Feminisms is a research project by 98weeks that looks at feminist discourses throughout history, and their relation to critical discourses such as post- colonialism.

Where does feminism stand today in relation to broader social issues, particularly in the Middle East? How can gender politics blur the divide between macro (war and catastrophic events) and everyday life politics? How are feminist voices manifest in art and writing and how to think cultural and artistic production through such lens?

This research project unfolds and revisits feminist experiences of the past 20 years in order to reposition these experiences, whether linguistic, social or political, in the present.
*Scroll down for Arabic
Labour. Capital. Institution: A Forum on Feminisms - Full Program
Co-organised by 98WEEKS & Sidsel Nelund

2, 3 & 4 July, 2015
98WEEKS Research Space

Within the current research topic of 98weeks, A Forum on Feminisms focuses on labour and its relation to capital, domesticity and institutions. At this specific moment, there is a growing economy of domestic work and migratory flows significant not only for a Lebanese context. Simultaneously, Beirut is experiencing an increase in new art institutions and we see that women constitute a precarious part of the work force upon which the art world functions. 

As art institutions continuously reproduce this exploitation, we would like to critically ask: How can we think of underpaid women in the art world in the frame of a larger history of un(der)paid domestic work? To address this question, we have invited scholars, artists, activists, curators and researchers to focus on the topics of Capital and Institutions over two days. We wish to encourage engagement of participants and have allocated slots of open discussion at the end of each day. 98Weeks will also offer lunch and dinner on both days.


2 July 2015; 17:00 - 19:00
Reading Group of Silvia Federici's Essay:
The Reproduction of Labor-Power in the Global Economy, Marxist Theory and the Unfinished Feminist Revolution.

To sign up for the reading group, please write to info@98weeks.net

3 July 2015
10:45 – 11:00: Introduction by Marwa Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund
11:00 - 13:30 PANEL 1 
 “Domestic Work” 
With speakers Castro Abdallah, Agbor Lydia, Nayla Geagea, and Maya Mikdashi.
13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH BREAK
14:30 – 16:30 PANEL 2
 “Responses to Labour & Capital” 
With speakers Rosi Braidotti (pre-recorded interview), Haig Aivazian, and Laleh Khalili, with respondents Nadia Bou Ali and Brian Kuan Wood

16:30 – 17:30 OPEN DISCUSSION 

4 July 2015
11:00 – 13:30 PANEL 3 “Art Institutions" 
With speakers Marie Muracciole in conversation with Marwa Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund, Övül Durmusoglu, with respondent Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
13:30 – 14:30 LUNCH BREAK
14:30 – 16:30 PANEL 4

With speakers Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Nina Power, with respondents Nadia Bou Ali and Brian Kuan Wood. 

16:30 – 17:30 OPEN DISCUSSION

Castro Abdallah is the president of the General National Federation of Trade Union of Workers and Employees in Lebanon (FENASOL)
Haig Aivazian is a multidisciplinary artist and writer currently based in Beirut.
Marwa Arsanios is a Beirut-based artist and the co-founder of 98Weeks Research Project.
Nadia Bou Ali, PhD,
 is an intellectual historian and assistant professor at the American university of Beirut, and co-founder of the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research - BICAR. 

Rosi Braidotti, PhD, is a contemporary philosopher and feminist theoritician.
Övül Durmusoglu
 is a curator and writer based in Berlin and Istanbul. She is also the artistic director of Yama Project Screen in Istanbul. 
Nayla Geagea is an attorney, researcher, and cultural activist based in Beirut.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is a London-based artist whose practice explores nervousness as a form of institutional critique.
Laleh Khalili, PhD, is an author and professor of Middle East politics at SOAS, University of London.
Agbor Lydia is a member of the Migrant Workers' Syndicate in Lebanon.
Maya Mikdashi, PhD, is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University. She is a co-founding editor of the e-zine Jadaliyya.
Marie Muracciole 
is an art critic, curator, and the director of the Beirut Art Center since 2014.
Sidsel Nelund, PhD, (co-organizer) is an art writer and theorist living and working in Copenhagen.
Nina Power, PhD,
is a lecturer at the University of Roehampton and the Royal College of Art. She has written widely about politics, culture, philosophy and feminism.
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a writer and critic based in Beirut.
Brian Kuan Wood is a writer based in New York. He is an editor of e-flux journal.

