are made up of countries that consider themselves as part of the Global South, and they are the new Goliaths of the planet in search of riches just as much as the Westerner, but perhaps a bit more politically savvy in the way they do it. So my contribution at the beginning of this discussion relates to geo-positioning and the rising moral protests coming out of The New South of the USA and its ripple effect across the domestic South within the BRICS nations.

Having said all that however, I do think there is something deeper going on which relates to land, for you find that in the Southern hemisphere the South is the place of privilege, in that they are more developed e.g. South Africa, Chile, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand as against say Senegal, Bolivia or Vanuatu.  Whilst in the Northern hemisphere it is the North which is less privileged e.g. the Arctic Circle, Siberia, the Far North of Canada. Therefore which way do our theories flow, which way will they ripple out?

Photo source: Justin Valas on Flicker for noncommercial reuse

Southpaw–a literary left-hook from the Global South

Issue 1: displacement

Southpaw is a punchy new literary journal that will feature the voices and perspectives of writers from the South. Entering into dialogue with artistic communities across the South, it means to develop links, provoke conversation and share knowledge. Launching in 2011 from Melbourne Australia, it will feature fiction, creative-nonfiction, cultural commentary, essays, poetry, drawings and other graphics from writers and artists in the South.

Southpaw is currently looking for submissions in each of the above categories: short fiction, creative nonfiction, commentary, poetry, drawings, and essays up to 3000 words.

The first issue of Southpaw will be shaped by the experience and idea of ‘displacement’ – a theme with which Southern communities are especially familiar. But this is not necessarily to imply a negative encounter with change or trauma: displacement (in practice and thought) also suggests new possibilities and positive challenges that enliven thinking and burst into creative expression. Southpaw is looking for contemporary voices in all forms of writing. The energy of the South and the alternatives its many cultures and individual creativities offer today will be a challenge and antidote to the traditional sources of cultural influence and activity.

Please make your submission in Word by 30 April 2011.

Email your writing or drawing to: [email protected]

Alison Caddick, for Southpaw editorial group

On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South

Wiebke Keim, from Institut für Soziologie (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg) announces a  new research project around Europe’s relation to the Global South:

We are happy to announce the launch of our international project  ‘Universality and the Acceptance Potential of Social Science Knowledge: On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South’. Four interconnected research projects are going to be carried out in the next four years and at same time we will be supporting and  complementing one another.

Our studies focus on the following ambivalent phenomenon: on the one hand, the European research area and its achievements still enjoy a high standing outside of Europe. On the other hand, the worldwide influence of the European theoretical tradition is increasingly being perceived as dominant, and European social science’s claim to universality is, as a result, seen as overbearing and presumptuous. By investigating this field of tension, we aim to obtain innovative ideas for the future positioning of the European scholarly community and its successful activity within the internationalized field of social sciences.

This endeavour has been made possible above all through the funding of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research  (German:  BMBF) within the ‘Free Space for the Humanities’ funding initiative on the subject of  ‘Europe Viewed from the Outside’. The  Institute of Sociology at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg has agreed to act as a home for our project. Our international advisory board will support us scientifically: Prof.  Hermann Schwengel and Prof. Sabine Dabringhaus from the University of Freiburg, Prof. Jìmí O. Adésínà of Rhodes University as well as Prof. Ari Sitas from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Assoc. Prof. Syed Farid Alatas from the National University of Singapore, Prof. Monica Budowski from the University of Fribourg  in Switzerland, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ecevit from the  Middle East Technical University  in Turkey, Dr. Terry Shinn from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne/CNRS  and Dr. Roland Waast from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)  -  Ex  ORSTOM  in France. In addition, at present four  researchers are associated to the project: Dr. Miriam Nandi (English studies), Dr. Paruedee Nguitragool (Political Science) und Barbara Riedel (M.A., Social Anthropology) from the  University of Freiburg, as well as Dr. Sabine Ammon (Philosophy and Architecture) from the Technical University Berlin. Twelve Fellows from around the world are also going to work with us here in Freiburg, each for several months, in order to promote the international and interdisciplinary scholarly exchange of our project. We will be welcoming our fellows to Freiburg beginning in April 2011.

CIHA Colloquium Second Call For Papers

South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH)

Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA)

Colloquium, organised by SAVAH under the aegis of CIHA, to take place at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 12 – 15 January 2011.

Other Views: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South

CIHA has recently been addressing concerns about the unequal distribution of resources around the globe and challenges from post-colonial societies to the older methods and concepts of western art history. At the CIHA congress in Melbourne in January 2008, one of the key issues for discussion was the extent to which we need to re-think the discipline of the history of art “in order to establish cross-cultural dimensions as fundamental to its scope, method and vision”. SAVAH proposes continuing these discussions in the colloquium ‘Other Views: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South’ to be held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in January, 2011.

