ISEA2011 WORKSHOP: Exile Writing

Exile Writing: Arts and Technologies of Women

Workshop Leader: Silvana Carotenuto
2nd Leader: Annalisa Piccirillo

The workshop intends to focus on the female tendency to make sense of the condition of exile through their writings, visual artworks and their use of the internet. These critical/creative connections will be analyzed in the arena of literature, photography, video-art, and web 2.0. The workshop will last four days, and will provide the screening of some creative textualities, specifically related to the problematic. It will also produce a ‘photo-story’ that will be based on the active participation of the audience.

The workshop will take place in four full days (from 11 am to 6/7 pm, with a short break for lunch), and will be divided into four sections:

1) “Reflections on Exile” – Woman’s I/Eye in In-Between Spaces
2) The Castle of Crossed Destinies – a laboratory of digital photography on Istanbul
3) Reading Visions: Women and Survival
4) Digital Diaspora/ Diasporic Dance

On the first day, in the morning, there will be the presentation of the general problematic, also in reference to psychoanalysis, and the following questioning: How does exile affect the feminine psyche? What does it produce in terms of dreams, delirium, nightmares? What links the experience of exile to memory?. In the afternoon, the workshop will present and debate the technologies of ‘photography’ and ‘video-art’ as the specific areas where female artists usually find hospitality for their creative re-elaborations of the experience of exile.

The second day will be dedicated to the planning, production and editing (the gathering of material, narration, structure, discussion) of a ‘photo-story’ (participants are asked to bring along their own cameras, iPhones, smartphones, etc.) inspired by the novel by Italo Calvino, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, and devoted to Istanbul. The participants will be invited to choose specific ‘in-between’ sites of city (stations, squares, the port, markets) that they will identify as places of transit, passage, encounters, in order to trace back their personal experiences (of loss, displacement, non-belonging, postponement) of inhabiting a foreign city.

The third day will retrace this experience of narration in the area of video-art, with a focus on migration. The critical issues of this section will involve the critique of male realism, the post-colonial critique of the documentary, which are the elements that mark a new conception of the cinematic experience when directed by exiled female artists. Here, examples of this new form of contemporary cinema will be discussed in a ‘transnational’ perspective, also with an emphasis the female practice of transposition of literary texts into cinematic visions.

On the fourth day, the workshop will focus on the re-elaboration of the condition of (digital) diaspora through two focal forms of communication: the use of blogs, youtube, facebook, etc. which countersigns the female experience of exile on the Internet and the digital experimentation in the art of contemporary video-dance.

The last section of the workshop will be an open discussion on the results of the workshop, organized in the afternoon of the fourth day. In this occasion, the participants and the public will also partake in a discussion on the publication – on the blog (La lingua di Cleopatra – – of the devised photo-story.
Bios of the Presenters
Silvana Carotenuto is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Literature in English at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, where she directs the Centre for Postcolonial Studies. Her fields of interest are: deconstruction, gender studies, and visual studies. She publishes on Shakespeare (The Language of Cleopatra. Deconstructive Translations and Survivals, Milano, Marinetti, 2009) and on female writing (in 2002 she translated Three Steps in the Ladder of Writing by Hélène Cixous Roma, Bulzoni, 2002 into Italian). She has been part of the international research ‘Atacd’ (Goldsmiths University, G.B.; Utrecht University, Holland; Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale, Italy), and she has directed a series of workshops on ‘migration’, ‘creative writing’ and women.

Annalisa Piccirillo completed her MA in 2008 in Culture and Literature of English Language with a dissertation on Postcolonial Theater-Dance (Theatre-Dance in Transit: Japan, India, South Africa). In her PhD course, she has been working on the critical-theoretical understanding of contemporary performativity in the Anglophone postcolonial context of video- and theatre- choreography produced by female artists (India; South Africa; Mediterranean area). After a residency at the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies of the University of Warwick (UK), she is currently completing her PhD thesis devoted to “Choreography in Diaspora: Politics of Movement in Contemporary Theatre/Video -Dance”.

The Workshop Exile Writing, Arts and Technologies of Women will be conducted by the following members: Viola Sarnelli (PhD student of Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Anglophone World), Monica Calignano, Federica Caporaso, Claudia Meoli (MA students of Culture and Literature of English Language).


Posted by:  Ebru Surek