Project coordinator: Zainab Nasser
Intern: Christian el-Helou


Panel 1: Domestic Work

Maya Mikdashi will elaborate an intersectional and structural view of gendered violence in Lebanon. This approach attempts to think critically about the ways that laws that regulate sect, labor, sex and citizenship produce and intensify the conditions of gendered violence in contemporary Lebanon.

Castro Abdallah and Agbor Lydia will talk about the labor conditions in Lebanon, and the legal battle to defend the migrant workers' right.

Panel 2: Responses to Labor and Capital

Pre-recorded interview with Rosi Braidotti

Haig Aivazian will talk about his involvement with Gulf Labor, an international group of artists, academics and cultural practitioners working to better the conditions of migrant laborers on Saadiyat island in Abu Dhabi.

Laleh Khalili: 
The New Spirit of Work

Lebanon in some ways represents the most strident aspects of late capitalism: minimal regulatory apparatuses; cursory limits on capital movements and investments; and extraordinary exploitation of unprotected and precarious migrant labour. The extent of such precarity is of course hugely reinforced by the class composition, gender and extent of racialisation of those engaging in this kind of work. In this talk, I will sketch these forms of precarious labour especially within the Lebanese art world and will discuss the ways in which gender relations –performances of gender rebellion in foreign public arenas; familial and kin connections; and gender-specific vulnerabilities of work- mitigate or intensify the effects of such precarity.

Panel 3: Art Institutions

Marie Muracciole in conversation with Marwa Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund

Ovul Durmusoglu: 
The Good Work

In the beginning of 2000s, the history of contemporary art in Turkey was interpreted as one of mothers and their bastard boys. The force brought by strong women artists such as Fusun Onur, Gulsun Karamustafa, Ayse Erkmen, Hale Tenger and Aydan Murtezaoglu to the scene was locked somehow to the fundamental metaphor of reproductive labour. On the other hand, Turkey's collective unconscious is conditioned by the omnipresent father figures, may it be the republic's founder Ataturk, the current president Erdogan, or the leader of the Kurdish political movement Ocalan. This is where the critical question for women in Turkey becomes not to speak as mothers only, but to be first liberated from the position of father's daughters or to speak from the position of fatherless daughters. Many women as artists, writers and curators have been currently working to keep contemporary art scene functioning, though almost none hold directorial positions in the institutions. There are influential women patrons who care about the future of the scene. However, such a picture is rarely discussed in detail. On the other hand, a left party in Turkey entered the elections with woman and man co-chairs. In the parliament 31 of their MPs out of 80 are women. With 98 women MPs in total, it is the highest percentage of women in parliament in Turkish political history. When contemporary art is a mirror image of post-democratic governments who mimic the erratic male genius artist behaviour, is the active political life the only way to fight for different visibilities? How can we produce unexpected positions of reproductivity for women beyond being the sacrificial icons? Tomorrow is the question.

Panel 4: Institutions

Nina Power: 
Resisting Work, Resisting Free Labour: Counter-Strategies to the Feminisation of Labour

This talk will address the co-optation of female labour under neoliberalism. It will discuss the way in which the so-called 'feminisation' of labour works as a double-edged sword to both incorporate more women into work and, at the same time, to devalue work itself - all work becomes women's work, that it to say, badly paid (if paid at all), precarious, thankless. It will discuss strategies for resisting this co-optation, with a particularl focus on the way in which the work of the artworld, and art institutions have become 'feminised' but at the same time remain almost completely hierarchical and patriarchal.

Sidsel Meineche Hansen:

The presentation will take the 8 min CGI animation Seroquel® (2015) as it’s starting point. On the basis of this recent work, I will speak about a broader shift in institutional critique introduced by Andrea Fraser’s ‘situationally specific’ performance work (for example: Offical welcome, 2001), which made it possible to consider the space of the body as a site of critique in parallel to the architecture of the art museum. The presentation will from here consider the intellectual and sensory system of the body as the primary site of analysis for examining nervousness as a form of institutional critique and a resistance towards turning oneself to human capital.

