• Thomas Keenan at Summer School as School 2018
Thomas Keenan: How to make a Refugee: Human Rights and the Demand for Evidence

Thomas Keenan at Summer School as School 2018
July 30, 2018, 20:00
Venue: Boxing Club

Summer School as School
July 16 – August 2, 2018

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is pleased to announce the presentation “How to make a refugee: human rights and the demand for evidence” by Thomas Keenan, part of Summer School as School 2018 Public Program.

The condition of the refugee is not simply a status or an experience, but a claim and a construct. And refugees are made not just by the conditions that force them to flee but by the response of others to that flight. Claims require the presentation of evidence and its consideration by an audience; this demand for narrative or self-exposure can seem at once like an interrogation or finally a chance to speak for oneself. Borrowing its title from a film by Phil Collins, and reading some of Hannah Arendt's reflections on being a refugee, this paper will examine the means by which the claim and the refugee is made: aesthetic, political, legal, narrative, and others.

Thomas Keenan teaches media theory, literature, and human rights at Bard College, where he directs the “Human rights project”. He has served on the boards of a number of human rights organisations and journals, including Witness, Scholars at Risk, The Journal of Human Rights and Humanity. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility (1997) and co-wrote Mengele’s skull with Eyal Weizman (2012). He is co-editor, with Wendy Chun, of New media, old media (2006, 2nd ed. 2015); with Tirdad Zolghadr, of The Human snapshot (2013); and the Flood of rights, co-edited with Suhail Malik and Tirdad Zolghadr (2017). He curated Antiphotojournalism with Carles Guerra (2010-2011), and It is Obvious from the map, a project on mapping and migration, curated with Sohrab Mohebbi, exhibited at the Istanbul Design Biennial and at Redcat in Los Angeles and currently on view in Zagreb.