Photographing the rituals of healing and dying in Latin America – Wed 22 March 2017

Peltz Gallery talk: Photographing the rituals of healing and dying in Latin AmericaWed 22 March 2017

Photographing the rituals of healing and dying in Latin America

Wed 22 March 2017, 19:00-20:00

Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

To accompany the exhibition ‘Decolonizing “witchcraft”: Portraits of traditional healing in Bolivia’ at the Peltz Gallery, ‘Photographing the rituals of healing and dying in Latin America’ considers some of the visual and ethical challenges of documentary photography. Join Patrizia di Bello, Senior Lecturer in History and Theory of Photography at Birkbeck College, and photographers David Green and Marcel Reyes-Cortez, as they explore the themes of ritual, community and cultural memory raised by the exhibition. The evening will reflect on Green’s experience working with communities of indigenous health practitioners in Bolivia and Reyes-Cortez’s work documenting the cultural practices of death and mourning in Mexico.

Dr Patrizia di Bello is Senior Lecturer in the History of Photography and co-director of the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Women’s Albums and Photography in Victorian Britain: Ladies, Mothers and Flirts (Ashgate 2007); editor of Art, History and the Senses: 1830 to the present (Ashgate 2009), with Gabriel Koureas; and of The Photobook from Talbot to Ruscha (IB Tauris, 2012), with Colette Wilson and Shamoon Zamir. Her next monograph, Sculptural Photographs from the Calotype to the Digital, will be published by Bloomsbury in December 2017.

David Green is a born people watcher. ‘The challenge of relaxing a subject and capturing their essence is endlessly compelling to me and keeps me passionate about portrait photography.’ An American, who’s made his home in North London, David has been working as a freelance photographer for several years, shooting a wide range of people, from Noble Prize winners to comedians, authors, actors, CEOs, TV news readers, and most recently “witches” in Bolivia and robot camel jockeys in Oman. His work has appeared in Timeout London, the Guardian, Hackney and Islington Gazettes, Artenol magazine in New York, The Times of Oman, the Southbank Centre, Barcelona Metropolitan to name a few – even the FBI website (that’s the Feminist Bureau of Investigation, of course):

Marcel Reyes-Cortez is a Visual Anthropologist and photographer living and working in London. In 1993 he graduated with a BA (Hons) in photography from the London College of Printing and in 1995 he gained an MA in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Marcel returned to academia and in 2006 he gained an MRes in Visual Anthropology. His doctoral research (2007-10) became the first to be awarded a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London in ‘Visual Anthropology’.

‘Decolonising “witchcraft”: Portraits of traditional healers in Bolivia’ is on at the Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, Birkbeck College 3-25 March 2017.

All welcome

To book your FREE ticket go to

If you have any additional access requirements please get in touch


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Democracy and the Arts: Artists in a Global World – 28 March 2017 7pm

Democracy and the Arts: Artists in a Global World

is taking place on Tuesday March 28 7pm

at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road (Shoreditch High Street Overground / Liverpool St underground).

The series will explore the opportunities and challenges Brexit poses for people working in the arts. In the first event, speakers will explore the implications of immigration, cosmopolitanism, national identity and borders for the artists and arts.

Tickets are available from the Rich Mix website:

Speaking about this event, Munira Mirza, formerly Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture at the GLA, says: “The June 23rd referendum raised lots of important issues which affect the arts as much as anyone else. The debate about immigration and freedom of movement was one of the most heated, with many Leave voters caricatured as Little Englanders. However, for many people, leaving the EU offers a chance to develop a new approach to internationalism and a more humane and fair immigration system. It’s vital that the arts engage in these discussions, as they testify to the power of global relationships.”

Munira Mirza will be joined by Jo Glanville, director of English PEN, Manick Govinda (Head of Artist Advisory Service and Producer at Artsadmin), Mark Ball (outgoing artistic director of London International Festival of Theatre) and artist Eca Eps (aka Sarah Peace). The panel will be chaired by Alastair Donald (Future Cities Project).

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Digital Aesthetics Reading Group – 21 March 2017 3pm


The next meeting of the Vasari Research Centre hosted Digital Aesthetics Reading Group will take place on the 21st of March from 3pm to 5pm in the Vasari Centre, 43 Gordon Square.

For this meeting we will be reading the work of French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. The readings, a short essay entitled “Suffocated Desire, Or How the Cultural Industry Destroys the Individual” and two excerpts from Stiegler’s book Symbolic Misery, are available as pdfs upon request. I hope some of you will be able to join us on the 21st.

All best wishes,


Dr. Joel McKim

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Architecture Space and Society Centre Reading Group – 16 March 2017 3-4.30 – The Industrial City

A reminder of the reading group next Thursday:

Our next Architecture Space and Society Centre reading group meeting is on Thursday March 16, 3-4.30pm in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq. You are all warmly invited to join what promises to be a rich and lively discussion, with the focus on the industrial city. Please also circulate to any PhD students who might be interested.

