Visual Cultures’ Summer Festival of Student Events

This academic year Visual Cultures has awarded £10,000 of special funding for student events taking place as a Summer Festival between April and July 2018. The entertainment will include a club night, exhibitions, workshops, visits, research projects, and informal gatherings. All activities are open to Visual Cultures students, several events are open to the public. Booking advised.


Polari Book Launch

Polari is having a revival; more books, dictionaries and linguistic treatises are being written about the gay 1960s language than ever before. Penny Burkett and George Reiner are interested in narratives, pedagogy and language. We want to complicate storytelling, world making and recount histories outside heteronormative traditional archives. The book is written in Polari, accompanied by images that explore our journeying around St Ives. Polari being influenced by sailors’ slang and foreign languages, make coastal surroundings ripe for explorations into geographical, sexual and cultural others. There are many complications to this project: the fluidity of Polari contrasting the fixed nature of books; linguistically queering St Ives; formation of narrative; the relationships between text/images. For the launch there will be a Polari workshop open to all. The use of book and workshop allows us to embrace the complexity and inherent contradictions inherent in studying identity.

Date: TBC (September 2018)

Open to all




BLOCK Universe Panel Discussion: PERFORM NOW! The potentials of a living archive

To coincide with the launch of the fourth edition of Block Universe, London’s leading International Performance Art Festival, this panel discussion brought together a number of contributors across disciplines to discuss past and current dynamics of performance art in the UK.  

The participants included the subversive 1980s performance group The Neo Naturists; Ellen Van Schuylenburch, one of the founding members of Michael Clark Company, Jane Pritchard, curator of dance for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Lois Keidan, director of the London-based Live Art Development Agency – LADA, as well as artists Evan Ifekoya & Victoria Sin, who are both contributing to this year’s edition of the Block Universe. They explored ideas of an active, living archive that takes into account the ability of performance to sustain itself and live on through the body rather than the record, thus re-positioning the body as the centre for knowledge in place of the archive.

Open to all.

More information

Rhythms in Art

The purpose of the event is to explore how rhythm is core to and can weave together the disciplines of art, music and dance – bringing together students from across these disciplines. The event is two fold:  The first two days are in the studio creating work in response to live stimuli of dancers and musicians. (We have hip hop, salsa, contemporary, jazz, voguing, bachata, saxophone, pianist). A team of visual artists will respond to an organised schedule of performers. This culminates in the second part of the event which is. An evening showcase of the 2 day painting experiment. This is an exhibition of the work with live performances, a live band and later on DJ.

Dates: 2nd-4th May 2018

If you wish to participate, leave a message on the Facebook page.

Assemble Record Proliferate
Tuesday 22 May, 2-4pm — Lewisham Arthouse

Join us for a talk and discussion about convivial research and its sonic distributions as part of this year’s Spatial Biopolitics group project.

Our research centres on the question: How can a collective of students engaging in collaborative research constitute a space of study that is attentive to the specific political and economic conditions it finds itself operating from within? In response to this, the group has produced a radio podcast that seeks to address notions of collective authorship, counter-institutional learning, proliferation in the virtual and the sonic as a tool of infrapolitical resistance.

The project emerged out of the strike by university staff across the UK in March, and is understood as an echo of the spatial, economic and political debates kindled by these conditions. But rather than being the focus of our research, these conditions have been understood to have
set the parameters and dictated the urgencies underpinning this project. The result is a sonic experiment that attempts to work from within these parameters, seeking to formulate modes of resistance by assembling, recording and proliferating our collective research.

Facebook event

Logistical Nightmares Film Screening

C&N students who took part in the Logistical Nightmares Project with Susan Schuppli & Lorenzo Pezzani will present the outcome of their research based practice: a series of short films that explore the world of Logistics through the site of Port Rotterdam, NL.
The screening will be followed by a conversation with scholar Christina Sharpe, who will respond to the themes within the Logistical Nightmares project overall and the screening of students’ work.

Date: 23rd May 2018

Open to all. Booking required.

DIY Time Travel _ Sorryyoufeeluncomfortable Collective Workshop with Christina Sharpe

Open to students from Visual Cultures and members of the BAME communities

Date: 23rd May 2018

Maximum 40 people. Booking required.

