BECOMING CITIZENS: A CONVERSATION WITH BISAN ABU EISHEH AND OUSMAN NOOR

Bisan Abu Eisheh; Screenshot from video Victory Land, 2008
Bisan Abu Eisheh for Radio Materiality, Vessel 2013

As part of the Dreamed Native Ancestry [DNA] programme, this conversation between artist Bisan Abu Eisheh and barrister Ousman Noor explores mobility and migration seen simultaneously from affective, political and legal points of view.

While reflecting on how these dimensions affect journeys and attempts to cross borders, this dialogue unravels some urgent questions: what is the social and political agency of migration? And how can it go beyond bureaucratic and legal frameworks of visibility and representation? Can we understand migration through the lens of what Sandro Mezzadra refers to as ‘the gaze of autonomy’, which implies “looking at migratory movements and conflicts in terms that prioritise the subjective practices, the desires, the expectations, and the behaviours of migrants themselves.”
 
A performance by sound artists Dubmorphology will follow the talk (from approximately 4pm), during which visitors are free to come and go as they please.
 
The event forms part of Dreamed Native Ancestry (DNA), an installation and programme critically addressing and re-thinking contemporary issues around race, migration, biopolitics and culture, through an Afrofuturist science fiction narrative and deep history perspective.
 
This event is free and open to all, although we recommend reserving a place here.
 
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
 
BISAN ABU EISHEH
Born in Jerusalem in 1985, Bisan Abu Eisheh is a Palestinian artist living and working between Jerusalem and Glasgow. He uses art as a tool to investigate history, society and politics. Working across media, such as video, installations and interventions, with a practice situated both within the gallery space and the public sphere, his work attempts to create a sort of shared awareness for himself as well as his audience about several details lost within grand narratives. Researching through different resources, from conversations and oral testimonies to archives and collected objects he tries to challenge the aesthetics of his artworks in order to bring some facts under the eyes of his viewers. By doing so, his works often aspire to open a dialogue and, perhaps, seek answers related to several topics such as national identity, mobility, migration and socio-political injustice.
 
Abu Eisheh believes that such complex topics often require fragmenting the work into several phases of exploration and experimentation, which eventually leads to the final outcome. He values process as much as production and therefore endeavours to share these processes publicly at various stages before reaching the final project outcome. For his PhD research, Abu Eisheh is investigating how the political situation resulted by the signing of the Oslo Agreement, between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Israeli State, affected on the roles of Palestinian politicises art practices within the Palestinian context.
 
OUSMAN NOOR
Ousman Noor is a Barrister with extensive experience in representing individuals in immigration detention, making bail applications in Immigration Tribunals on their behalf. This experience led to a strong conviction that immigration detention was often performed unlawfully with insufficient transparency or accountability to the rule of law.
 
From 2014 to 2017 he has run The Habeas Corpus Project, a non-profit organisation that provided pro-bono legal representation in challenging unlawful detention of individuals in the UK.
 
Ousman’s office is based next door to Arts Catalyst’s Centre on Cromer Street in Kings Cross. He is part of the curatorial advisory group for Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process alongside Arts Catalyst, Territorial Agency, curator Claire Louise Staunton (Flat Time House/MK Gallery) and Susan Schuppli, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.