Discussion will be led by Mark Crinson.  The readings and images are available here:

A message from Mark:

The Industrial City

For our next reading group I have got together some images and texts on the topic of the industrial city. Most of the material is pretty classic stuff on this subject but it could all do with a closer scrutiny and new angles on to it. It includes the following two readings –

Friedrich Engels – extract from The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), pp82-109 in the current Penguin edition.

Elizabeth Gaskell – extract from North and South (1855), chapter 8 ‘Home Sickness’

There are also five images –

James Mudd – ‘The River Irwell from Blackfriars Bridge’ (1859)

James Mudd – untitled photograph of mills in Manchester (c1860)

William Wyld – ‘Manchester from Kersal Moor’ (1857)

AWN Pugin – Contrasted Towns, from Contrasts (1840)

Robert Owen – ‘The Old Moral World and the New Moral World’ (1832) and ‘Plan of a Self Supporting Home Colony’ (1841)

The Architecture Space and Society Reading Group meets once or twice a term to discuss a wide range of texts, sites and questions related to architecture and space, across periods, geographies and disciplines.

All meetings are on Thursday, 3-4.30pm

Upcoming meetings and people taking the lead:
16 March: Mark Crinson, Keynes (see above)
11 May: Lesley McFadyen, Gordon Sq, G02
15 June: Tag Gronberg, Keynes

Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

Architecture Space and Society Centre


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The politics of fashion in the museum

Date: Monday 15th of May 2017

Location: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Organisation: Centro de investigação em Arquitetura, Urbanismo e Design (CIAUD), Faculdade de Arquitectura – Universidade de Lisboa; Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC), Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Keynote speakers (TBC):

Lecturer and PhD supervisor, founder of the MA Costume Design for Performance, London College of Fashion – University of the Arts London, UK.

Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Design and Arts,The New School, New York, USA.

The recent rise of the blockbuster fashion exhibition has underpinned a renewed interest in the topic of garment curation and preservation, encouraging academics from emerging disciplines, such as museum studies and fashion studies, as well as established institutions, to re-evaluate the presence of fashion in the museum. This increasing institutional and curatorial interest has led to a new research dynamics centered around the museum as an agency that can broaden and deepen
our understanding of fashion.
New museological approaches tend to use fashion to increase institutional appeal, by focusing on strategies that prompt new understandings of the history of apparel and a critical approach towards its presence in museums, and to reflect an institutional desire to contextualise and integrate fashion into specific social and economic historical circumstances.

This symposium will focus on the challenges, possibilities and multidisciplinary aspects involved in the exhibition of fashion in a museological and curatorial context. We welcome proposals for papers and presentations that explore the following themes from diverse perspectives and approaches, by researchers and practitioners, as well as by practice-based researchers.

  • Submissions may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics
  • The relationship between the museum, time and the public display of fashion
  • The garment as a museum object, but also as an emotional and narrative medium
  • What do we preserve and why do we do it when we bring garments into the museum?
  • The relationship between the written word and the displaying of fashion, including catalogues and accompanying books
  • The convergence of artefact-based research and theoretical approaches
  • Interdisciplinary good practice in displaying/exhibiting
  • The use of oral history in museum research and displaying
  • The imagined public. To whom is fashion curation addressed?
  • How can fashion engage visitors and on what levels?
  • Fashion and the ideology of the moment
  • From ‘stage’ to museum: the aura of a garment
  • Fashion and the gaze of the other
  • The image archive: fashion in pictures, paintings and films

Scholars and researchers from all related academic and practice-based fields and are invited to submit proposals.

The conference will be held in English.

We invite researchers and practitioners to send us their proposals by Wednesday 29 March 2017.

Participants will be notified by Tuesday 4 April 2017.

Presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of 20 minutes (max.) are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (300-350 words), 5 key bibliographical references, 5 keywords and a short biography (100-150 words) to the following email:

Fee (participants):
Regular: €30
Student: €15

Conference Committee
Fernando Moreira da Silva (CIAUD, Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade de Lisboa)
Anabela Becho (CIAUD, Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade de Lisboa)
Giulia Bonali (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Érica Faleiro Rodrigues (Birkbeck College, University of London)

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Architecture Space and Society Centre – Peg Rawes, Housing Biopolitics and Care, Monday 20 March 2017, 6pm

We are delighted to announce our next speaker in the annual Thinkers in Architecture series:

Prof. Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: Housing Biopolitics and Care