العمالة، رأس المال، المؤسسات: ندوة حول النسويات
تنظيم مشترك لـ"٩٨أسبوع" و سيدسل نيلوند
٢، ٣ و ٤ تموز/ يوليو، ٢٠١٥

ضمن إطار البحث الحالي لـ"٩٨أسبوع"، تركّز ندوة حول النسويات على العمالة وعلاقتها برأس المال، العمل المنزلي، والمؤسسات. يشهد الزمن الراهن نمواً في اقتصاد العمل المنزلي وتدفقات الهجرة، ليس فقط على المستوى اللبناني المحلي. كما وتشهد بيروت تزايد  في عدد المؤسسات الفنية حيث تشكل النساء العاملات الجزء الأكبر من القوة العاملة، التي يقوم عليها عالم الفن. في حين تواصل المؤسسات الفنية إعادة إنتاج هذا الاستغلال للعمالة، نسأل بحس نقدي: كيف يمكننا تقييم وضع النساء العاملات في المؤسسات الفنية بأجور متدنية في الإطار التاريخي الأوسع من العمالة المنزلية المجانية؟

لمقاربة هذه المسألة، تستضيف "٩٨أسبوع" عدد من المفكرين، الفنانين، الناشطين، القيّمين، والباحثين لمناقشة مسألة رأس المال والمؤسسات على مدى يومين. كما نرحّب بمشاركة الحضور وقد خصصنا لذلك حلقات نقاش عامة ومفتوحة  في نهاية كل يوم من أيام الندوة. تقدم "٩٨أسبوع" وجبتي الغذاء والعشاء على مدى اليومين.

٢ تموز/ يوليو - من الساعة ٥ إلى الساعة ٧ مساءً: 
دعوة مفتوحة: مجموعة قراءة لنصوص مختارة من كتابات سيلفيا فيديريتشي

للتسجيل في مجموعة القراءة، يرجى إرسال رسالة إلى العنوان الاألكتروني:  info@98weeks.net

٣ تموز/ يوليو
١٠:٤٥ - ١١ صباحاً: تقديم الندوة من قبل مروة أرسانيوس و سيدسل نيلوند
١١ - ١:٣٠ بعد الظهر

مناقشة ندوية ١"العمالة المنزلية"
 بمشاركة كاسترو عبدالله، أغبور ليديا، نايلة جعجع، و مايا مكداشي.
١:٣٠ - ٢:٣٠ بعد الظهر: استراحة غذاء
٢:٣٠ - ٤:٣٠  بعد الظهر:

مناقشة ندوية ٢: "ردود على العمالة ورأس المال"
 بمشاركة روزي برايدوتي (مقابلة مسجلّة)، هايغ أيفازيان، لالي خليلي، ناديا بو علي، و براين كوان وود.
٤:٣٠ - ٥:٣٠ بعد الظهر: نقاش مفتوح

٤ تموز/ يوليو 
١١ - ١:٣٠ بعد الظهر
مناقشة ندوية ٣: "المؤسسات الفنية" 
بمشاركة ماري موراكيول، مروة أرسانيوس، سيدسل نيلوند، أوفول دورموسوغلو، وكايلين ويلسون-غولدي.
٢:٣٠ - ٤:٣٠  بعد الظهر: استراحة غذاء
٤:٣٠ - ٥:٣٠ بعد الظهر:

مناقشة ندوية ٤: "المؤسسات"
 بمشاركة سيدسل مينيكه هانسن، نينا باور، ناديا بو علي، وبراين كوان وود.
٤:٣٠ - ٥:٣٠ بعد الظهر: نقاش مفتوح

كاسترو عبد الله هو رئيس الاتحاد الوطني لنقابات العمال والمستخدمين في لبنان (FENASOL)
نايلة جعجع هي محامية، باحثة وناشطة ثقافية مقيمة في بيروت.
هايغ أيفازيان هو فنان متعدد الوسائط وكاتب مقيم حالياً في بيروت.
مروة أرسانيوس هي فنانة مقيمة في بيروت ومؤسسة لـ"٩٨أسبوع"
ناديا بو علي هي مؤرخة فكرية ومحاضرة مساعدة في الجامعة الأميركية في بيروت، ومؤسسة مشاركة لمؤسسة
 بيروت للتحليل النقدي والبحث (BICAR).
روزي برايدوتي هي فيلسوفة معاصرة ومفكرة نسوية.
أوفول دورموسوغلو هي قّيمة وكاتبة مقيمة في برلين واسطنبول، والمديرة الفنية لـ"Yama Project Screen" في اسطنبول.
سيدسل مينيكه هانسن هي فنانة مقيمة في لندن تتناول أعمالها العصبية كشكل من أشكال النقد المؤسساتي.  
لاله خليلي هي كاتبة و أستاذة جامعية في جامعة لندن.
أغبور ليديا هي عضو في نقابة العاملات في الخدمة المنزلية في لبنان.
مايا مكداشي هي زميلة في برنامج ميلون لما بعد الدكتوراة في جامعة روتغرز، و مؤسسة مشاركة  للمجلة النسوية "جدلية".
ماري موراكيول هي ناقدة وقيّمة فنية، ومديرة مركز بيروت للفن Beirut Art Center.
سيدسل نيلوند هي كاتبة وباحثة فنية مقيمة في كوبنهاغن.
نينا باور هي محاضرة في جامعة روهامبتون و الكلية الملكية للفنون، لها العديد من الكتابات حول  السياسة، الثقافة، الفلسفة، والنسوية.
كايلين ويلسون-غولدي هي كاتبة وناقدة مقيمة في بيروت.
براين كوان وود هو كاتب مقيم في نيويورك، وكاتب تحرير في المجلة الدورية e-flux.