Transcultural Memory Group Exhibiton

Opening night 25 May 2018 with free drinks

A group exhibition by MA CAT Transcultural Memory students presenting their research projects and artworks reflecting on the concept of memory and transcultural memory

Overwrite (v.): to write over the surface of

OVERWRITING is a group exhibition that delves into issues surrounding memory, its transmission and gaps, and the power plays and personal histories that are mediated through it. It presents the outcome of discussions and research that took place during a module
devoted to transcultural memory at Goldsmiths College. The showcased works revolve around issues of language, translation, testimony, witnessing or trauma. Together, they act as a collective installation inviting the viewers to reflect on memory’s many faces.

Creatively engaging with the theoretical framework of memory studies, the works in the exhibition use a variety of media, including photography, text, video and sound. By bringing together the outcomes of our individual research, we wish to disseminate some of the questions and concepts that we have engaged with throughout the year and provide a forum to share them with the wider public.

The exhibition will take place between the 25th and 27th of May at the Archive Gallery in Haggerston from 12 to 6 pm.

Private view on the 25th of May with free drinks starting @6pm followed by a guided tour around the exhibition.

Eva Alandar; Nina Cieminska; Rachel Cunningham; Dylan Edwards; Jiyoung Kim; Deniz Kirkali; Richard Muller; Aron Rossman-Kiss; Maria Thomas; Claudia Lai Wa Tsang; Sofia Villena; Soo Jin Woo; Marta Zamfirescu-Boceanu

ArtRabbit is a unique guide to the contemporary art scene, connecting thousands of art spaces, exhibitions and events to artists, art professionals, collectors, students and art-interested people alike.

The Mill Co.
Project is creative social enterprise scheme offering studios and workspaces for independent artists, designers and small creative businesses at below market value.

Facebook Event

Dates: 25th-27th May 2018

Open to all

Critical Care on Campus

Please note that these events have been postponed until later in the year

Organised by Alice Andrews and Oriana Fox

There is an increasing interest in, and need for, supporting, theorising and organising around the ‘mental health crisis’ on campus. We therefore offer a series of four workshops aimed to introduce students to a series of strategies designed to support, theorise and situate a critical relation to mental health in a context of collective care. Please sign up below for the first of these.

Spaces are limited. Please sign up for each workshop via the eventbrite links below, using the password visual cultures

Critical Care I: Soma – Body Collaboration Workshop

Led by Jorge Goia — 21st May 2018, 18.00 – 21.00, RHB 143

Sign up here (Password: visual cultures)

Soma is a libertarian group experiment using body and play to inspire cooperation. Created in Brazil as an anarchist therapy, by Roberto Freire, Soma games are invitations and challenges to share physical experiences of collaboration, trust, care and responsibility. After the games, the participants share their experiences, talking about their perceptions, feelings and emotions playing together. Since working in groups is one of the biggest challenges in our competitive and individualistic society, how can we learn from our bodies to create and act in a more cooperative way?

Jorge Goia is a Capoeira Angola and Soma facilitator. He has worked with Soma groups in over 10 cities across Brazil. Goia took part in a research project introducing Capoeira Angola into Soma games, and has a PhD in Social Psychology from UERJ, Rio de Janeiro.

Link to suggested reading:
Goia, Jorge “Soma: An Anarchist Experiment” in Nanopolitics Handbook: the nanopolitics group, ed. Paolo Plotegher, Manuela Zechner and Bue Rübner Hansen, Minor Compositions, 2013.

Critical Care II: Tracing the Contours of Ableism in the Academy and Beyond

Led by Alice Andrews — 22nd May 2018, 11.00 – 14.00, RHB 355

Sign Up Here (Password: visual cultures)

This seminar/workshop intends to foster open discussions that draw upon multiple perspectives of what has been called “the mental health crisis” on university campuses and beyond.  Taking into consideration lived experiences of mental distress, the relation of mental illness to disability and the medical industry, and the oppressions and openings that might be found within these on the social and political level, the seminar intends to explore critiques emerging from the disciplines of Critical Disability Studies and Mad Studies.  These emerging disciplines increasingly seek to turn attention away from a model that sees “deviant individuals” as problem cases diverging from constructed norms (of for example, “the good student”), and towards an interrogation of the norms that compel all to be, or aspire to be, fully able, sane, productive individuals – that is towards a critique of ableism.

We might want to ask, in the words of one mad studies scholar, instead of studying mentally ill people why not “start studying sane people, normals, well-adjusted, balanced and secure people. What do their brains look like? Why do they get the kinds of haircuts that they do? How do they behave in workplaces […]” And we might want to ask: in what way it might be the acceptance of able-normativity that produces and fuels distress, suffering and disability, and that give us to experience the “mental health crisis” in the manner that we do?  We will trace some of these contours of this normative ableism and sanism through a series of visual examples from popular culture, art practice, and our everyday lived environments.

