On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Helena Keeffe, artist.
It seems to me that one of the ways inequities stay in place is through our ability to separate ourselves from the Other. Powerful stories erode that ability. I recently watched a video interview with Edward Saïd in which he referred to Gramsci’s “The Prison Notebooks,” specifically the idea that history deposits in us an infinity of traces and that we should try to understand our own history in terms of other people’s histories. Saïd concludes the interview by talking about the need for creativity and invention to find a solution to the ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine. It was humbling to hear someone whose own family was displaced by Israeli occupation remain committed to empathy as a viable path. I’m looking forward to thinking more deeply about this subject of the role of creativity in conflict resolution with fellow simulcast attendees.