عنوان "٩٨أسبوع"
شارع أرمينيا - مار مخايل النهر
مقابل محطة المنار - الزقاق بين مطعم BODO و L'Osteria
الطابق الأرضى - مبنى الياس الحايك

OPEN CALL: Reading Group
Like a Thief in the Night: The Uneasy Encounter with Islamic Feminism
Co-Organized by 98Weeks and Dima Hamadeh as part of Beirut Art Center's roundtable program during the "Unfinished Conversations" exhibition
29 April 2015
98Weeks @ Beirut Art Center

The talk will be in Arabic with Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini's intervention in English. Translation will be available for non-Arabic speakers.

         Divorce Iranian Style (1998), directed by Kim Longinotto, Ziba Mir-Hosseini. video still

Reading Group:
29 April 2015; 4 - 7 pm

Roundtable With Lawyer Nayla Geagea, Dr. Ayat Noureddine & Dr. Ziba Mir Hosseini (via Skype)29 April 2015; 8 pm

As part of the third research project by 98weeks titled “feminisms”, Beirut Art Center will host a roundtable, co-organised with 98weeks and Dima Hamadeh, that invites a discussion around the relation between feminism and Islam. While Islam is variably one of the most enduring and active cultural, political and legislative constituents in defining the social and legal positions of women in the region, trends in Islamic feminism have in the past few decades presented a view about solving women’s problems that would necessitate a reform in the Islamic institution instead of totally denouncing it. This event will involve a closed reading group that will analyse a text chosen from one of the major figures of Islamic Feminism (Dr Ziba Mir Hosseini).

In the evening, Beirut Art Center will host a public conversation that will place the question of women’s rights in Lebanon within the theoretical, linguistic and legal argumentation of Islamic feminists as well as from the point of view of legal activists in secular organizations working on changing laws of nationality, domestic violence and others such as divorce and child custody.

In the 1970’s, when feminism emerged in the Birmingham Center for Cultural Studies (BCCS), Stuart Hall said: «Feminism had broken in like a thief in the night.» In one of the last interviews with him before his death, Hall admitted that he had committed a «serious mistake», yet, it was an indication. That terrible trip of the tongue, he confessed, would tell him: «When it comes to authority and power, you are not as transformed as you think you are or as you ought to be».

Is Islamic feminism met with a similar uneasiness today? Does the composite term designate an oxymoron as critics would have it or does this strand of feminism hold its legitimacy precisely on the grounds of confronting and engaging with Islamism as a political ideology and practice?

Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist, specializing in Islamic law, gender and development. She has a BA in Sociology from Tehran University (1974) and a PhD in Social Anthropology from University of Cambridge (1980). She is Professorial Research Associate at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, University of London. Dr. Mir-Hosseini is a founding member of Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family.

To access the reading:
Construction of Gender by Mir-Hosseini
مواطنة لا أنثى by Azza Shararah Baydun.

