AFTER HOPE READING GROUP @ASIAN ART MUSEUM (SAN FRANCISCO)

Facilitated by Collective Çukurcuma (Naz Cuguoğlu, Mine Kaplangı, Serhat Cacekli) and Padma Dorje Maitland.

A horizontal learning space for deep-listening, a purposefully uncomfortable cocoon, a possibility, an intimate glitch. In this reading group, we will discuss the dialectic qualities of hope and fear, while approaching “after hope” as an alternative methodology for our times.

When the world is on fire, both literally and metaphorically, where does hope hide? How does one find it in the dark, inside or outside? Is there hope in the chaos of an orange apocalypse as described by Etel Adnan in Arab Apocalypse? Can poetry save us from surpassing disasters as Jalal Toufic and Bifo asks in their work? How does ecofeminist writer Donna Haraway’s notion of “staying with the trouble” offer new ways of imagining invisible tentacles through which to engage a world always in transition? Can the speculative-fiction of Ursula K Le Guin and Octavia Butler inspire us to work for alternative futures? Is hope available to everyone? 

Each session will focus on a specific set of short readings and will be moderated by a facilitator who will help guide conversation and help record key ideas and questions that emerge during the discussions. Articles will be shared before each meeting so that participants can prepare beforehand. Moderators will also take notes during the meetings, recording the questions that arise and themes that emerge. Session notes will become a score to be shared at a public event in the spring. 

To participate, please RSVP through the link below:

https://www.afterhope.com/reading-group-registration

TIME TABLE AND READING LIST:

SESSION 1:
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7
6PM PST | 9AM+1 HKT

Gayatri Spivak, “The Rest of the World” in Hope: New Philosophies for Change, ed.Mary Zournazi (London: Pluto Press, 2002). 

Isabelle Stengers, “A Cosmo-Politics, Risk, Hope, Change” in Hope: New Philosophies for Change, ed.Mary Zournazi (London: Pluto Press, 2002).  

Clarice Lispector, Água Viva (Cambridge: New Directions, 2012).

Discussing Questions; 1. What does “slowing down” mean to us and to the times we live? (Especially the times during and after the pandemic) 2. Discuss how each text criticise “hope” in their fields? 3. What comes after the hope? Is hope a privilege? 4. What does Spivak mean by “crisis as hope”? 5. Talk about “lack of imagination” and its aftermath. 6. Re: the relation between Spivak’s “infrastructural labor” and “slowing down,” what is the infrastructure that is needed for us to slow down? 7. What does “false-hope” mean? 8. How does Stengers differentiate between possibility and probability? 9. Compare and contrast three writers in relation to how they use their language freely, going against the hierarchies of their contexts.

SESSION 2:
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
6PM PST | 9AM+1 HKT

Introduction: Rebecca Solnit “Looking into Darkness.” Hope in the Dark (Nation Books, 2004).

Duggan, Lisa, and Jose Esteban Munoz. “Hope and Hopelessness: A Dialogue.” Women and Performances: A Journal of Feminist Theory 19, no.2 (2009): 275-83.

Trinh T Minh-ha, “Speaking Nearby: A Conversation with Trinh T Minh-ha,” Visual Anthropology Review, no:8 (1992): 82-91.

Discussing Questions: 1. What does ‘speaking nearby’ mean by Trinh T. Minh-ha? And what is its relation to indirect and poetic language? 2. What does “educated hope” means in Duggan & Munoz’s dialogue? And why hearing the terms ‘education’ and ‘hope’ irritate us? 3. What does Trinh T. Minh-ha refer with intersubjectivity and positioning oneself in relation to the world? Discuss this, especially within the contemporary art field. 4. What does Munoz mean by “hope is a risk”? 5. Discuss -“How do we transform and escape the conditions of neoliberal privatization and our own ‘family’ histories?” (Duggan, ps.279) 6. How do we receive ‘void’ in our lives? 7. Discuss – “Form and content cannot be separated.” (Trinh T. Minh-ha, pg.90) 8. “Living with negative means living with failure.” (Munoz, pg.281) Discuss the importance of the negative concerning ‘hope’ in all texts.

SESSION 3:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH
6PM PST | 9AM+1 HKT

Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Breathing: Chaos and Poetry (South Pasadena: Semiotext(e), 2018).

Etel Adnan, The Arab Apocalypse (Sausalito: The Post-Apollo Press, 1989). 

Etel Adnan, The Cost of Love We Are Not Willing to Pay (100 Notes, 100 Thoughts: Documenta Series 006, 2011)

Jalal Toufic, “Resurrecting the Arab Apocalypse STOP [THE WORLD]” and “Q and A” in The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster (California Institute of the Arts/Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater [REDCAT], 2009; Forthcoming Books, 2009).

Discussing questions: 1. Is there hope in the chaos of an orange apocalypse as described by Etel Adnan in Arab Apocalypse?  2. Can poetry save us from surpassing disasters as Jalal Toufic and Bifo asks in their work? 3. How does language relate to capitalism? 4. What does losing breath mean after George Floyd? 5. What does Toufic mean by “resurrection”? And how does that relate to “tradition”? 6. What is poetry? Discuss within Etel Adnan and Bifo Berardi’s texts.  7. Relate Etel Adnan’s “STOP” to the act of taking a breath. 8. What does Toufic’s “surpassing disaster” mean?  9. Can we build collectivity out of suffering?

SESSION4:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
6PM PST | 9AM+1 HKT

Donna Haraway, “Sowing Worlds” in Staying with the Trouble, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016). 

Octavia Butler, “Amnesty” in Bloodchild and Other Stories (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005).

Ursula K Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest (Berkeley: Berkley Books, 1976).Discussing questions: 1. How can we use speculative fiction to imagine alternative futures? 2. How can we use lucid dreaming as a methodology? 3. What is the role of an ethical dilemma? 4.Discuss how Donna Haraway’s “multispecies alliance” is the only possibility of recuperation. 5. What does “Sowing Worlds” mean according to Haraway? 6. How “living with others” manifested in all selected texts? 7. What type of methodologies we came across in the last sessions for how to imagine worlds we would like to live in? 8. Discuss Octavia Butler’s utopian hybridity and dystopia in Amnesty and Bloodchild

PUBLIC EVENT—NEW METHODOLOGIES:
THURSDAY, MARCH 4
6PM PST | 9AM+1 HKT

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