While including the perspective of those with lived experience of mental distress and its effects is hugely important for any discussion of these matters no participant should feel in any way obliged to share publicly in this space. Every effort will be made to make this space as accessible as possible and to develop a space for communal care.

Link to suggested reading:

Critical Care Workshop III: Re-framing the Problem

Led by Oriana Fox — 23rd May 2018, 11.00, RHB 142

Sign Up Here (Password: visual cultures)

Oriana will lead participating students through a series of playful icebreakers, physical warm-ups and theatrical games, some of which are adapted from Augusto Boal’s theatre of the oppressed. These exercises will culminate in the production of a number of tableaux vivants that visualise scenarios that students find to be psychologically challenging or troubling. Using wooden frames, participants will select a vantage point from which to examine the tableaux, highlighting the varied perspectives each individual brings so as to literally reframe the scene. Some will focus on the tension between the performers; others will isolate expressions of affect, while others will direct their frames to emphasise the context, thereby allowing for wider, institutional or socio-political critique. In this way we can arrive at a more collective, multiple and shared understanding of the situations they had previously faced alone.

Oriana’s art practice and research investigates how performance (and creativity more generally) can be used to address mental health challenges.  She has led similar workshops organised by The South London Gallery and the Southwark NHS Parental Mental Health team.


  • Boal, Augusto (1992) Games for Actors and Non-Actors, London: Routledge
  • Boal, Augusto (1995), The Rainbow of Desire, Oxon, Routledge
  • Boal, Augusto (1998) Legistlative Theatre, London: Routledge
  • Boal, Augusto (2000) Theatre of the Oppressed, London: Pluto Press
  • Cohen-Cruz, Jan; Schutzman, Mady, eds. (1994) Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism, London, Routledge
  • Rifkin, Frances (2010) The Ethics of Participatory Theatre in Higher Education, A Framework for Learning and Teaching. Palatine
  • Prentki, Tim, Preston, Sheila, eds. (2009) The Applied Theatre Reader, Oxon. Routledge.


Polari Workshop

Polari is having a revival; more books, dictionaries and linguistic treatises are being written about the gay 1960s language than ever before. Penny Burkett and George Reiner are interested in narratives, pedagogy and language. The workshop will facilitate a beginners introduction into learning Polari. In doing so we will explore its origins, uses and subversions of mainstream language. This event alongside a book we will be launching written in Polari later in the year.

Date: 24th May 2018

Workshop open to current Goldsmiths students. Booking required.

Drawing from Visual Cultures

A three day immersive introduction to drawing as visual method.

Practice based workshops, fieldtrips and lectures introduce participants to key drawing theories and concepts past and present. Through freehand drawing and sketch, participants gain an experiential understanding of a wide range of materials and practices.

The programme provides a working knowledge of drawing as explanation, détournement, phenomena and aide-memoire.

No drawing skills are required, but participants should be willing to produce work and take risks in a non-judgemental participatory environment.

Dates: 4th-6th June 2018

Open to current Visual Cultures students. Booking is required. To reserve a space email

Infrastructure : Theory x Production Workshops 

A couple of events in the Summer Term 2018 which focus on the practice of channelling critical ideas, discourse, writing, speech into platforms of publication and events of public study.

As well as thinking about the role of public study and the production of new platforms in contemporary art practice, the main objective of this workshop is to look at the processes involved in assembling platforms — like exhibitions, zines, books, online journals, podcasts, video etc —  which capture and communicate ideas. The project will provide a vehicle to support the relaunch of Ephemera, the department’s student led journal or art research.

The project is offered primarily to BA HA, BA Curating & BA FAHA. Though it may be open to other students in Design, Culture and Creative Industries, as this maybe a route to broaden interest and also unlock funds to turn inspiration into something more tangible.

Magazine production workshop with Estere Kajema
6th June 2018, 11am – 1pm Room TBC

Organised by the Visual Cultures Society with Louis Moreno and Astrid Schmetterling

This event is a workshop with Visual Cultures alumna Estere Kajema exploring the role of art magazines today and how to create a
magazine from scratch. Estere will talk about her own experiences working with magazines, and the new magazine she is currently developing. Following the talk, we will then think about how we put these ideas to work in reviving Ephemera, Visual Cultures’ currently dormant student led journal.

