All That Remains

Tuesday, March 12th, 6pm
Critical Media Lab
Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
Freilager-Platz 1
4142 Basel
The event is free and open to the public.
It will be broadcasted through South South Movement and via zoom: Zoom Link.

Recovery, rehabilitation and care are words that evoke notions of health and the body that is seen as damaged or needs to return to its normal state. Over the past half a century the rhetoric of recovery is increasingly employed in geopolitical contexts, often wrapped in ever-expanding concerns about changing climate, and linking the wellbeing of individuals and societies with the wellbeing of lands. What protocols define normality and healthiness of those? For whose wellbeing? By what means? All That Remains is a conversation that links four geographies, each of which is a destination for recovery, rehabilitation and care that span from the scale of an individual, to the national and planetary scales.

The speakers, architect Lydia Xynogala, researcher Taraf Abu Hamdan, writer Asia Bazdyrieva and design researcher Anastasia Kubrak, will talk about such rhetorics as co-producing concepts of space, land use, materiality, and culture that often inscribe and reiterate colonial techniques through the extractivist infrastructures that they mobilize. Here the plans for lithium mining in Czech Republic promise to rehabilitate regions exhausted by the extraction of fossil fuels; mineral springs in Greece restore bodies of all ages and state economy; technocratic solutions suggest recovery and better use for deserts and “unusable lands” in Jordan; and recovery plans for war-torn Ukraine reproduce imperial epistemologies folded into the European optimism towards green energy transitions. Through their respective research the speakers will deconstruct such destinations of care while looking at how seemingly neutral techniques employed for future infrastructural planning are generative of sociotechnical imaginaries that manifest through language and narratives, and which further frame and diagnose lands as destined for extraction.

On March 13th, 10 am, CML will also host South South Movement’s Bonfire series—and informal gathering with a conversation that aims to scrutinize the Global North—Global South binary and collectively elaborate on discursive distortions, limitations of political imagination and fatigue that such reductionist binaries reproduce.

Curated by doctoral candidates of Make/Sense PhD program Asia Bazdyrieva and Anastasia Kubrak.