Editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies
Flavia Laviosa was honoured at the Italy’s presidential palace in Rome. The event marked the 60th anniversary of the David di Donatello Awards (1956-2016). Laviosa was recognized for the special issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (Vol. 4:2, 2016), which was dedicated to the historic and artistic celebrations of this anniversary with testimonials, reflections and interviews.
To recognize her contribution to the academic study of Italian film and media, Laviosa was invited to this year’s awards ceremony in Rome on 18 April. Prior to the evening awards, she attended a solemn ceremony in the morning followed by a reception, both at the Quirinale Palace. Here she met Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella. He congratulated her for promoting Italian cinema in the world with this academic publication. He also expressed his admiration for the journal’s distinguished contribution to Italian culture and art. ‘The encounter with President Mattarella was warm, cordial and inspiring, as were his words of recognition for my work as the founder and principal editor of the journal’ Laviosa reported.
The event also led to another honour for Laviosa. During a conversation with Roberto Cicutto, the President of the Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, she was invited to present the journal to artists, producers, film critics and the media at the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on 18 May, as part of the Italian Cinema Section. Her work on the journal will also take her to Seoul, South Korea. She will lecture there and will formally present the journal at the 8th edition of their Italian Film Festival in October. Such a global reach for the journal is part of its mission, to articulate a ‘multifaceted definition of Italian cinema, transcending geo-ethnic land and sea borders and moving away from merely celebratory local cinematic experiences’.
Intellect is delighted to announce the new special issue of the Punk & Post-Punk 4.2&3 on Punk Scholarship and Pedagogy. This special double volume is dedicated to the study of the wider punk and post punk landscape from its origins, definitions, histories subcultural attitudes and values to its aesthetics and cultural impact.
Articles titles include: (I want some) demystification: Deconstructing punk by Russ Bestley and 'I could scream my truth right through your lies if I wanted to': Bikini Kills sound-collage and the subversive rhetoric of grrrlhood by Megan Sormus
For more information on this journal click here
In the context of Birmingham Big Art Project (BBAP), Eastside Projects and Art & the Public Sphere journal (APS) are collaborating on a special issue on Public Art. The Birmingham Big Art Foundation aims to commission an internationally significant work of public contemporary art for the city of Birmingham (UK) in partnership with The Birmingham Civic Society. This special issue of APS will provide a platform for the development of a critical discourse around public art in contemporary society and for the investigation of its limitations and potentialities in the public domain.
Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 June 2016.
Intellect is delighted to announce the new issue of the Journal of Greek Media & Culture 2.1, which aims to engage with broader methodological and theoretical debates, and situate the Greek case in global, disaporic and transnational contexts.
Article titles include: 'From the subject of the crisis to the subject in crisis: Middle voice on Greek walls' by Maria Boletsi and 'Depicting the pain of others: Photographic representations of refugees in the Aegean Shores' by Georgios Giannakopoulos
For more information on this journal please click here
Intellect is delighted to announce the new issue of International Journal of fashion Studies 3.1 this issue brings together six peer-reviewed articles which cover a broad range of topics from the work of designers, business leaders and image makers to Surrealism, dandyism and hoodies.
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In honour of Masoud Yazdani, Chairman of Intellect, who passed away in 2014, Film Matters recently commissioned its inaugural Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Film Scholarship. This tribute reflects Masoud’s keen interest in and support of Film Matters and — by extension — undergraduate scholars. This book award will now be given annually to a Film Matters author who has published a feature article during the previous volume year. The winning author receives a book from the field of film studies, in recognition of his/her achievement.
Film Matters is very pleased to report that, following a lengthy judging process (conducted by three individual academics based at institutions of higher education worldwide), the winner of the first Yazdani Award is Christina Newland, for her FM 5.1 (2014) article, “Archetypes of the Southern Gothic: The Night of the Hunter and Killer Joe.” Congratulations to Christina on her fine achievement, among what was an exceptionally high level of writing across the entire group of essays.
The article 'From the subject of the crisis to the subject in crisis: Middle voice on Greek walls' is now free to download from Ingenta here.
