Wednesday, December 21, 2016

PCI Film Series presents 'Letter to a Refusing Pilot'

Introduction by and Q&A session with Layal Ftouni (Gender Studies, UU)

Taking a cue from Albert Camus' epistolary essay "Letters to a German Friend," in Letter to a Refusing Pilot, Zaatari conducts both an investigation and a stirring tribute to an act of resistance (or forbearance) that marked his childhood memories: the refusal of an Israeli pilot to bomb a boys' high school on June 6, 1982 in south Lebanon. Oscillating between documentary, essay and fiction, this elegant and multi-layered film and installation combine personal and archival documents as it seeks to recuperate historical truth from the annals of personal reminiscence, laced with both enchantment and fear. Framed like a coming-of-age filled with wonderment and insuperable curiosity, Letter to a Refusing Pilot humanizes a personal gesture in face of a greater conflict. 

Practical information 

Date: 17 January
Time: 19:15 to 22:00 
Location: Drift 21, room 032

Sunday, October 16, 2016

PCI Film Series presents ‘The Nine Muses’

Introduced by Dr Jamila Mascat (Gender Studies, UU)

Part documentary, part personal essay, this experimental film by John Akomfrah combines archive imagery with the striking wintry landscapes of Alaska to tell the story of immigrant experience coming into the UK from 1960 onwards.

Twenty-five years after the end of the Trojan War, Odysseus still has not returned home. So his son, Telemachus, sets off on a journey in search of his lost father. So begins Homer's revered epic poem, The Odyssey, the primary narrative reference point for The Nine Muses, a remarkable meditation about chance, fate and redemption.

Practical information
Date: 13 December
Time: 19.15 - 21.30
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32

Friday, October 14, 2016

KNAW Colloquium: 'Connected Migrants: Encapsulation or Cosmopolitanism'

Sandra Ponzanesi and Koen Leurs are organising a colloquium at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science (KNAW) called 'Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism'. The event will take place from 15-16 December 2016 at the seat of KNAW in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

This colloquium brings experts in the field together to acknowledge how boundary making and cosmopolitanisation operate simultaneously. It explores the social, cultural and political implications of migrant digital practices as grounded in everyday practice.
Academics can apply here (there is a 150 euro registration fee, maximum 50 participants in total).

In a masterclass, international experts Farida Vis, Kishonna Gray and Roopika Risam will equip participants with a solid theoretical grounding and methodological skill set to analyse migrant connectivity practices. The organisation also welcomes PhD students, early career researchers and advanced students interested in the topic to apply for this exciting masterclass preceding the colloquium on 14 December 2016 in Amsterdam. There is no fee for participating in the masterclass.

PCI Film Series presents 'Lift' and 'Calais, the Last Border'

Introduced by Dr Domitilla Olivieri (Gender Studies, Utrecht University)

During this edition of the PCI Film Series, Dr Domitilla Olivieri will introduce two documentaries by director Marc Isaacs.

For Lift, Isaacs installed himself in the lift of a typical English tower; and for ten hours a day, over two months, he would ride up and down with the residents, with his camera pointing at them. As people start talking to hi, we discover their lives.
The film portrays the life in a high-rise building in London and implicitly engages with questions of cultural encounter, class, everyday urban life, and the sense of home.

Calais, the Last Border takes place in the French port town of Calais. For many English citizens, this is the gateway to Europe or a place to buy cheap alcohol. For hundreds of migrants it is the final barrier in the desperate search for a new life in England. This intimate film weaves together character driven stories of refugees, migrants and English expatriates to build a picture of life in a transient town where the inhabitants dream of somewhere better.

Practical information
Date: 15 November
Time: 19.15 - 21.30
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32

Monday, September 26, 2016

Public Lecture by Prof. Zygmunt Bauman

On 16 December, Prof. Zygmunt Bauman (Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds) will give a public lecture, entitled 'Between separation and integration: Strategies of cohabitation in the era of diasporization and Internet'. The lecture is a part of the Academy Colloquium Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?, organised by Dr Koen Leurs and Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi.

Liquid Modernity
Zygmunt Bauman is one of the world's most eminent social theorists writing on a number of common themes, including globalisation, modernity and postmodernity, consumerism, and morality. Well known for his groundbreaking work Liquid Modernity (2000), he is the author of 57 books and over a hundred articles.

