[-empyre-] On Passport Privilege, forward from Naeem

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Wed Jan 16 20:58:37 EST 2008

Goes to show that "virtual" and "real" sites are no different. An artist
like Smithson worked with the dualities he did (absence/presence,
random/ordered, site/non-site) not to construct difference but to query it
and propose that there might be no difference.

I found Naeem Mohaiemen's story both touching and chilling. Coming from a
very different place: when young (and feeling "ship-wrecked" in Adelaide) we
would be visited by international "big names" (usually only in town because
their funding required them to head east of Parramatta when in Sydney for
the Biennale) and afterwards many of us would feel like those "local"
Vietnamese artists must have when the circus left town. However, my passport
was blue so eventually that allowed me to run away to join the circus.

A recent trip to southern India highlighted the issue. This is an area that
is supposedly "booming" but in reality is coming apart at the seams as its
social, technical and political infrastructures collapse under the pressures
of rapid change. The embedded class structures, amplified by passport
apartheid, feeds a corrupt system where there is little respect for human
life. The benefits of globalisation thus only accrue to those with the right
passports. Others are left to die in the mud. In this context perhaps the
only sensible response to hopelessness is anger?



On 16/1/08 01:01, Christina McPhee wrote:

> To add salt to the wounds on this  issue of passport privilege and
> site/non-site, I just want to say, that at this moment our mailman
> software at COFA is apparently censoring Naeem's  email so that his
> posts must be reposted through the moderator, or else they completely
> disappear.  In the past years (in late 2006) I recall that the filters
> were censoring in re Arabic/Islamic nomenclature, does anyone recall
> this?  it was in connection with the month that Ana Valdes moderated
> on Palestinian issues.   I am chagrined beyond belief that the list
> moderating interface doesnt pemit us any way to address this situation
> and that I must appeal to the College of Fine Arts In Sydney
> adminstrator whom I do not know. Apparently someone at the COFA has
> set up filters for their lists and -empyre- is adversely affected.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk
AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk

Research Professor in Art, Edinburgh College of Art
s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

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