To read



04.2018 #1

Last week, we looked at how ‘borderless’ ecological systems – water and climate – directly influence conflict and humanitarian crises. Linda Ciesielski facilitated the conversation around the urgent environmental issues of our age reflecting on a film by Jennifer Baichwal, documentary filmmaker, and photographer Edward Burtynsky titled Watermark (2013). We discussed land rights, territoriality, the sovereignty of indigenous peoples and role of states in protecting natural resources from corporations. Afterward, we touched on the issue of global aid based on location, culture, and privilege in regard to affirmative methodologies.  

This week we will read a text by Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh on Eastern Postmodernism.

From the cover: 

The insurgent, the poet, the mystic, the sectarian: these are four modes of subjectivity that have emerged amid Middle Eastern thought’s attempt to reverse, dethrone, or supersede modernity. Providing a theoretical overview of each of these existential stances, Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh engages the views of thinkers and artists of the last several decades, primarily from Iran, but also from Arab, Turkish, North African, Armenian, Afghani, Chechen, and Kurdish backgrounds. He explores various dimensions of the Middle Eastern experience at the threshold of the postmodern moment, including revolutionary ideology, avant-garde literature, new-wave cinema, and radical-extremist thought. The profound reinvention of concepts characteristic of such work—fatalism, insurrection, disappearance, siege—provide unique interpretations and confrontations with the modern period and its relationship to those who presumably fall outside its boundaries of self-consciousness. Expanding the conversation, Mohaghegh contrasts the impressions of the Middle Eastern figures considered with those of the most incisive Western thinkers of modernity, such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Baudrillard, to offer an original global vision that crosses the East-West divide.


Reading materials:

  1. Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh: “Insurgent, Poet, Mystic, Sectarian: The Four Masks of an Eastern Postmodernism” (Chapter 1: Insurgent: 1. Theorizing the Insurgent: Otherless Subjectivity, Radical Coldness, and the East-West Matrix + 2. Images of Resistance: Media, Modernity, and the Machine Within Iranian Revolutionary Ideology)
  2. Michel Foucault, “Security, Territory, Population” (18 January 1978)

Link to Download texts (Changing each time)



Going Back to Materiality Exhibition, Eloy Cruz del Prado and Jessica Escobar Suárez
Red May Opening, Helsinki, Alkovi Gallery (29.05.2018 @16:00)


Date: Sunday 15.04.2018, 18:00 – 20:00
Address: Helsinki Airport – Call 0417537605 if you get lost


Photo: The White Meadows, directed by Mohammad Rasoulof and edited by Jafar Panahi.


✳︎ ✳︎ ✳︎
We are open to collaboration and joint projects. The reading conversations are usually carried on collectively. We are not reading the selected texts during the meetings, but focusing on the conversation about the subject. The topic of each month’s reading varies based on the collective interest. We are reading books, essays, and other materials in topics regarding contemporary art studies, politics, philosophy, criticism, poetry, etc. If you would like to join, just come in (free and open to all).
Feel free to bring your friends.