Estere Kajema is a graduate of BA History of Art and MA Contemporary Art Theory (Goldsmiths, University of London) and is a writer, editor and magazine maker

The Shaping of a Message

One-day symposium organised by Maggie Roberts, Research Fellow in the Visual Cultures Department. Roberts, alongside staff members Simon O’Sullivan, Ayesha Hameed and Ramon Alvaro, will be joined by John Cussans, Stephanie Moran and Betti Marenko. Each speaker will present work investigating the relationships between climate change, decolonisation, animism, fictioning and digital uncertainty. These are all themes relevant to Roberts concurrent exhibition, ‘Glimmer breach’ at IMT Gallery, London.

For more information on the exhibition, click here.

Date: 8th June 2018

Open to all.

IMT Gallery Facebook

TopSoil organizes a three-days exhibition and events programme, taking place at Safehouse 1 in Peckham.

This will be led and produced by a collaborative, trans-departmental group of Goldsmiths students, seeking to build an artistic, hospitable and dynamic environment.

We are proposing alternative forms of spatial gathering through an exhibition including Goldsmiths MFA students and alumni, a film screening programme, a radio project, a reading group, a soundscape and a cooking station and collective meals.

For this collaborative venture, we are conceptually working with the subterranean living world of ‘compost’, an organism in which numerous creatures mutually decompose discarded matter into rich soil. We want to ask: What happens to an exhibition process when channelled through and practised as compost? We are interested in the exhibition as a hot pile of impure things creating dirty questions and exchanging messy ideas.

Dates: 8th-1oth June 2018

For K-Punk: Consciousness Razing

“To have one’s consciousness raised is not merely to become aware of facts of which one was previously ignorant: it is instead to have one’s whole relationship to the world shifted.” – Mark Fisher (1968 – 2017)

In his essay, ‘No Romance Without Finance’, Mark Fisher explored the ways that popular culture functions as a form of consciousness. Music culture, in particular, has largely untapped potentials as a tool for consciousness raising; a tool for the collective production of knowledges and subjectivities, particularly those outside the social mainstream.

The Left has repeatedly failed to harness these potentials in order to instantiate real social change. Countless cultures have been ravaged by the tendrils of a Thatcherite war on dance music that continues to extend into our futures. Nonetheless, Grime’s public embrace of Jeremy Corbyn, for example, was an unprecedented move in this direction.

Consciousness Razing is an attempt to channel these processes whilst celebrating and building upon Mark’s thought. We hope to create further conditions through which we might raze the prevailing cultural consciousness of corporate cultures in favour of a renewed political consciousness. As Mark’s final text, ‘Acid Communism’, demanded: “instead of seeking to overcome capital, we should focus on what capital must always obstruct: the collective capacity to produce, care and enjoy.”

Inherent to these collective capacities are politics of class. Participants are invited to consider class across the UK and globally. The contradictory role of the state is laid bare in its supposed enforcement of ‘common wealth’ (see: ‘aspirational’ culture, ‘social mobility’ or ‘big society’), the production of which it actually blocks (see: austerity, time poverty, visa restrictions). Supposed scarcity produces razed-states of negative solidarity, a race to the bottom that we see played out daily. How can we build anew, in order to raise each other, together?

Hosted by SET in Dalston on 9th June 2018, this afternoon event will position participatory workshops on class and political consciousness alongside a night of forward-thinking dance music, creating the conditions for new dialogues and activities that allow us to collectively navigate the terrain of Mark’s most infamous provocation: Is there no alternative?

Date: 9th June 2018

Open to all

More information TBC

Politicising Mental Health: A workshop on organising, care and Institutional Analysis with Anne Querrien

Monday 18 June, 2018, 1-6pm — Richard Hoggart Building 143

Hosted by Janna Graham, Stefan Nowotny, Nicole Wolf and the Goldpaper Mental Health Working Group

To sign up please contact or

In the last years on UK campuses, questions of care have become a central concern. Beyond what is often referred to in short as ‘mental health crisis’, lay questions about the limits of institutions and the forces within and outside of them that make us sick, anxious and often too exhausted to respond to the conditions that make us so. How can we think this crisis critically and politically? How can we collectivise our experiences and, how do we organise ourselves and our institutions otherwise?

