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[image from unlearning documents (”the declaration of independence” aaa). from “potential history: unlearning imperialism”, by ariella aïsha Azoulay (Verso Books, 2019)]

summer reading group: potential history — unlearning imperialism
with clara marques
26 june — 21 august

join us for a reading group of ariella aïsha azoulay's book potential history: unlearning imperialism, a critical perspective on the history of photography, the imperial foundations of knowledge, and the structures of violence that rule our world. as a passionately urgent call for all of us to unlearn imperialism and repair the violent world we share, this book is a must read for those interested in thinking about images, archives, cultural institutions, history, human rights, and social justice.

by practicing what she calls "potential history", azoulay argues that we can still refuse the imperial violence that shattered communities, lives, and worlds, from native peoples in the americas to the congo ruled by belgium’s brutal king léopold II, from dispossessed palestinians in 1948 to displaced refugees in our own day. rather than looking for a new future, Azoulay calls upon us to rewind history and unlearn our imperial rights, to continue to refuse imperial violence by making present what was invented as “past” and making the repair of torn worlds the substance of politics.

each week, we'll read one chapter of the book and debate it together at aerial, exchanging ideas, doubts, references, and learning together. there is no need to have previous experience with the topic, or any formal education. All are welcome. the encounters will be mediated by clara marques, brazilian-italian art historian, art mediator and currently a student of the masters in visual arts at KMD.

To join the group, simply fill out this form and we'll send you a pdf of the book through your email: https://forms.gle/x2uqcVjjujo6PCRx8

wednesdays 10:00–11:30
26 june
3 july
17 july
7 august
14 august
21 august

about the author: ariella aïsha azoulay (tel aviv, 1962) is an award-winning author, art curator, filmmaker, and theorist of photography and visual culture. She is a professor of modern culture and media and the department of comparative literature at brown university and an independent curator of archives and exhibitions. some of her publications include death's showcase: the power of image in contemporary democracy (2001), The Civil Contract of Photography (2008) and From Palestine to israel: a photographic record of destruction and state formation, 1947–1950 (2011).