BIRMAC Summer 2016 Programme

BIRMAC (Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture) is delighted to announce its forthcoming events for the Summer term.

Wednesday 18th May 2016 | The Apparitional: films by Barbara Hammer and Sandra Lahire | curated by Ricardo Matos Cabo and Selina Robertson | Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square | 14:00-17.00.

This event is sponsored by BIRMAC and BIMI and held as part of Arts Week 2016

Taking the concept of ‘The Apparitional’ from Terry Castle’s 1993 literary and social history The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture where she locates the ‘ghosts’ of lesbian sexualities obscured by history, together with the documentary and experimental films of Barbara Hammer, Dr Watson’s X Rays (1991) and Sanctus (1990), and Sandra Lahire’s Uranium Hex (1987) and Serpent River (1989), this event will explore the idea of ‘The Apparitional’ within the context of the X-ray as a presence of the uncanny, a ghostliness, the body as subject, illness, radiation and (film) exposure, conflicts between scientific and visual objectivity and the politics of gender and sexuality.

This screening and discussion will explore the idea of ‘the apparitional’ through the films of the radical lesbian feminist filmmakers, Barbara Hammer and Sandra Lahire. These are powerful films about the vulnerability of the body, of women’s bodies, made (in)visible by and exposed to radiation, unprotected against the effects of contamination by uranium mining, emerging as ghosts through an intense alchemy of images and sounds.

After the screening, Selina Robertson will be joined in conversation with Dr. Sophie Mayer and Sarah Pucill.

Book your free place via Eventbrite.

Thursday 19 May 2016 | Ephemeral Ruins: the Fragility of Holocaust Memory | Room: G03, 43 Gordon Square | 18:00-19:30

This event is part of our Ruin/s theme (, curated by Dr. Silke Arnold-de Simine, and held as part of Arts Week 2016

Since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps the question of preservation of these sites of mass destruction has been intensely debated by national representatives of victim groups, survivors and their families as well as a diverse group of museum practitioners and educators. Key questions for debate include: Should nature overtake and completely efface the concentration camps? Will this dissolution lead to oblivion? Can preservation ensure remembrance? This talk by Dr. Diana Popescu, Research Fellow at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, will look at these questions from the multiple perspectives offered by memorial museums, contemporary artists and visitors from Poland and Germany.

Dr. Jessica Rapson, King’s College London, will offer a response, followed by discussion.

Book your free place via Eventbrite.

Friday 27 May 2016  | What Things Are, and What Things Do | Keynes Library | 14:00-17:00 |

Followed by a free screening of Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) | Birkbeck Cinema | 18:00 – 20:00

Organised by Güneş Tavmen and Hannah Barton, co-winners of the BIRMAC 2015-16 Student Competition, this interdisciplinary event seeks to debate the role of ‘structuring structures’ in media cultures, and includes presentations from Dr. Emily LaBarge (writer and researcher) and Dr Maan Barua (Somerville College, Oxford)

BIRMAC is also part sponsoring Conventions of Proximity in Art, Theatre and Performance, which combines papers, workshops from guest artists in the School of Arts’ studio space, film screenings in Birkbeck Cinema, performance installation, and an exhibition of contemporary art in the Peltz Gallery.

Thursday 5 May |  researchers and practitioners will share their work in parallel panel presentations, from which attenders can make a selection.

Friday 6 May | film screenings, panel presentations, workshops and a performance installation will run in parallel, from which attenders can make a selection.

Everyone is welcome, so please come and participate in these stimulating events.

Best wishes,

Lorraine Lim and Janet McCabe, Co-Directors of BIRMAC