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Event Information

Emeric Lhuisset: Last Water War, Iraq, 2016
Dates of Event
22nd June 2017 – 23rd June 2017
Last Booking Date for this Event
8th June 2017


Land/Water and the Visual Arts research group summer symposium

This two-day symposium will offer an insight into artistic practices that engage with concepts of territories within contemporary culture. 

Possession is a necessary condition when space is framed as ‘territory’, whereas landscape may be considered in purely aesthetic terms. When landscape is territory, we can think of a ‘territorial gaze’, a possessive look of privilege, of ownership, of control, with an implied need to defend or conquer that bounded space. Territory, therefore, is always political, a situation of power relations.

Territorial claims are the source of multiple conflicts globally in the twenty-first century and the cause of population displacement, exacerbated by environmental and climatic challenges: rivalries over national and intra-state boundaries are a major cause of disputes; minorities within a nation or sovereign state may stake claims for independence, against the wishes of the controlling power; at a local level, issues of territorial ownership occur amongst neighbours, between humans and non-human animals, and within and across species. The edgelands that may exist between the lines that mark territorial spaces are also of interest, as these create a liminal zone within borders, offering potentialities for exploration and hybridity.

In choosing this theme for our 2017 Land/Water and the Visual Arts symposium, we offer a critical space for sharing perspectives and experiences as creative practitioners and interdisciplinary researchers, in order to explore notions of ‘territories’ and what this might mean for us.

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