This article revisits the theorizations of the middle voice by Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Hayden White, Dominick LaCapra and others, and explores its potential in fostering alternative accounts of the contemporary Greek subject against the backdrop of popular discourses on the Greek 'crisis'.
For further information on the Journal of Greek Media and Culture pleave visit it's page.
Following the release of our latest book, JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays, we caught up with Caridad Svich to find out more about her book.
Could you tell us a bit about your new book?
JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays is a collection of three of my most open texts for performance. Open in terms of the theatrical invitation they make for potential collaborators as well as in regards to form. The title piece JARMAN (all this maddening beauty)centers on the artistic legacy of iconic queer British filmmaker Derek Jarman. The other two piece in the book are Carthage/Cartagena, which focuses on themes of displacement and human trafficking in a mythic-poetic landscape, and The Orphan Sea, which focuses on themes of migration and homecoming, filtered through the lens of the Penelope and Odysseus story. All three pieces emphasise unique textual score that is multivocal, contrapuntal and musical in its design and affect. They are pieces, that for me, anyway, work at the limits of what may be possible in live performance that is grounded in text.
You mention in your own website that you experienced a "strange kind of exile" whilst growing up. How much of this feeling do you think has affected your work and why?
I am a US Latin@ writer of Argentine-Croatian, Cuban-Spanish descent. Ever since I started writing, my work has always explored liminality – the languages and places and feelings of being between things, as it were. I resist otherness, but am interested in how and why individuals mark and name an Other. I lived in about seven US states while I was growing up. I saw a lot of the US via trips by car, which means you end up seeing the backyards of America, as it were, and listening to a range of sounds and voices that are not, shall we say, homogenous in any way. I think the writer’s position is always one of being outside, looking in, and at the same time, looking out. You hopefully reflect something of the cultures in which you live and also point toward aspects of the human condition that transcend this immediate reflection. As a child that grew up between the English and Spanish language, and one that has ended up writing in both, I have always felt in a similar kind of position in relationship to these languages – they are both mine and not mine, part of my identity and I see and shape the world as an artist, but also always in search of a language that is both – not one or the other, but a hybrid fusion of both in terms of cadence, rhythm and meter. This goes beyond translation. One of the things that initially attracted me to Jarman’s films, for instance, was both their inherent, avowed British-ness and defiant queer-ness, but also their search for something beyond frame(s) of reference. We might call this a visionary approach. How does this relate to exile, you may ask? I suppose it has to do with feeling apart from. I sometimes joke with my colleagues that when I am writing it often feels that I am writing from the wilderness or in the wilderness, exiled, in a sense, from the precepts, social conditions, and/or expectations of immediate, local and national culture(s). This means partly that I seek to treat the canvas of the page as a unique text-score every time, while also striving toward a new poetics for the stage. But it also means that the wilderness – the forest, to use another metaphor – may be the place from which to find new potentiality and possibility(ies) for transformation. Exile, then, as a condition that can be freeing.
When did you first become interested in performance art?
