Borderless | 15-17 June 2018

Borderless Conference at Teatro Garibaldi_Copyright Manifesta_Photo by Cave Studio

The first segment of the Public Programme, to coincide with the biennial opening days, discusses borders as problematic, out-dated geo-political and intellectual constructions, to be questioned and rethought. Starting from Mayor Leoluca Orlando’s proposition that mobility is a human right, Borderless looks at future scenarios on migration and explores the strategies available to citizens, NGOs and thinkers to shape the borderless world to come.

The programme of performative and discursive interventions tackles crucial issues in the global discourse about international mobility, exploring the topics of migration, refugee status, displacement, belonging, identity and freedom of movement or its denial through the lenses of arts, theory, politics and activism. Manifesta 12 takes Palermo as a testing ground for contemporary and future possibilities; the Mediterranean city, always a place for encounter and clash of religions, myths and cultures, becomes the stage upon which participant speakers, artists, musicians, activists can try and imagine the open Europe of tomorrow while addressing the many struggles of today.

Manifesta 12 invites a broad range of international voices, from artists and filmmakers to theorists and policymakers, to participate in a discussion involving local realities, associations and individuals active in the territory of Palermo and Sicily. The purpose is both to analyse the controversy arising from the framing of international mobility as a global problem, and to pinpoint ways to not only accept migrations but to also understand them as a cultural and economic resource.

Friday 15.06

Jelili Atiku, Festival of the Earth (Alaraagbo XIII)
From Foro Italico to Quattro Canti, 03.30-05.30 pm

Manifesta 12 Borderless Conference
Teatro Massimo, Piazza Verdi 06.00-07.30 pm
The conference, taking place in Palermo’s majestic Teatro Massimo, is an open reflection on borders and borderlessness, through the double perspective of political theory and the arts.

– Keynote Speaker
Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature and Cinema at New York University, and Head of the Institute of African American Affairs and of the Africana Studied Program at New York University.
– Respondents
Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo.
Awam Amkpa, Associate Professor of African Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis in NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
– Moderator
Alessandra Di Maio, Associate Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Palermo.

Bintou Wéré, a Sahel Opera (abridged version)
Teatro Massimo, Piazza Verdi 08.30-09.15 pm
Produced by Teatro Massimo
The original Sahel Opera will be restaged in a unique new format by Teatro Massimo and Manifesta 12 with the collaboration of the Dutch Prince Claus Fund, the original producer of the opera.

Saturday 16.06

Matilde Cassani, TUTTO
Quattro Canti, 11.00-12.00 pm
Nora Turato, I’m happy to own my implicit biases (malo mrkva, malo batina)
Oratorio di San Lorenzo, 12.00-12.30 pm
Marinella Senatore, Palermo Procession
From Piazza Santa Chiara to Foro Italico, 05.00-07.00 pm
Masbedo, Videomobile
Archivio di Stato (Cortile Della Gancia, 1), 10.00 am-06.00 pm

Sunday 17.06

Patricia Kaersenhout, Soul of Salt
Palazzo Forcella De Seta, 10.00-11.00 am

Borderless at Teatro Garibaldi
Morning Session, 11.00 am-01.30 pm

Imagining a Borderless Future?
A series of short interventions
Participants to Manifesta 12 are called to come together, meet the audience and contribute to this series of short interventions to be presented in Teatro Garibaldi. Artists, researchers and writers address the topic of borderlessness, identity, representation, mobility and its negation through performance, talk, poetry or video.

– Participants:
Patricia Kaersenhout
Jelili Atiku
Chimurenga (Ntone Edjabe, Stacy Hardy and Moses März)
Peng! Collective
John Gerrard
Toyin Ojih Odutola

Afternoon session, 04.00-06.00 pm

Liquid Violence panel curated by Forensic Oceanography
Since 2011, Forensic Oceanography (FO) has been critically investigating the spatial and aesthetic conditions that have turned the Mediterranean into a militarised border zone, leading to the death of large numbers of migrants. Echoing FO’s installation for M12, this presentation draws a political anatomy of the shifting modes of violence operating across the Mediterranean frontier since the Arab uprisings allowed migrants to cross in greater numbers, and until the present policy aiming to seal off the sea once again at all costs.

Presentation by Forensic Oceanography (Lorenzo Pezzani & Charles Heller)
Respondents from Palermo:
Giorgio Sciabica, researcher
Marta Bellingreri, journalist
Richard Brodie, writer and activist
William, activist and migrant

Evening session, 06.30-09.00 pm

Black Med
Talk and listening session curated by Invernomuto

Talk with:
Alessandra Di Maio, lecturer in English Literature at University of Palermo
Iain Chambers,  lecturer in Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Mediterranean, Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale

Listening Session by Invernomuto
Starting from the assumption that Palermo acts today as an ‘archipelago of the global: not a globalised city per se, but rather an incubator of different global conditions’ – the musical programme proposed by Invernomuto rotates around this cosmopolitan idea and focuses on the concept of the Black Mediterranean, first formulated by Alessandra Di Maio. Departing from the theory of the Black Atlantic proposed by the thinker Paul Gilroy, which tells us of a culture that is not specifically African, American, Caribbean, or British, but all of these at once – Invernomuto proposes to centre the research on the Mediterranean basin and to some of the trajectories and directions that pass through this multiform area. The sea, once understood as a fluid entity that aided the formation of networks and exchange, is now the scenario of heated geopolitical dispute.