The issue of outer space and orbital debris has from the outset been one of exclusion (e.g. non-spacefaring nations, women, and other minorities). However, the risk that space waste poses calls for inclusive and interdisciplinary thinking as well as a different understanding of time. This afternoon is an attempt at doing so as we engage with a journalist and poet, a space archaeologist, and a space law expert to answer questions about the future of space and space waste and our relationship to both. We’ll explore why space exploration and colonisation hold such a tight grip on our imagination, as well as issues of responsibility and accountability, and how artistic expressions (e.g. literature, performance, art, etc) can potentially reframe the dominant narrative and help create (public) awareness.
Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology and author of the award-winning book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019). Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, and space habitats. In collaboration with NASA and Chapman University, she is part of a team conducting the first archaeological study of the International Space Station. She tweets as @drspacejunk and blogs at Space Age Archaeology.
Marjolijn van Heemstra studied theology with the aim of becoming an arbitrator. Before getting there, she got into theatre which led her to work as a poet, writer, journalist, theatre- and podcast maker instead. Her poetry has won various literary prizes and her latest novel has been translated into eight languages. Marjolijn van Heemstra has been writing for De Correspondent since 2019. Her focus is on how space can help us look at the Earth differently. Her more recent book on this them, In lichtjaren heeft niemand haast, will be published later in May. She also regularly makes podcasts (Sør (2018), Stadsastronaut (2019), De Binnenbühne (2020)) in which she takes the listener along on her quests.
Frans G. von der Dunk holds the Harvey and Susan Perlman Alumni / Othmer Chair of Space Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s LL.M. Programme on Space, Cyber and Telecommunication Law since January 2008. He also is Director of Black Holes BV, a consultancy in space law and policy, based in Leiden. Moreover, Von der Dunk has acted as legal advisor or legal task manager in more than 130 projects, advising various government agencies and international organizations as well as a number of non-governmental organizations and industrial stakeholders on matters of space law and policy, including major space applications such as satellite navigation, remote sensing, and private commercial spaceflight. He has has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the Social Science Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and the Social Science Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). He was a signatory of the ‘Asteroid 100x Declaration’, together with various Nobel Prize winners, dozens of astronauts and cosmonauts, and other luminaries from the global science and entertainment community.
Kimberly Peuling (moderator) has been an intern at SPUI25 since January 2021. She is currently completing a research master in cultural analysis at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Her research focuses on the environmental and socio-political implications of orbital debris and the imaginaries of past and future spatial infrastructures. In addition to her studies and traineeship, she is a teacher assistant at the UvA, editor-in-chief and web design coordinator at Soapbox Journal for Cultural Analysis, and a member of the events committee of the Benelux Association for the Study of Art, Culture, and the Environment (BASCE).
In collaboration with
(*please note that the date above is the publication date, not that of the event)
Thursday 17th June, 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.
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.
This is a free online event but please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom and movie details.