How To Do Things Not Havening the Words?

It is only a short distance from Brest to Terespol on the map. The train from Brest, in Belarus, to Terespol, taken by international asylum-seekers from Chechnya, departs once a day, just before seven a.m. According to law, people who arrives at the border are not yet refugees. Who are they? Are they visible in the realm of law, on either side of a looking glass? Do they exist as…?

What it means to seek international asylum in these circumstances, with only four hours to spare: the train arrival time, the architecture, the initial interview. Jasper Verlinden, reaserch fellow and Agnieszka Piksa, the drawer will in different mediums reflect upon those questions. What are rituals of making & unmaking of person? What is the choreography of law? How to do things not havening the words?

Moderation: Agnieszka Kilian

The talk is the part of the programme ‘Dreams&Dramas. Law as Literature’, investigating the various aspects between law and justice and its visual and invisible representation.

Agnieszka Piksa – she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Krakow, and currently works with illustration, comic books, drawings and design. Her work analyses visual languages in order to expose stereotypes of communication. Recent exhibitions include Polski las, Galeria Biała (Lublin 2017); How to (…) Things That Don’t Exist 31st São Paulo Biennial (São Paulo, 2014); New Illustrations, Arsenal Gallery (Białystok, 2016); Only to Melt, Trustingly, without Reproach, Gallery Škuc (Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013). Piksa is a recipient of scholarships International Scholarship of the City of Mönchengladbach and Wilberz-Stiftung (2014/15) and VIEWS Deutsche Bank Foundation Audience Award (2015).

Jasper J. Verlinden is a PhD candidate and research fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Berlin. He received his M.A. in North American Studies and English Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2014. His publications include a chapter titled “Transgender Bodies and Male Pregnancy: The Ethics of Radical Self-Refashioning” published in 2012 and an article in the June 2017 edition of American Quarterly, titled “Affect Theory’s Hidden Histories: Toward a Technological Genealogy” which was part of the special forum “Mad Futures: Affect/Theory/Violence.” His interests include queer and transgender studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and the cultural study of law and bureaucracy. He is currently working on his dissertation project under the working title, “Administering the Nation: Bureaucratic Governance, Racial Formation, and Multi-Ethnic American Literature in the Era of Assimilation and Exclusion.” In this project, he looks at the literary productions of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century ethnic minority writers in relation to bureaucratic and administrative practices of documentation and their involvement in processes of racialization.

Agnieszka Kilian – a curator and researcher with juridical background. She develops the projects concerning collaborative structures, especially one that shapes new forms of knowledge driven from the combination of various practice and poetics. Recently she has co-curated the programme Dreams&Dramas. Law as Literature (nGbK, Berlin, 2017) .