Recent Contributions
20/05/2021    Instituting
Performing the Institution “As If It Were Possible”
Athena Athanasiou

What would it mean to think critically of the institution without evading its aporias? How to engage with and care for institutions while not being at home in them? In this text Athena Athanasiou develops a performative rearticulation of institutions as indeterminate sites of conflict and struggle.  She argues that to think and work with/in the institution against its biopolitical economy of normalization and disposability involves acting, in Jacques Derrida’s terms, “as if it were possible”. This “as if” defines a mode of keeping the question of the institution always open as an interminably aporetic call for another politics of simultaneous performing the institution and resisting the institution. In this sense, defending the public institution from neoliberal attacks is about defending not what already exists but rather what is yet to come.

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27/04/2021    Healing (Faju)
The Medicine Comes from the Poison
Yayra Sumah

In this essay, Yayra Sumah, one of the curators of the New Alphabet School’s HEALING edition, reflects on the role of ancestral knowledge in developing the program and how sharing knowledge can be a cause of re-traumatization as well as enable a process of healing. 

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15/04/2021    Instituting
Black (ante)heroism
Stefano Harney & Fred Moten

In 2018 Stefano Harney & Fred Moten’s friend Dr. Romi Crawford of the Art Institute of Chicago invited them to contribute to a consideration of the Chicago’s famous mural, the Wall of Respect. Dr. Crawford had already been working on keeping the memory of the Wall of Respect alive, and doing so by applying a kind of community-rooted analysis that is in keeping with the spirit of the collective of artists – the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) – who initiated the mural. More about the history of the mural can be found here. Moten and Harney take the mural as a point of departure to reflect on black (ante)heroism. read more