Online lecture KABK Studium Generale - Q&A with Amal Alhaag

Due to the preventive measures in relation to coronavirus, the Studium Generale lectures will not take place at the Academy premises.

The remaining lectures will be provided via an online alternative incl. a Q&A with each speaker and are open to anyone interested in participating in the discussion:

This is the adapted web version of this week's lecture 'Stranger from the Sky – emergent strategies for ordinary shape-shifters' by Amsterdam-based independent curator, dj and researcher Amal Alhaag:

“I am trying to teach you how to track your own spirit. I am trying to give you something to take north beside big dreams” - Nana from Daughters of the Dust

“There is no end / To what a living world / Will demand of you.” - Octavia E. Butler

Dear all,
Somehow, #Covid19 turned the world upside down for some of us. For others, the world has been twirling and flipping upside down violently for centuries. This contemporary collapse of capitalism causes many ungrievable death and yet for many marginalized people amidst the chaos their precarious life, body and labor continues to uphold the hyper capitalist machine from halting, taking a break or dissolving. If nothing is safe under the sun, how did writer Octavia E. Butler imagined a world that didn’t parasite on the (underpaid, free etc.) labor of black women like her?

“I have been thinking about that: how sometimes we have to stop what we are doing to feel the true impact of something, to let our bodies experience that impact, the fury of an escalating injustice, a structure as well as an event; a history, an unfinished history. Sometimes to sustain your commitments you stop what you are doing.” - Sara Ahmed

How do we stop what we are doing? How do we sit with the violent histories of slavery and colonialism?, is a question I have been meditating on for some years now and the reality is this question produces more questions for me. The invitation to you was to listen, look, feel and dive into the emergent strategies and wake work as proposed by scholars, poets and activists such as Adrienne Maree Brown, Momtaza Mehri and Christina Sharpe .

Nonetheless, the live event, where orality shapes thoughts and visceral imaginative tools where we together perhaps produce more question is no longer our mode of communication, so I have decided to focus on the act and process of radical, relational and joyful listening by sharing with you a playlist called Strangers from the Sky.

This playlist articulates what it might mean to be sent by history. It showcases how people are trapped, encapsulated by systems that embedded in colonial property relationships (slave vs. owner, worker vs. boss, citizen vs. illegalized) that have informed our institutions in the West.

The playlist requires from all of us to sit with unequal histories and consider how our neocolonial global relations expose the parasitic privileges that have fallen upon us in the West and that unfolds what the contemporary unjust conditions of spatial, legal, psychic and material dimensions of marginalized and exploitable lives.

Here, I would like to echo the words of Christina sharp, I am interested in how we imagine ways of knowing that past, in excess of the fiction of the archive but not only that. I am interested, too, in the ways we recognize the many manifestations of that fiction and that excess, that past not yet past, in the present.

“No windows in a box
Guess you dead
Guess it's over our head
Maybe we matter, she said
Let me go ask mascots, tell you what he said
The world's a ghetto, just ask the bedbugs in my bed
Just ask the fucking sand
Is it code red or code dead?”
– Moor Mother

Lets lower the volume. I wonder if we are able to comprehend the psychic inheritance of an experience for which one has no memory? There’s no end to what a living world will demand of you says Octavia E. Butler, so what can your art do at the end of the world?

I look forward to our conversation.
Warm wishes,

Q&A on Thursday 16 April at 16.00 via ZOOM
Meeting ID: 861 349 342

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Bio - AMAL ALHAAG is an Amsterdam-based independent curator, dj and researcher who develops ongoing experimental and collaborative research practice, public programs and projects on global spatial politics, archives, colonialism, counter-culture, oral histories and popular culture. Her projects and collaborations with people, initiatives and institutions invite, stage, question and play with ‘uncomfortable’ issues that riddle, rewrite, remix, share and compose narratives in impermanent settings.



Thu 16 April 2020 16.00 - 16:30


Q&A via Zoom Meeting ID: 861 349 342

More info