دعوة مفتوحة: مجموعة قراءة

مثل لص تحت جنح الظلام: قلق النسوية الإسلامية
تنظيم "٩٨أسبوع" و ديما حمادة
المكان: مركز بيروت للفن
الموعد:الأربعاء ٢٩ أبريل ٢٠١٥

مجموعة قراءة
الأربعاء ٢٩ أبريل ٢٠١٥، من الساعة ٤ إلى ٧ مساءً

ندوة عامة: مع المحامية نايلة جعجع، الدكتورة آيات نور الدين، و الدكتورة زيبا مير حسيني (عبر Skype)
الأربعاء ٢٩ أبريل ٢٠١٥، الساعة ٨ مساءً

في إطار المشروع البحثى الثالث لـ"٩٨ أسبوع" بعنوان "نسويات،" يستضيف مركز بيروت للفن طاولة مستديرة بتنظيم مشترك مع "٩٨ أسبوع" و ديما حمادة تطرح النقاش حول العلاقة بين النسوية والإسلام. الإسلام أحد المكونات الأكثر حضوراً واستمرارية في تشكيل الثقافة وتحديد مسارات السياسة والتشريع التي تحدد موقع المرأة الاجتماعي في المنطقة. انطلاقاً من ذلك، برزت تيارات نسوية إسلامية في العقود المنصرمة تحمل رؤى وتوجهات من قبيل الدعوة إلى إيجاد حلول لمشاكل المرأة انطلاقاً من الإصلاح في المنظومة الإسلامية بدلاً من محاربتها بالكامل على مستوى العقيدة. يتضمن هذا الحدث مجموعة قراءة مغلقة تتداول نصوص مختارة لإحدى الشخصيات الرائدة في النسوية الإسلامية، الدكتورة زيبا مير حسيني.

وتتخلل فترة المساء ندوة عامة مفتوحة تطرح مسألة حقوق المرأة في لبنان في إطار المحاججة النظرية اللغوية الحقوقية للفكر النسوي الإسلامي كما من وجهة نظر المؤسسات الحقوقية المحلية التي تضع تحركاتها في سياق توجه علماني وتتناول على وجه الخصوص قضايا الجنسية والعنف الأسرى وأموراً أخرى كالطلاق والحضانة.

عندما دخل الفكر النسوي إلى مركز برمنغام للدراسات الثقافية في السبيعينات من القرن الماضى، قال ستيوارت هول: "النسوية اقتحمت كلص تحت جنح الظلام." وفي آخر مقابلاته قبيل وفاته، أقرّ هول بارتكابه خطأً بالغاً، وإنما ذا دلالة. "ذلة اللسان تلك كانت تقول لي أنه عندما يصل الأمر إلى الحديث عن السلطة، تجد آنك لم تتغير كما خيل إليك أو بقدر ما يجب."

وهل يمكن وصف القلق حيال النسوية الإسلامية كما عبر عنه هول في السبعينات؟ هل الحال أن النسوية الإسلامية ليست سوى تناقض لغوي دلالي أم أنها تكتسب شرعيتها تحديداً من خروجها لمواجهة الإسلامية والانخراط في محاورتها كإيديولوجيا وممارسة سياستين؟


Imperfect Dance / Raqsa Naqisah Sarah Riggs Date: 1 April, 2015; 6 pm - 8 pm
Location: 98Weeks' New Venue

                                 Still from Six Lives: A Cinepoem, by Sarah Riggs
Sarah Riggs will talk about her work and latest project "Imperfect Dance," a dance project inspired by the dreams of the residents of Casablanca. Sarah Riggs and Aya Nabih, poets from New York and Cairo, interview people around the Source du Lion about the residents' dreams, and set these dreams to dance, both by movement interpretations by Riggs and Nabih, and with dancers from the Espace Darja. Short films are expected to emerge from this work, in post-production by TAMAAS.

If you wish to attend the talk, please write to info@98weeks.net, as places are limited.

Sarah Riggs is a writer and artist born and living in New York. "Pomme & Granite" will be Riggs' fifth book of poetry in English, and the bi-lingual poem "Chaque Dix Minutes" is her most recent publication in France. Riggs also translates contemporary French poetry into English. She co-directs the inter-art collective TAMAAS (www.tamaas.org) with writer and cultural curator Omar Berrada, and currently teaches at Pratt Institute. For more info, visit: www.sarahriggs.org

Feminism Reading Group: Session III (Nov 8- Feb 1) 
98weeks @ Marra.tein

98weeks is happy to launch the Feminism reading group’s third session. The first two sessions were respectively dedicated to experimental women literature, and arab and Islamic Feminism. The third session will address the relationship between the body, post-humanism, science-fiction, and the law.

Please contact us if you wish to attend the coming sessions and for access to the dropbox for the readings.

