announcement header image  

University of Gothenburg

Open Call- PARSE Research Conference on Violence

image: Salad Hilowle, Natdragande Morian,  2020.

The fourth PARSE biennial research conference at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden takes place 17/18/19 November 2021.

Call for contributions: panels, papers, performances, screenings, collaborations and workshops:

Violence is (a) sensitive matter. Intensive and consuming. A fact of life, and yet heavily fictioned. For some, it is a human universal, embedded and affecting; shaping history, delimiting social structures and even determining planetary fate. Contrastingly for others, violence is itself this universalizing discourse of colonial-modernity. For some violence exposes injustices and asymmetries. It is in the utterance and resistance of the oppressed and can be heard through the utterances and resistances of those oppressed by its force. Others construe violence as the essential logic of all relations, the foundation of the social. While violence may pervade the lived experiences of all, it surely does so in ways that are differentiated in valency, intensity and outcome.

Representation of violence is ubiquitous. Representation itself is often understood as a primary matrix of violence. Digital networks relay violent events instantaneously; artistic practices often seek to disclose the psycho-social experience of violence. These forms may be seen to extend or redistribute the force and logic of violence. The ethical demand to bear witness is tempered by the challenge to disclose violence without reproducing it. Representation may disclose violence as a semiotic field with its own modes of enunciation. Some propose a limit to representation in genocidal violence while others believe that we properly touch violence through the non-discursive. Divergent figurations of violence—as utterance from elided histories and subaltern lives; as limit or logic of representation; as materiality—shape different enquiries.

This conference invites contributions addressing the question of violence in different formats—panels, performances, events, screenings and discussions—and proposes an encounter between contemporary artistic research and other domains of enquiry.


Conference strands:


Convened by matt lambert, Jyoti Mistry and Temi Odumosu

Violence embeds, impresses, entangles and so many images are resonant: Slow motion sequences of battlefields with Wagnerian overture celebrating the glory of bombings, bloodshed and human destruction. Black and white images of black men in Harlem describing their secret desires for one another, cloak their pain and longing in luminous smoke, while listening to the strains of Duke Ellington. Under the guise of assimilation in the isolated outback, brown children raised by white families expose their alienation, staged against stunning backdrops and intense moments of silence.

Violence made beautiful. Violence experienced in the psycho-social and historical genealogies of people embedded in their fiber.

Tonnages of photographic paper covered with bodies (African, Indigenous, Pacific), ambivalent bodies appearing as colonial evidence. All the gazes we can conjure, looking back, looking out, looking over which include the horror fictions and monster stories that allegorize our human shadow work.

Still and moving images hold these matters in suspense.

Where to begin with unfolding the artistic language of violence as aestheSis? What practices register the intimacies of violence, its reverberations in bodily and psychic memories? What aesthetic forms seek to capture the politics of violence? What are the ethics of violence made beautiful? How to register what lies in the folds of the relationship between histories of the colonizer and the colonized, between victims and aggressors and, between the oppressed and oppressor?



Convened by Cecilia Lagerström and Jyoti Mistry

This strand focuses on the multiple meanings and experiences of the body in its entangled relation to art, performance and the world. We invite a gathering of voices to speak or act or perform from bodies and subjectivities from various fields and practices for a cross-disciplinary conversation on embodiment, in connection to the current states of the world and how it relates to violence.   

Bodies in pain rejected Bodies cannot breathe Bodies resist repel Bodies keeping distance Bodies encountering other Bodies wrenched from pasts unresolved Bodies intrude assault identities lost identities gained Bodies desire claim space Bodies as targets as sites as playing grounds Bodies at rest worldmaking Bodies  

Contributions in any disciplinary forms are welcomed which explore the body and embodied agencies in relation to histories, memories, structural and social regulation, resistance, conflict and reconciliation. It may be a matter of examining what kind of choreographies are born out of situations of restrictions, aggression or resolution. Or to question the role the body plays in maintaining, legitimizing or transforming structural oppression. The theme includes bodies that reclaim lost identities and propose new strategies, that create new spaces for what has previously been silenced. With the body as a starting point, we invite inquiries into what is at stake today in the tensions between embodied practices and the complex socio-political contexts in which we find ourselves.   

