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Geographies of Freedom

June 17th, 18:00-20:00 CEST

Soapbox are delighted to present a screening of the film Geographies of Freedom developed by multimedia artist Miguel Peres dos Santos and researcher Egbert Alejandro Martina.

What is freedom and what constitutes a free life? How have architecture, the law, and geography been used to consolidate the spatiality of freedom? These are questions that are posed by the Geographies of Freedom research project, developed at Het Nieuwe Instituut. The eponymous film explores these themes by delving into the neocolonial ties of the multinational Shell and the Dutch Antilles through a compilation of archival footage.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the director Miguel Peres dos Santos, Prof Dr Yolande Jansen, Dr Floris Paalman, and Mikayla Vieira Ribeiro, moderated by Lijuan Klassen.

This is a free event but please RSVP to info@soapboxjournal.net to receive the film and zoom details.

The speakers

Miguel Peres dos Santos (°1976, Lisbon, Portugal) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By emphasising aesthetics, Peres dos Santos reflects on the closely related subjects of archive and memory. His works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilised’ selves. By using an ever-growing archive of found documents to create autonomous artworks, his works references post- colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

Mikayla Vieira Ribeiro is a student, educator, translator, and poet from Curaçao, and of Portuguese-North American descent. After receiving her BA in Black Studies and English from Amherst College (USA), she returned to Curaçao to teach middle school math and English. She is now doing her rMA in Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam where she focuses on (Dutch) Caribbean literature. She is a part of and has been highly influenced by several global grassroots communities fighting for social justice in education including Liyang Network (The Philippines and USA), Catalytic Communities (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Korsou Kontra Rasismo (Curaçao). Mikayla dreams of decolonial knowledge building and sharing, grounded in territory and community, especially within the Caribbean and its diaspora.

Floris Paalman is coordinator of the MA programme ‘Preservation & Presentation of the Moving Image’ at the University of Amsterdam. He teaches courses on film analysis, film history, film archiving & curating, and currently researches the archiving of political films. He holds degrees in filmmaking, cultural anthropology, and media studies.

Yolande Jansen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Special Professor of Humanism in Relation to Religion and Secularity for the Socrates Foundation at the VU University Amsterdam. She is the author of Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism; French Modernist Legacies (2014), co-edited The Irregularization of Migration in Europe; Detention, Deportation, Drowning (2015) and recently edited a special issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice (2020) about ‘Genealogies of “Jews” and “Muslims”; Social Imaginaries in the Race-Religion Nexus’ (with Nasar Meer). She has been teaching about political philosophy and the decolonial humanities at BA, MA and PhD levels. Yolande is currently working on a project in which a critique of religio-secular framing is connected to a decolonial approach to ecological crisis.

Lijuan Klassen (moderator) is a former research master student of Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. In her thesis, "Camouflaging Worlding in Worlds of Camouflage“ she explored the genealogical roots and speculative becomings of camouflage as a concept-object. She is committed to the more-than-human and de-colonial practices, and always uncertain about her own identity. She currently works at De Appel Amsterdam and seeks to further explore the field of contemporary art, as an in-between space for theory that is not academia.


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