Hosted by Marra.tein Yousef Jbeli st. Gorgonian building, 4th floor, Face of Azar market, Bayt Kata'ib Remil, Mustashfa Rum, Ashrafiehhttp://www.marratein.com/

Method/Assemblage/Work/Labor/Love Workshop 
With Pelin Tan & Önder Özengi & Brian Kuan Wood 
 23 & 24 July, 2014

Work/Labor conditions have over the past few years become one of the main discussions in the field of contemporary art. In many ways, this is absolutely comical as contemporary art finds itself to be the site of some of the most advanced forms of labor extraction and value inflation on the planet. Furthermore, the arguments we come across still tend to lean on the conceptual division between material labor and cognitive labor, on the institutionalization of labor in art and the fundamental precariousness of artistic labor, when in fact one of contemporary art’s greatest structural achievements has been its conflation and confusion of these very categories. The literature of Marxism and post-autonomia literature no longer fully connects to what is happening to artistic production, and to artists themselves.
Today, the profound ambiguity in how vital energies and productive forces are distributed throughout the lives and communities of people working in contemporary art poses a severe challenge to clarify how it actually works. How do we proceed to a methodology based in concrete cases and artistic production that can lead us to better analyze the heterogeneous economy of art work and labor in art?

The three day workshop “Method/Assemblage/Work/Labor/Love" with 98weeks, Brian Kuan Wood, Pelin Tan, Önder Özengi (LaborinContemporaryArt) is open to anyone is interested to work on mapping economies within the case study of 98weeks.

Wednesday July 23; 5pm (for registered participants)Introduction + Love as Labor / Brian Kuan Wood

Thursday July 24; 2-6pm (for registered participants)What is method assemblage of research of labor in contemporary art? / Önder Özengi & Pelin Tan ( http://laborincontemporaryart.wordpress.com)
Case study on in-situ mapping analysis on the heterogenous economy of 98weeks. Önder Özengi & Pelin Tan & Brian Kuan Wood

Thursday July 24; 7pm (open to the public)Conclusion/Discussion

Pelin Tan is a researcher in the project Like a Rolling Stone: Labor in Contemporary Art (2012­­–2015), which surveys working conditions in art. She is a member of the video collectives Artikİşler and videoccupy, and with Anton Vidokle she codirected 2084, the first in a series of video episodes on the future history of art/artists. Based in Mardin, Tan is Associate Prof. and vice-dean of Architecture Faculty of Mardin Artuklu University. Author of forthcoming book: ARAZİ/TERRITORY (Critical Spatial Practices, Edt.MM&NH, Sternberg Press, 2015)

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer based in New York. With Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle he is editor of e-flux journal.

Gender Talents
Talk by Carlos Motta Monday 

14 July, 2014; 8pm

Gender Talents — gendertalents.info, 2014 | carlosmotta.com | courtesy of the artist

GENDER TALENTS is an archive of documentary video portraits and a platform for events that engages discourses and movements for gender self-determination within trans and intersex communities.

GENDER TALENTS presents portraits of trans and intersex activists who thoughtfully perform gender as a personal, social, and political opportunity rather than as a social condemnation. Based on interviews conducted in Colombia, Guatemala,India and the United States the project seeks to expose the ways that international activists challenge the bio-cultural “foundations” of society and question gender norms from the perspective of sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and disability.

GENDER TALENTS documents the ways in which society conditions and regulates bodies and how gender activists build politics of resistance and action. From traditional Joggapa communities in India, to sex workers in Colombia and Guatemala, to intersex activists in the United States, these individuals and communities fight for state recognition, the right to self-determine their identities, self-govern their bodies, access to work, health benefits, and other pressing issues.

Carlos Motta is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognize suppressed histories, communities, and identities.

This event is produced with the support of Ashkal Alwan, as part of "Manufacturing or Rights" collective inquiry.


Reading Group: Feminisms
11 July - 29 August, 2014 
Every Monday at 6 pm

98weeks is starting its second chapter of a weekly reading group related to its current research topic “Feminisms.” The reading group will further 98weeks’ initial focus on the politics of the female voice, aural and written. It will engage feminists and female writers focusing on writers from the region, from the 1970s to the present, and probe an absent and under- written history of literary experimentation: how does the body—gendered and raced—influence narrative and more generally, the text? How does the female writer—whose voice was historically suppressed, silenced, ignored—driven to deconstruct the narrative and literary conventions that excluded her?

If you wish to take part in the reading group please get in touch: info@98weeks.net Regular attendance is preferable (not to say required)!