A principal focus of the discussions, with particular reference to South Africa, will be how the study of art from the African continent is often impeded by a totalising notion of an undifferentiated ‘Africa’. This belies the histories, political trajectories and regional differences of its many communities, nations and states. The focus offers opportunities to pose questions such as: What is the counter point to the homogeneous ‘African art’ label? How can art history in an African context challenge traditional western art history with regard to notions of authenticity, individuality, artistic processes, methods and theories? What are the discourses of indigenous people’s art practices, and what is the importance of early indigenous art for a history of art in South Africa and elsewhere? In what ways, and under what circumstances, can objects previously defined as ‘craft’ or ‘utilitarian’ be incorporated into the domain of ‘art’? How is ‘heritage’ understood, collected and displayed? What are the ideologies behind collecting, patronage and restitution, and the use of objects, buildings and spaces? How do we negotiate questions of identity and culture in an increasingly ‘global’ world? What do we choose to study and why? How do we teach that which we choose to study?

These questions have relevance in South Africa, Africa and the Global South. The Global South in this context is a cultural construct rather than a geographic term. It refers to communities and artistic production, throughout history and across nations, which, within the dominant narratives of western art, have been ignored, marginalised, displaced and appropriated. The Global South may include eastern bloc artists largely unknown to the west during the Cold War, items traditionally regarded as women’s work, First Nation peoples in Canada and indigenous people in South Africa, communities whose cultural artefacts were appropriated for the universal museum of the west, and people who have neither the power nor money to write their own art histories. We do not envision covering all aspects and areas of Africa and the Global South, but we shall use the Global South construct as a framework to focus on Africa and in particular South Africa. The aim is to complicate the history of art and the relationship between histories in the Global South and the ‘north’ or ‘west’.

We plan six plenary sessions over three days, with provision for graduate students to participate, possibly in parallel workshop and poster sessions. We invite proposals for papers that address any of the general rubrics outlined above. We will be accepting proposals for panels until the end of December 2009, and abstracts for individual papers until March 2010. Individual abstracts sent to the Organising Committee will be forwarded to the relevant panel convenor(s) to be considered for inclusion. Potential presenters will be informed of the outcome of their proposals by the beginning of June 2010.

Abstracts, up to 250 words in length, must be submitted in English, and must include the author’s institutional affiliation and relevant contact details. The final length of individual papers must not exceed 3,000 words, in order to fit into the strict 20 minute time limit per presentation.

Proposals should be sent to the Chairperson of SAVAH, Dr Federico Freschi at [email protected]

SAVAH/CIHA Committee comprising Dr Federico Freschi (SAVAH Chairperson); Karen von Veh (SAVAH Past Chairperson ex officio); Dr Jillian Carman (SAVAH Vice-Chairperson)
Johannesburg
July 2009

Other Views: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South – Call for papers

South African Visual Arts Historians (SAVAH)
Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA)

Colloquium

Organised by SAVAH under the aegis of CIHA, to take place at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 12 – 15 January 2011

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

Other Views: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South

CIHA has recently been addressing concerns about the unequal distribution of resources around the globe and challenges from post-colonial societies to the older methods and concepts of western art history. At the CIHA congress in Melbourne in January 2008, one of the key issues for discussion was the extent to which we need to re-think the discipline of the history of art “in order to establish cross-cultural dimensions as fundamental to its scope, method and vision”. SAVAH proposes continuing these discussions in the colloquium ‘Other Views: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South’ to be held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in January, 2011.

A principal focus of the discussions, with particular reference to South Africa, will be how the study of art from the African continent is often impeded by a totalising notion of an undifferentiated ‘Africa’. This belies the histories, political trajectories and regional differences of its many communities, nations and states. The focus offers opportunities to pose questions such as: What is the counter point to the homogeneous ‘African art’ label? How can art history in an African context challenge traditional western art history with regard to notions of authenticity, individuality, artistic processes, methods and theories? What are the discourses of indigenous people’s art practices, and what is the importance of early indigenous art for a history of art in South Africa and elsewhere? In what ways, and under what circumstances, can objects previously defined as ‘craft’ or ‘utilitarian’ be incorporated into the domain of ‘art’? How is ‘heritage’ understood, collected and displayed? What are the ideologies behind collecting, patronage and restitution, and the use of objects, buildings and spaces? How do we negotiate questions of identity and culture in an increasingly ‘global’ world? What do we choose to study and why? How do we teach that which we choose to study?

These questions have relevance in South Africa, Africa and the Global South. The Global South in this context is a cultural construct rather than a geographic term. It refers to communities and artistic production, throughout history and across nations, which, within the dominant narratives of western art, have been ignored, marginalised, displaced and appropriated. The Global South may include eastern bloc artists largely unknown to the west during the Cold War, items traditionally regarded as women’s work, First Nation peoples in Canada and indigenous people in South Africa, communities whose cultural artefacts were appropriated for the universal museum of the west, and people who have neither the power nor money to write their own art histories. We do not envision covering all aspects and areas of Africa and the Global South, but we shall use the Global South construct as a framework to focus on Africa and in particular South Africa. The aim is to complicate the history of art and the relationship between histories in the Global South and the ‘north’ or ‘west’.

We plan six plenary sessions over three days, with provision for graduate students to participate, possibly in parallel workshop and poster sessions. We invite proposals for papers that address any of the general rubrics outlined above. Proposals should be sent to the Chairperson of SAVAH, Dr Federico Freschi at [email protected].

SAVAH/CIHA Committee comprising Dr Federico Freschi (SAVAH Chairperson); Karen von Veh (SAVAH Past Chairperson ex officio); Dr Jillian Carman (SAVAH Vice-Chairperson); Judy Ramgolam (SAVAH Secretary)Johannesburg

January 2009