I write plays that sometimes “look like plays’” on the page, but often not. I live between theatre and performance as a text-based artist. I still identify as a playwright and theatre-maker, but lately I have been calling myself a “text-builder,” so as to free up what expectations there may be about what a “play” is or can be. I became interested in performance art through the work, initially, of the late Ana Mendieta. I encountered some of her video and photographic work shortly after she passed away. I also started researching her life and work. I think it was the first time I witnessed work that was earth and body-based and feminist, but also very much speaking to her cultural identity as a Cuban artist. I obtained my MFA in Theatre from UCSD. La Jolla Playhouse is the resident professional theatre on campus. Now, although for many in the field, perhaps, LJP’s identity as a theatre company is tied to its Broadway transfers, like “Big River,” it also is a company that presents fairly boundary-blurring work. So, for example, at LJP, is where I first saw the work of performance and music artist Rinde Eckert and the directorial work of Peter Sellars, and the early work of UK’s Improbable Theatre. Seminal queer feminist poet Eileen Myles was teaching at UCSD when I was there, and if you wandered into the English and Comparative Literature Department, you couldn’t help but feel her impact on the kind of writing that was happening there. I trained with Maria Irene Fornes for four consecutive years in New York City after I received my MFA, and writers-makers in the room included performance artist Carmelita Tropicana and on occasion, Holly Hughes would sit in and work. So, this notion that performance art was somehow outside of the world of theatre-making never really occurred to me. To me, writing for the live body in performance is central, which means that you are writing within a durational form that explores sound, space and time, and viscerality. Now, I am well aware that, yes, if you are thinking canonically from a Western drama perspective, then perhaps this notion that the boundaries are blurred does not factor in quite. But I would argue that if you look at the history of masque plays, for instance, there is a direct ontological link to what may be called performance art. I think we are in a great and interesting time in the arts, where, certainly, strict boundaries are fare less so. I mean, how can you write for live performance and not think about the legacy of Forced Entertainment or Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson’s work with Goat Island, or Chris Goode or Claire MacDonald and Fiona Templeton?
Would you be able to pick a favourite play that you wrote?
Ah, picking favourites is not fair! I have written over forty plays. So, to pull one out and say, this one feels as if I am abandoning the others. I can say, though, that there are plays that changed or signaled how I thought about theatre-making. Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues was the first play where I let myself consider the presence of song-speech. Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart was the first play where I built in a dramaturgical vocabulary for mediated landscapes.The Orphan Sea is the first play where I created spell structure, as opposed to “scenes.”
Do you have any advice for upcoming playwrights on inspiration, writing processes etc?
It is so hard to write anything. That is, it is easy to write, but much harder to actually clear away all of the clutter of life, business, etc. and actually re-locate the pulse of your individual heartbeat. To really listen t yourself and the world. I advise anything and everything that can make this possible. Taking long walks, seeing a lot of art and then depriving yourself of it. Resisting market-driven impulses and expectations. Looking at the page as an infinite canvas that is open to all possibility(ies) of inscription. Trust the work. This is tough to do. Because you may be defying all the odds, but if you don’t, if there isn’t blood on the page as well as joy, then you may not be digging deep enough within yourself. Laugh. Joke. Live. These too are crucial. The ecstasy and joy of life as well as honoring the wounds we carry. All of these lead to the work.
What did you enjoy the most when writing and editing this book?
The collaboration with Kevin Brown, John Moletress, Theron Schmidt and Pedro De Senna was one of the great joys of putting this boo together. You never know how fellow practitioners are going to write about the work and think about its meanings. So, their contributions are truly surprising and joyful.
Do you have any future research projects or plans?
I am currently editing a new book on audience engagement for Theatre Communications Group in New York, which will launch in June 2016; am working on several new works for performance that continue to explore linguistic and cultural hybridity, and am co-editing a book of interviews with playwrights for Methuen UK, which will release in spring 2017, if all goes well. I think I am a little at a cross-roads as an artist – part of me wants to write epic dance-opera-theatre, and another part of me wants to make intimate, sustainable shows that require very little technically.
Have you read any Intellect books? If so, which is your favourite Intellect book at the moment?
I first encountered Intellect books through the work of Liz Tomlin and Point Blank! I still adore their book. More recently, favourites are Claire MacDonald’s Utopia and Jo Longhurst’s On Perfection.
To buy a copy of this book please click here.
‘Morocco is like a sponge. We absorb from Europe, Africa and the Arab world while retaining our own roots. It’s always been like that,’ says journalist Mouna Belgrini, who has been reporting on Casablanca’s fashion scene for a decade. ‘You can choose which culture you identify with and express that through the way you dress.’ Both geographically and spiritually, Morocco has been at the crossroads of trade routes and empires for centuries, giving its creative hub, Casablanca, a unique fashion landscape. Formerly a harbour town, the French Protectorate introduced urbanism to Casablanca in the early twentieth century, including European fashion trends that were adopted by the upper classes. The Nationalist Movement embraced Moroccan attire such as hayk (wrapper) and djellaba (hooded robe) as a sign of resistance. The moderate King Mohammed V led his country to independence in 1956 but was soon succeeded by his son Hassan II whose dictatorship demanded conservative dress. Nevertheless, the first generation of fashion designers emerged in the 1960s with a fresh take on Moroccan style. Casablanca was by now a cosmopolitan city and designers such as Zina Guessous, Zhor Sebti and Tamy Tazi understood that women here were living modern lives so could not wear heavy traditional robes that restricted their movements.
