Now I’m back in the UK, I’m able to return to contributing more regularly to Red Pepper magazine – a vital outlet for non-partisan leftist debate and analysis. I’ve been involved with the magazine for ten years, and am proud to be a member of the Editorial Collective.
My commissioning focuses on Culture. As we move to a quarterly publishing cycle, I’m embracing a different theme for each issue. This gives us the chance to take a deeper look into topics rather than an overview. I will also be writing a regular column introducing the section.
This month, following a summer of World Cup fever, our Culture theme is: Football. Other sections of the magazine focus on The World Transformed and new socialist trends across Europe.
Working through an intense lead-in time of just under two months, we launched our exhibition Exchanging Cultures of Equality to an extremely positive response from GlobalGRACE project partners and the general public alike.
You can explore the exhibition in detail through the dedicated website, which I made to act as a virtual guide and archive. It includes a behind-the-scenes gallery and video overview of the exhibition, as well as audio features and detailed explanation of the conceptual grounding for the project.
We will continue building on and experimenting with these concepts as we move towards our larger-scale, multi-sited ‘Global Museum of Equalities’ exhibition, scheduled to open in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2021.
Proud to see our co-authored, academic-activist collaboration “Centering Intersectional Politics: Queer migration activisms ‘after marriage'” included in this brilliant book – one in a three-volume series exploring queer politics, experience, and activism in post-‘marriage equality’ USA. Co-authored with my continuously brilliant colleagues/co-conspirators Jara Carrington, Claudia Cojocaru, Jamila Hammami, & Marzena Zukowska.
To my mind, this is what publicly engaged academic work looks like: collaboration, and co-authorship, and articulating how theory underpins our social justice work. Given the rapidly evolving cultural and political context in the USA, such approaches seem more pressing than ever.
On June 3, 2018, I presented recent research at “Art, Materiality and Representation” a conference co-hosted by the RAI, SOAS, and the British Museum. I was invited to join the panel “Conflict and Activism“, and to discuss my research on how art-making practices have shaped social justice community spaces in Washington DC, alongside a group of fascinating academics and artist-practitioners. These self-reflective and theoretically innovative papers prompted me to think more deeply about concepts of “failure”, the long-term impact of arts programming “interventions”, sketching as research method, and community-created spaces as politically transformative. Continue reading
On May 1st 2018, I started my new role as Postdoctoral Early Career Researcher in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am joining an exciting, four-year project with team members spread around the world, all addressing “gender and cultures of equality” through collaborative work between researchers and NGO/activist partners. The project is called GlobalGRACE, and it launches officially on June 29 – join us for the reception if you’re in London.
My role over the course of the project will include both ethnographic research as well as a great deal of hands-on curation, which marks somewhat of a departure for me as a scholar, while feeling like a natural progression given my work on creative, interactive, visual, and exhibiting projects over the years. I’m excited to see where it will lead.
I am also quite overjoyed to be living back in the UK after seven productive yet challenging years in the United States. I’m particularly grateful to the faculty, staff, and students at Georgetown University for their excellent company and support over two excellent years. I am sure I will miss teaching – but for now, on with the research!
After a short hiatus, we’re back with a new bite-sized overview of a key concept in anthropology: feminism. I spoke to Dr Christa Craven about the foremothers and groundbreakers in feminist anthropology, and about the politics of citations.
Over the past year, I’ve been working on a collaborative experimental film project with interlocutors who identify as LGBTQ+ and are asylum seekers or asylees. Our aim has been to take journeys through local “gaybourhoods” or “villages”–areas renown for being LGBT-friendly. We discuss what thoughts and memories these spaces evoke while moving through them, allowing our conversations to meander in step with, and in response to the built environment.
I shared initial findings at the recent EASA “Media and Mobilities” workshop, and am honored that our work has been featured as part of the “Representations of Displacement” series on the excellent AHCR-ESRC-sponsored Refugee Hosts project website. We’re in great company: entries in the series each address the politics and (un)intended consequences of particular tropes and mediums for representing experiences of displacement, and most offer compelling and creative alternatives in an effort to “disrupt humanitarian narratives”. The collection is vital reading for those of us engaged in creating and/or perpetuating images and imaginaries in this realm.