Room C211, College Building, Hendon campus
The Professor in Visual Culture at the School of Art & Design delivers his inaugural lecture.
On The Ground: The Imprint of Abolition Democracy from Haiti to Occupy
In this presentation, I will use the frame of my ongoing work to explore my career's trajectory from visual culture to visual activism. I look at how abolitionists have claimed shared land for living, farming and to sustain democracy after moments of revolutionary transformation. I will break this up into sections from the Haitian Revolution, Reconstruction (1865-77), the Civil Rights Movement and the Occupy movement. It is the ground that holds the imprint of the commons. When abolitionists try to surrogate that moment into visual form, it creates a photographic commons, as I will show with lots of fun visual examples.
Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. From 2013-15, he is Professor of Visual Culture at Middlesex University, London (visiting). His book The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (2011) won the Anne Friedberg Prize for Innovative Scholarship from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in 2013. His Introduction to Visual Culture is in two editions and has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Czech and Korean, while The Visual Culture Reader that he edits is in its third edition and has been used worldwide. He has given keynote and invited addresses in recent years at the University of Cape Town, the Université de Strasbourg, the Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Annual Conference (2013), the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and at many universities in the United States such as Brown University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Rochester. His essay "Why I Occupy" was recently the subject of an international exhibition in Istanbul following the occupation of Gezi Park. A frequent blogger, he writes widely on politics and visual culture.