Publications in recent years include monographs and co-authored books such as Strangers at our door, Babel, Practices of Selfhood, State of Crisis, Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity, and Liquid Modernity, Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation (all published with Polity).

Practical information
Date: 16 December
Location: Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam
For more information or to register, please visit the website of the KNAW.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Doing Gender lecture by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Two days after her films are screened in the PCI Film Series, Frances Négron Muntaner will provide a Doing Gender lecture. Her talk is titled 'What To Do with All This Beauty? The Political Economy of Latina Stardom in the Twenty-first Century'.

The talk explores the political economy of a common stereotype in U.S. media, the Latina beauty, since its emergence in the late nineteenth century to its present incarnations. The presentation will also inquire about how and why this is the only Latino stereotype that produces major stars like Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, and Salma Hayek; and examine the racial, gender, cultural, and market contexts that allow contemporary Latina actresses to leverage their beauty capital into influence inside the entertainment industry, domestic and international politics - to a point.

Practical information
Date: 13 October
Time: 16.00 - 17.30
Location: Drift 21, room 1.05
Please register by sending an email to

Monday, September 19, 2016

PCI Film Series 2016/2017

The Postcolonial Studies Initiative is happy to announce its 7th film series with a selection of films, shown monthly, that draw on a variety of different contexts in our postcolonial world. The series is organized annually and invites all interested in our European postcolonial present and the representation of its political, cultural and aesthetic realities and challenges.

This year the focus will be on the relation between documentary filmmaking and postcolonial theory, and their deep entanglement in the critique of realism and representation of the other. We want to explore, through visual representations and cinematographic narratives, how postcolonial realities are analyzed and re-imagined in contemporary film.

Each film will be introduced briefly by scholars connected to the PCI and international guests and filmmakers. The series will take place every third Tuesday of the month, starting with September until May.

The first four editions

20 September         The Lost Ones. Long Journey Home (2011, USA, 42 min)
Introduced by Prof. Susan Rose (Dickinson College, USA)
11 October               Brincando El Charco. Portrait of a Puerto Rican (1994, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, USA, 55 min)
Small City, Big Change (2013, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, USA, 10 min)
Introduced by Frances Negrón-Muntaner (Columbia University, USA)
With a Q&A session
15 November           Lift (2001, Marc Isaacs, UK, 25 min)
Calais, the Last Border (2003, Marc Isaacs, UK, 60 min)
Introduced by Dr Domitilla Olivieri (Gender Studies, UU)
13 December           The Nine Muses (John Akomfrah, Ghana, 2011, 90 min)
Introduced by Jamila Mascat (Gender Studies, UU)

Practical information
Location                    Drift, 21 room 0.32
Time                           19.15-21.30

First edition: The Lost Ones. Long Journey Home 
Introduced by Susan Rose (Dickinson College, USA)


The Lost Ones: Long Journey Home is a documentary film that weaves together Native American oral histories and historical, archival research as it pieces together the story of two Lipan Apache children captured along the Texas-Mexican border in 1877.

After the massacre of their village known, as Remolino or the "Day of Screams," the children rode from fort to fort with the U.S. Calvary for three years before being taken to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIIS) in Pennsylvania – thousands of miles from their home. Carlisle, established in 1879 at the end of the “Indian wars,” served as the model for off-reservation boarding schools across the United States and Canada. Its goal was to “civilize” and assimilate Indian children to Euro-American culture: “education for extinction.” The children’s ties with their family were completely severed; the only legacy the children left was Kesetta's three-year-old son who became the youngest child ever to be enrolled at CIIS. While the family remembered the Lost Ones every year, they never knew what had happened to the children or where they were buried until two centuries later.

This documentary reveals the mystery of how on the 132th anniversary of Remolino, Lipan Apache descendants from California, Texas, and New Mexico came to Carlisle to offer blessings so the children could be sent home. The film demonstrates the power of collective memory, the impact of intergenerational trauma, and the ways in which photographs can be used as a form of both erasure and reclamation.

Practical information
Date: 20 September
Time: 19.15 - 21.30
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32