Presentations in different formats are encouraged, including workshops, lecture demonstrations and performance(s). Contributors may be asked to be part of “mini-panels” as a form for engaged discussion on the presentations. We would like to create space for joint conversations between different presenters across practices and disciplines, where propositions can be further developed.  



Convened by Rose Brander, Jyoti Mistry and Åsa Sonjasdotter

Concerning the ‘unbelievable’ burning, draining, depleting, and toxification, as much as the lived realities of ending worldsIn the non-spectacle of slow violence, is peace with the Earth imaginable? In the ruins of neoliberal caretaking, is non-violence realistic?  

This strand proposes to unpack the legacy of imperialist and patriarchal violences perpetrated against and upon the planet, and the potential role of transdisciplinary research and practices that are confronting, critiquing and refiguring this matter and narrative.  

Humans possess the profound ability to alter their environment/habitat- to the extent that parts of the planet have become and are rapidly becoming uninhabitable. The brutal inequity of this emergency, where and who is impacted is devastating and unjust. Many scientific reports evidence the level of danger. The 2021 Frontiers in Conservation Science article predicts a sadly unsurprising, “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals.” 

How are artists, scholars and activists addressing this profound /more-than/ humanitarian and existential crises?  We invite abstracts from those interested in contributing to discussions on ecocide and environmental justice; methods for reworking the relation between land rights activism, political realism and global capitalism; racial and gender injustices, Indigeneity and peasantry, extinction and mutual dependency. 



Convened by Jessica Hemmings and Ole Lützow-Holm

Ear-splitting sonic ruptures and technologies in conflict; the memory of a steel brush on the surface of a woven fabric; traces of physical distortion, of turmoil, dissonance and collapse; evidence of obsolete rigidity and rebellious divergence. We are curious about the notion of violence in art practices and how it may be understood as manifest in crafts and materials. 

As part of the 2021 PARSE conference, you are hereby invited to submit panel proposals. We welcome performative as well as discursive and speculative contributions that explore the urgent significance of crafted materiality. How does it vibrate or radiate through a diversity of visual, haptic, auditive and spatial modalities? What is sealed, what is distributed, what is not there at all? What are the codes inherently entangled in a textile web or a musical passage – the correlations, the objectives and the images they are assumed to accommodate? 

The intended panel arrangement seeks to facilitate a type of mirrored feedback where the participants, called upon to share research in the making, act within a dialogical and mutually responsive framework. Rather than attempting to establish transdisciplinary coherence, we hope to engage in a consistent mode of communicative efforts that pays tribute to knowledge exchange across disciplines and value the probability of misinterpretation. 


State Violence as Practice 

Convened by Jane Tynan and Mick Wilson

Open to art-based and non-art-based researchers, this strand invites a dialogue across academic disciplines and artistic practices with respect to violence and statecraft. Weber, building upon themes from Bodin and Hobbes, famously asserts that ”physical force is specific and intrinsic to the state.” For Weber, the state is the form of human community laying claim to the monopoly on the legitimated use of physical force.” However, as the wide currency of the terms biopolitics, thanatopolitics and necropolitics attests, the state’s intrinsic violence unfolds in concrete practices, techniques, apparatuses and imaginaries that cannot be fully specified with reference solely to discourses of representation, legitimacy and sovereignty. What are the current forms of enquiry and research that explore state violences through consideration of material culture, quotidian practice and bodily comportments? In what ways might designers, theatre-makers, choreographers, musicians, film-makers, authors, artists and other makers be shaping and contributing to these research agendas? Can the encounter across academic disciplines, artistic practices and multiple constituencies foster new critical insight into the state’s many violences?   


Deadline for abstracts: APRIL 19, 2021, click here to submit. 


Please include:
1. an abstract/ summary description of the proposed contribution (300 words)

2. short bio of participant(s) (150 words) indication of technical or other requirements for the contribution / presentation


*Please note we are planning for the format of the conference to be a hybrid event, with events happening IRL at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts and online, depending on the ever-changing global situation. We will confirm the final format by April 5th.




footer logo

SARA: Society for Artistic Research Announcement service

Interested in using our announcement service ? Go here