Bad Endings & the Afterlives of Greenham Common - 16th March, 4-6pm

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As part of the Cultivator-funded series of creative network events at the Hypatia Trust, Alexandra will present: 'Bad endings and the afterlives of Greenham Common'. The talk is free and refreshments will be provided! Do book a place via Eventbrite if you can as this gives us an idea of how many people to expect.

This talk begins by reconsidering the unsatisfactory conclusion of a published article by the speaker on the strategic mobilisation of the maternal - and maternal mourning in particular - as a defence against the 'pantoclastic' threat of nuclear world war. Kokoli's reflection on the mobilisation of mourning and mother-and-child iconographies in the visual and material cultures of the peace camp at Greenham Common ended with an anti-authoritarian reclamation of failure as an antidote to war-bound triumphalism in the writings on Virginia Woolf and Jacqueline Rose. Beyond psychoanalytic theory and feminist anti-war discourse, however, failure is evoked all too often in assessments of the legacies of the women's peace camp at Greenham Common and similar occupations and activist initiatives. Such assessments of Greenham Common's successes and failures will be revisited in order to reframe and complicated them: in addition to questioning the meaning of 'failure' in pacifist contexts, I propose new understandings of Greenham and its legacies as an alternative uncanny dwelling; a durational performative artwork; and a school for art and activism.

About Alexandra
: Dr. Alexandra Kokoli is Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at Middlesex University London and Research Associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. An art historian and theorist originally trained in comparative literature, Kokoli researches the aesthetic mobilisation of discomfort to political ends, focusing on art practices informed by and committed to feminism, the fraught but fertile relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis, mourning and shame. She curated ‘Burnt Breakfast’ and other works by Su Richardson (Goldsmiths, 2012) and, with Basia Sliwinska, Home Strike (l'étrangère, 2018), and has published widely on feminism, art and visual culture in journals including Art Journal, Women and Performance, n.paradoxa, Performance Research, Oxford Art Journal and Hypatia. Her books include The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (2016); and (as editor) Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference (2008); and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller, 1977-2007 (2008). Kokoli is currently researching the legacies of the women's peace camp at Greenham Common and, more broadly, the aesthetics and politics of feminist anti-nuclear activism.


Image Credit: Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, main gate, c.1983. Photograph by Sigrid Møller, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; slides scanned by Holger Terp, June 2006.