Montage In Writing Writing Workshop 
In the framework of HWP 2013-14 | Chapter Four 
11, 19, 23 April & 2 May
Please register with Ashkal Alwan HWP

Montage in film consists of an assemblage of separate filmed sections, which form a whole, no matter how fragmented. Sections are selected, pasted together, cut, deleted, and assembled. When working on montage, rhythm, sequence and visual resonances are considered, but the politics of montage resides in the way relationships between images are created. Hito Steyerl reflection’s on montage, underlines the politics of editing and assembling images as a way of developing a “grammar of the political”. To reflect on the latter, 98weeks proposes a writing workshop that will tap into its current research, Feminisms. We will look at montage in writing as a technique to express a female or feminist subjectivity, and look at what grammar—using conjunctions, syntax, and punctuation— writers have used in order to reorganize the relations between subject and object, politics and rhetoric.

The workshop’s starting point will be Steyerl’s text, The Articulation of Protest. Participants will be asked to produce material responding to the text, paying particular to the effects of conjunctions such as “and”, and, or, “or”. The workshop will look at different writing techniques related to “montage” in the work of authors such as Kathy Acker. The outcome will be a collaborative text collating materials gathered by the participants. Throughout the workshop, the writing process—from note taking to copy editing to the final stage of publication—will be reflected upon as a form of production.

Click HERE for more information

READING GROUP In the Framework of Feminisms 
7 March - 25 April, 2014
Every Friday at 6 pm 

98weeks is starting a weekly reading group related to its current research topic “Feminisms”. The reading group will further 98weeks’ initial focus on the politics of the female voice, aural and written. It will engage feminists and female writers, from the 1970s to the present, and probe an absent and under- written history of (western and non-western) literary experimentation: how does the body—gendered and raced—influence narrative and more generally, the text? How does the female writer—whose voice was historically suppressed, silenced, ignored—driven to deconstruct the narrative and literary conventions that excluded her? The reading group will look at authors whose work talk about the body, sometimes through the body, or who write through the body, without necessarily addressing it. In addition to the readings, we will listen to sound artists working with the same concerns. Theorist such as Sarah Ahmed, Nikita Dhawan, and Judith Halberstam will also be discussed.

Authors List (subject to modifications): Kathy Acker, Etel Adnan, Dodie Bellamy, Salwa Bakr, Caroline Bergval, Urvashi Butalia, Debbie Hue, Bernadette Meyer, Ritu Menon, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Ghada al Samman, Alawiya Sobh, Juliana Sphar, Kate Zambreno.
If you wish to take part in the reading group, please get in touch: info@98weeks.net
Regular attendance is preferable (not to say required)!

The Kenawy-Samman Correspondence: Reading Excerpts (from Fictional Histories of Feminism in the Arab World)
Talk by Rasha Salti 
In the framework of the research project Feminisms
NEW DATE: Wednesday January 29, 2014; 8pm

Piecing together texts and statements by and from artist Amal Kenawy, with excerpts from Ghada al-Samman’s published letters and short stories, Rasha Salti imagines an epistolary correspondence that can only be imagined. The project,Fictional Histories of Feminism in the Arab World is intended to lens critically on the conditions of production of knowledge, and the paucity of its transmission.

Amal Kenawy was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1974, she studied film and fashion design, at Egypt’s Cinema Institute and painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1999. While still a student, and for the next decade, she collaborated with her older brother, Abdel Ghany Kenawy, producing art works (sculptures, installations and videos). In 2002, she won the UNESCO Grand Prize at the International Cairo Biennale and started doing solo exhibitions. Her first notable video and performance piece The Room was included in her first solo show. Themes like marriage, death, memory, conformity, emancipation, prohibition, and identity permeate Kenawy’s work throughout her practice. Her practice was invariably centered on the body, conveyed a high degree of emotion, in the language of symbolism. Amal Kenawy sadly passed away in August of 2012 after a hard battle with leukemia at the age of 38.