These designers therefore began to offer lighter takes on the caftan using haute couture fabrics. Tazi, who only retired in 2013, became renowned for her exquisite embroideries and textiles. She featured in US Vogue and also acquired the rights to represent Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco. Saint Laurent, who was born in Algeria and had a home in Marrakech, was famously drawn to Morocco during this period along with the A-list hippy set. The likes of The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Cat Stevens and Frank Zappa all visited the country while Moroccan silhouettes influenced global trends. This in turn helped to boost the popularity of Moroccan designers at home and abroad. By the 1980s and 1990s, a second wave of designers came to the fore. Karim Tassi, Zhor Raïs, Albert Oiknine, Simonohamed Lakhdar, Noureddine Amir, Fadila El Gadi and Salima Abdel Wahab all have their own personal takes on contemporary fashion ranging from overtly Moroccan to highly conceptual. Zineb Joundy studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris and worked for Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin before returning to Casablanca to launch her first collection of cocktail dresses in 1992. In 1996 she was approached by lifestyle magazine Femmes du Maroc to create a look for its debut cover and fashion show, called Caftan, which has become the country’s most significant fashion event. ‘I switched to caftans to cater to the demand. And also because of my wanderlust appreciation of embroideries and handcrafts from different cultures,’ explains Joundy who has since shown in New York, London and Paris and become famed for her luxurious one-piece caftan.‘Today my collections are produced between Morocco and India and combine these two colourful, spicy worlds to create my brand identity that all women can wear.’
Morocco has its own inimitable art of caftan. One garment will pass through many hands and specialised crafts originate from different parts of the country. Tarz (embroidery), aqad (buttons), sfifa (loop braiding) and renda (needle lace) plus beads and sparkles can be used to embellish the robe and various metallic and silk cords including mftal, tarssan, dfeera and qetan are applied to decorate and finish the garment. They are no longer everyday attire but regardless of your religion or status, everyone wears caftan to special occasions such as weddings and Eid celebrations. The likes of Zineb Joundy and Zhor Raïs lead the way in caftan chic, by far the most lucrative and sizable segment of the local fashion market.
Since the current King Mohammed VI’s ascension in 1999 there has been a growing artistic freedom, spurred on by improvements in women’s rights, education, technology and the economy, and is reflected through the work of the new breed of designers. Amina Agueznay works with artisans to make spectacular contemporary jewellery, Said Mahrouf excels at fluid draping and Yassine Morabite makes edgy graphic T-shirts. The creative scene has found its spiritual home at the Boulevard Festival, an annual alternative music event co-founded by Momo Geroni and Hicham Bahou. What started out as a 400-person party in 1999 has blossomed into a ten-day spectacular attracting 100,000. ‘Boulevard is a free space where both artists and the public can come and do what they can’t do the rest of the year because of society and religion,’ says Geroni. ‘It is about rediscovering our roots. Colonialism and a move to city living caused us to disconnect from our heritage. We had a problem with our identity. But now we are using it to create something new,’ adds Bahou.
Fashion Cities Africa is available to buy here:
Intellect is pleased to announce that ISCC 7.1 is now available. This general issue showcases articles on a range of topics from the representation of war in international TV series, to a localised critical discourse analysis of the Occupy Movement in Latvia and Sweden. Articles discussing cultural class on contemporary television viewings among the US young middle classes, audience discourses on immigration in Greek media, and the role of the 'political wife' in sex scandal press conferences are also presented. The issue closes with a methodological study of the interview as media research, through psychoanalytic concept of transference.
To access the whole issue, follow this link