Monday, 20th March, 6pm, Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck

This talk outlines how Spinoza’s seventeenth-century philosophy constitutes a humane and ethical ratio within a biopolitical discussion of the UK housing crisis.  For Spinoza, ratio constitutes different modes of environmental, corporeal and societal lives. Drawing from Foucault’s writings on technologies of the self, and Spinoza’s geometric essay The Ethics (1677), I explore how Spinoza’s ‘radical enlightenment’ thought has resonance with architects and professionals who challenge the inhumane ratios of inequality that currently form UK housing provision.  For those interested in the talk, you can also watch the film, Equal By Design (2016), in advance.  Co-authored with Beth Lord (Aberdeen), and in collaboration with Lone Star Productions, it is available here:

Peg Rawes is Professor of Architecture and Philosophy, and Programme Director of the Masters in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. Recent publications include: Equal By Design (2016); ‘Humane and inhumane ratios’ in The Architecture Lobby’s Aysmmetric Labors (2016); Poetic Biopolitics: Practices of Relation in Architecture and the Arts (co-ed., 2016); Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity (ed., 2013).

All welcome. The event is free of charge. To book a place, click here.

Architecture Space and Society Centre


Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

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CFP: LCSS PhD Methodology Conference – deadline 10 April 2017



London Centre for Social Studies is delighted to announce that the 5th LCSS PhD Methodology Conference will be held on 15 June 2017 with the partnership of University of Westminster, Law School.

This conference series is an invaluable opportunity for PhD and early-career researchers from different disciplines to meet and share their precious knowledge and research experiences. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for researchers to present their approaches to research designs, methodologies, methods and data analysis and in so doing to reflect and gain feedback on their studies. It also provides a forum in which research challenges can be explored and, hopefully, overcome.

We invite contributors to address one or more of the following topics and discuss these in relation to their own research:

  • Research paradigms and designs;
  • Research methods and techniques;
  • Research technology and tools;
  • Datasets, data collections and data archiving
  • Research philosophy
  • Epistemological and ontological approaches

Abstract Submission Link:

Submissions should be in the form abstracts (not full papers) and they shouldn’t be more than 400 words.

Important Dates

10 April 2017 – Abstract registration deadline

30 April 2017 – Paper notification

21 May 2017 – Presenter registration deadline

6 June 2017 – Attendee only registration deadline

15 June 2017 – Conference

Keynote Speakers:

Prof Lisa Webley Professor of Empirical Legal Studies, University of Westminster, UK

Professor Will Harvey Associate Professor of Management Studies, Director of ‘Business, Institutions and Policy’ research cluster, University of Exeter, UK

Dr Maria Iacovou Director of Social Science Research Methods Centre, Reader in Quantitative Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK


The conference will take place at Westminster University on 15 June 2017, London, UK.

There will be free lunch and coffee breaks on the conference day.

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Essay Film Festival 24 March – 1 April 2017

The Essay Film Festival 24 March-1 April 2017 has now gone live:

We have some fantastic guests coming to the festival this year to show and share their work: Andrés Di Tella, Babette Mangolte, Deborah Stratman, Volker Pantenburg, Werner Dütsch, Kevin B. Lee, Zoe Beloff, Huang Ya-Li, George Clark, Sarah Wood, Ehsan Khoshbakht, and, closing the festival, Jocelyne Saab!

Screenings will take place at ICA, Birkbeck Cinema, and the Goethe-Institute. Some events are free, and tickets for all events are now available for booking.

If you want to follow what’s happening, you can do so on Twitter:

And/or Facebook:

Or simply sign up for our BIMI Newsletter:


Best wishes

Michael Temple

Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and Essay Film Festival

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Internship at the Peltz Gallery – Deadline: 23 March

Internship at the Peltz Gallery

We are looking for an intern to work with the Peltz Gallery (School of Arts) between April and July 2017.

The Peltz Gallery, based in the School of Arts, is a flexible exhibition space for digital and material displays, small-scale performances, lectures and meetings. The Gallery showcases the creative interdisciplinary and experimental research in the School. Over the three years since it opened, the Peltz has hosted a series of innovative historical and contemporary exhibitions based on the research interests and public engagement activities of academics and other staff at Birkbeck.

We are looking for an intern to work with the Peltz Gallery director, events and communications co-coordinator and Arts Space Steering Committee to help with and evaluate two exhibitions in the Peltz Gallery programme.  The successful candidate will gather and analyse data from social media and the internet, visitor book comments and questionnaires from dedicated events and develop an analysis of the exhibitions’ (and associated events’) success in reaching and engaging various audiences.

Knowledge and experience required:

We are looking for a Birkbeck PhD student ideally with

  • The ability to write well
  • Some experience in evaluating activities
  • An interest in the visual arts
  • Some experience of working on exhibitions
  • Familiarity with social media


  • A willingness to bring their professional experience and knowledge to explore ways of developing the Peltz Gallery’s profile in London

The internship involves 25 hours of paid employment at £15.26 per hour between c.  April 20 and c. July 15 2017. The hours worked will be agreed in advance (spread across one or two terms) on a flexible basis with the Peltz director.

Send application (CV and covering letter) by 5pm, March 23 to Wendy Earle:

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