Ghada Al-Samman is a Syrian writer, journalist and novelist born in Damascus in 1942. Her first book, Your Eyes are my Destiny, a collection of stort stories, was published in 1962. After earning a degree in English Literature from Damascus University, she moved to Beirut the following year to earn a graduate degree in Theater from the American University of Beirut. She worked as a journalist, and published her second collection of short stories, No Sea in Beirut in 1965. In 1966, while working as a foreign correspondent in Europe, she published Foreigners’ Nights, and in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, an article that would mark a turn in her writing titled “I Carry My Shame to London”. In 1973, her third collection, The Departure of Old Ports, is regarded widely as her most important work. A year later, her first novel, Beirut 75, was a penetrating lens into the city’s complex social conflicts, ominous of the civil war to come. Beirut Nightmares, published in 1977, chronicled life in the civil war. More books followed, The Eve of Billion, a novel, in 1986, The Impossible Novel: Damascene Mosaic, an autobiography, in 1997, The Square Moon: Supernatural Tales, a collection of short stories, in 1994 and A Costume Party for the Dead, in 2003. Al-Samman has earned wide critical recognition as one of the most prominent Arab women writers.

Rasha Salti is a curator, film programmer, researcher and writer who lives in Beirut.

Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body Screening by Marta Popivoda
DATE: Saturday January 25, 2014; 7pm
Serbia / France / Germany
62 min / 2013

The film deals with the question of how ideology performs itself in public space through mass performances. The author collected and analyzed film and video footage from the period of Yugoslavia (1945 – 2000), focusing on state performances (youth work actions, May Day parades, celebrations of the Youth Day, etc.) as well as counter-demonstrations (’68, student and civic demonstrations in the ‘90s, 5th October revolution, etc.). Going back through the images, the film traces how communist ideology was gradually exhausted through the changing relations between the people, ideology, and the state.

The film premiered at 63rd Berlinale within Forum Expanded, and got the Special Jury Mention at the 19th Sarajevo Film Festival.

"This research-based essay film is a very personal perspective on the history of socialist Yugoslavia, its dramatic end, and its recent transformation into a few democratic nation states. Experience of the dissolution of the state, and today’s "wild" capitalist reestablishment of the class system in Serbia are my reasons for going back through the media images and tracing the way one social system changed by performing itself in public space." (Marta Popivoda)

Marta Popivoda is a filmmaker, video artist and a cultural worker from Belgrade, currently based in Berlin. She is a member of the editorial collective TkH (Walking Theory) within which she initiated and participated in many local and international artistic and cultural projects (such as illegal_cinema: Belgrade, Paris, Bilbao). Her work has been presented internationally at film festivals and exhibitions of photography, installation art, and video. www.martapopivoda.info
OPEN CALL: Reading Group
The Lip Anthology by Vivian Ziherl

Talk and Launch in the framework of the research project Feminisms
Saturday 21 December, 2013; 7pm

Published in Melbourne from 1976 to 1984, Lip magazine was a lightning rod for arts feminist agendas in Australia over the Women's Liberation era. Dynamic and broad-ranging, the magazined crossed disciplinary divides between visual art, film, theatre, journalism and dance among others. The art and ideas expressed over Lip’s lifetime track with groundbreaking moves into performance, ecology, social-engagement and labour politics; all at an intersection with local realities. The Lip Anthology compiles many of the stand-out moments of Lip, showcasing the contesting feminisms that comprised the project. Selected interviews, artist-pages, essays, and activist reports are reproduced in facsimile, preserving Lip's hallmark graphic experimentation. The Lip Anthology is published by Kunstverein Publishing and Macmillan Art Publishing, co-produced with Grazer Kunstverein, with support from the Australia Council for the Arts and the TEWRR.

Vivian Ziherl is a researcher, curator and critic. Since 2011 she has been a Curator at If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want to Be Part Of Your Revolution in Amsterdam. Independent projects include “Landings” (Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art & other partner organizations) and “StageIt!” (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam). Her writing has appeared in periodicals including e-flux Journal, Scapegoat, Pages Magazine, Frieze, LEAP Magazine, Metropolis M, Discipline, Eyeline and the Journal of Art (Art Association of Australia and New Zealand), among others.

Supported by Mondriaan Fund

On the Politics of Silence and Speaking
May 20, 2013; 5-7 pm

A live conversation moderated by Sidsel Nelund with Nikita Dhawan and reading group participants on the idea of silence and speaking and how they have been used as strategies by feminists. Reading group beforehand will be live broadcasted and with an open studio audience. This is the first installment in a series of reading groups and public programs titled “on feminism” by 98weeks project space.
*To listen to the entire broadcast of "On Politics of Silence and Speaking" please click here

*To listen to the edited 15 minute sound piece from "On the Politics of Silence and Speaking" please click here