Monday, September 20, 2021



Postcolonial Publics: 

Art and Citizen Media in Europe
Ca' Foscari, Venice
on the 26-27th of May 2022

 Keynote talks by:

Our Venice conference is devoted to the role of art and citizen media in shaping what we can call 'postcolonial publics' in Europe today.

In this conference we interrogate the proliferation of digital media and global culture, and the changes happening in public intellectual engagements. From the adoration of the single (often male, often white) genius to the anonymity of diverse, affective publics, a postcolonial perspective invites contemporary public engagement to have many faces and multiple voices, and addressing new issues such as the environmental crisis and the resurgence of racism. Creativity and art can play a significant role in this development. Performance and visual expressions in the European space interpellate the situated public, but also produce transnational political dialogue and travel across digital space. Embodied performances challenge the cerebral stereotype and classical conception of what public engagement is and should be. Moreover, digital platforms have made available space for expressions that break the form and formulas of public and political speech. However, despite the expansion of public participation, social divisions based on race, gender, sexuality and able-bodiedness still hold sway and begs the question of positionality in relations to institutions, in the different fields of art and media, when it comes to political and social change.

The various presentations envision postcolonial citizen media and art as practices and products encompassing a wide range of expressions: from poetry to journalism to Twitter-writing; from art to graffiti to Instagram-activism; and from celebrity activism to the uprising of “affective publics”.
This conference is jointly organized by Shaul Bassi and Sabrina Marchetti (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Bolette Blaagaard (Aalborg University) and Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University) as the concluding event of the Postcolonial Intellectuals and Their European Publics Network (PIN) funded by the NWO. Info about the previous conferences can be found here:

Previous conferences of the PIN Network:

  • Utrecht University (5-6 February 2019): info
  • University of Muenster (5-6 September 2019) – In collaboration with the University of Lisbon: info
  • University of Leeds (21-22 and 28-29 January 2021): info

The conference is free but to reserve your seat use this form.

For more information and the full programme, see here

The publication and conference is part of the Postcolonial Intellectuals and Their European Publics Network, (PIN), which is funded by the NWO. The network brings together international and interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and artists to explore the changing face and voice of the European intellectuals in a postcolonial Europe. This publication and conference are jointly organized by Shaul Bassi and Sabrina Marchetti (Centre for the Humanities and Social Change), Bolette Blaagaard (Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Copenhagen) and Sandra Ponzanesi (Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University).

The conference will take place in Venice on the 26-27th of May 2022. The publication based on the conference papers will follow soon after. Authors selected for the volume will be invited to the conference to present the final drafts of their papers. The volume will be published by Ca’ Foscari University Press as Open Access eBook in the Summer 2022.

                           Image credit: Lynn Avadenka, Afterword (Living Under Water, 2020)