Joyful Militancy on the 1st of May
Syllabus reading group #1
May 1st, 2020, 7 - 9 pm (CET)
Together with the Ghent book club Other Women's Flowers, Kunsthal Gent organises a monthly reading group around Jesse Jones' Syllabus. Join us online on Friday May 1st at 7pm (CET) for a live reading collage of several chapters from 'Beyond the Periphery of the Skin' by feminist activist Silvia Federici.
You’re very welcome to join the reading or listen in - also in case you do not manage to read the text beforehand. Please bring 3 to 5 images of the body as a place of joyful resistance. We will collage the images into the live reading of the text. Serve yourself with food and wine, and prepare for 2 hours of joyful militancy!
This session will be hosted by Other Women’s Flowers, artist Jesse Jones and feminist researcher Sigrid Vertommen (UGent). One participant will be joining us from inside Jesse Jones’ work in Kunsthal Gent: the space formed by a monumental curtain with an image of Silvia Federici’s left arm, where the reading group would take place if we would not be in lockdown.
Register at firstname.lastname@example.org: we will send you a pdf of the text and a link to the meeting (until we find a better application for meeting online while sharing images, we’re using zoom.)
We will read together the introduction (pp 1-5); chapter 10 - In Praise of the Dancing Body (pp 119-124), and the Afterword - On Joyful Militancy (pp 125-128). You can obtain the book from Kunsthal Gent or here.
Book review: “Silvia Federici shows how capitalism has captured our bodies and proposes possibilities for reclaiming and recreating them to resist the present and prefigure the future.”
Introduction: 8 minutes with Silvia Federici
Silvia Federici is a feminist, writer, teacher, and activist. Her research and political organizing accompany a long list of publications on philosophy and feminist theory, women’s history, education, culture, international politics, and the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalisation and for a feminist reconstruction of the commons.
Jesse Jones is a Dublin-based artist and teaches visual arts at the TU Dublin School of Creative Arts. Her practice crosses the media of film, performance and installation. She often works in collaborative structures and investigates how historical examples of shared culture can play a role in our current social and political experiences.
Other Women’s Flowers is a beehive, a book-club and an artistic playground. It was born out of the wish to share, discover and discuss the written work of women, and to do so in a celebratory, playful way. Our dinner gatherings are a moment to share literary enthusiasm, debate contemporary challenges and rethink solidarity, one book at a time. Everyone is welcome to join the gatherings.
Sigrid Vertommen is conducting postdoctoral research on the political economy of global fertility chains at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University. She is particularly interested in understanding women's role and participation in the bio-economy as egg vendors and surrogates through the lens of reproductive labour.
Syllabus: In January 2020, Jesse Jones’ work Syllabus opened in Kunsthal Gent: a monumental curtain that when pulled, fills the space with an image of Silvia Federici’s left arm. As agreed in a contract signed on the opening, the work is to stay in the exhibition space for 5 years, on the condition that Kunsthal Gent will host a monthly reading group or related event inside the circle that is created by the work. The contract foresees that ‘Events may be postponed where necessary due to unforeseen circumstances including, but not limited to, acts of God or enemy, earthquake, fire, or flood, riot, war or civil commotion, trials, examinations, pestilence, epidemic or accusations of demonic possession.’ A facsimile of the contract is available from Kunsthal Gent.
Image: Carla Besora, the Dance