This workshop invites those interested in working on these questions to meet with French theorist, urbanist and care activist Anne Querrien. Born in 1945, Anne Querrien was a prominent student union organiser in Paris in the 1960s and one of the first women promoted into the senior levels of the French students union. She was president of the Parisian section of the National Care Organisation of French Students (MNEF), and later on the vice-president of the national office, with responsibilities over mental health. Influenced by the work of Felix Guattari, Institutional Analysis and her visits to La Borde Clinic, Querrien re-shaped her relationship to student activism around mental health with the understanding that ‘it is the institution, and not deviant behaviour, that must be cured first.’ An unpopular position amongst student militants, she developed experimental approaches to care on campus, ultimately encouraging students to open up the university and to participate in the broader transformation of society. With Guattari and others, she was involved in the occupations of 1968 and later part of transversal groups in the FGERI (Federation of Groups for Institutional Study and Research, FGERI), working specifically on the question of schooling, education and its institutions (her research was republished in 2005 in the monograph L’école mutuelle with a new preface by Isabelle Stengers). Today Anne works as the editor of the magazine Les Annales de la Recherche Urbaine, and participates in the editorial board of the journals Multitudes and Chimères. Anne is both a beautiful narrator of these histories and a sage advisor to younger generations of students and scholars on the learning of La Borde and Institutional Analysis more widely.

In the workshop Anne will recount her own histories with Institutional Analysis and will invite students and lecturers to come with questions around their own interests in organising around these questions. Anne’s vast experience with transversal group processes and experimental workshop formats will help facilitate an inclusive conversation not only around questions of ‘mental health’ today, but also around possibilities of micropolitical care practices within the university and beyond.

Open to everyone

Wysing BA Day Retreat

Participants in the Wysing BA Day Retreat will plan and participate in a day of collaborative activities and experiments on a theme of their choosing at the Wysing Arts Centre, in collaboration with Emily Rosamond and Wysing curator Lotte Juul Petersen. The retreat is designed to offer a collaborative, self-directed, ‘lab’ learning experience for BA students, introduce participants to Wysing’s programming, encourage collaboration across BA programmes, and give participants experience in hosting events in a professional setting.

Contact Emily Rosamond for more information:

Date: 26th June 2018

Open to Goldsmiths students, Wysing studio artists and Wysing visiting artists

Wysing Arts Centre website


The READANCE project aims to set up an unconventional study group on contemporary dance: one in which we both read contemporary dance theory and actually dance. It’s an attempt to make theory collide with practice, mind meet body, and bodies encounter each other. It’s about engaging in an experiment of embodied reflection: how can we think in a way that is not only about the body but that happens through it

Dates: 23 April 2018; 8th May 2018; 29th May 2018; 12th June 2018

Open to all current Visual  Cultures students. If there are places left, people from other departments or prospective student may join.

Facebook event for the first session here.

counterfield: explorations in decolonial visions and gestures, series one

Open to all

Dates: 2nd May 2018; 9th May 2018; 16th May 2018; 23rd May 2018; 30th May 2018; 6th June 2018; 13th June 2018

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Filming Revolution – A workshop exploring platforms for presenting practice and theory research

Filming Revolution is an interactive meta-documentary by Alisa Lebow, that surveys the field of independent/documentary filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution. Comprised of extracts from over 30 interviews with filmmakers, activists, archivists, and artists, with linked extracts from their work, this project attempts to map out the range of filmic practices and approaches not only to filming revolution, but to thriving creatively in the current climate and context. Interviews have been edited and organised based on searchable keywords, prompted by the issues and concerns raised in the interviews themselves. Conceived as much as a scholarly research project as a creative digital one, Filming Revolution transitions research materials off the printed page and onto the (interactive) screen, exploiting the dynamic potential of Web 2.0 to bring a study of filmmaking practices and theories alive.

Open to: Visual Cultures PhD students

For MA and PhD students from other departments, please send an email to, if you are interested in attending

Note: The website was launched in 2015, it is currently being expanded and in the process of being transferred to Stanford University Press as part of their new digital initiative, so you will need a password to access it. We ask you to spend some time exploring the project before we meet, and ideally to make your own ‘pathway’ to be shared with the group (be sure to name it and see if you can create a guided experience for us). It would be good to also look at one (or more) other interactive documentary projects to compare how they are organised, the navigation options, the way in which they manage video content, etc. A good site to find a range of projects is MIT’s Open Doc Lab.

You are welcome to share your own research materials and ideas for online/non-linear/experimental presentation formats.

Limited to 25-30 people booking required except for VC PhD students