Thursday, April 16, 2009

Diary for 16th April to 22nd April 2009

THURSDAY 16th April- What's the 'Matter' in Anthropology?

How do we relate to the material world around us? What types of relationships do we create with objects, and do those relationships affect the relationships we have with other human beings? These are some of the questions which will be explored at Oxford University Anthropological Society's Centenary Conference on May 13th. The conference will be held in St. Hugh's College from 9:30am-5:00pm. Anthropologists Timothy Ingold, Dr. Dan Hicks, Professor Daniel Miller and Professor Stephen Woolgar will be presenting, while Professor Penny Harvey from the University of Manchester will be acting as chairperson for the day. Tickets are 10 pounds for students and 20 pounds for non-students. For more information and to book a place email:

FRIDAY 17th April- Indigenous Rights and Transitional Justice

Today I am going to book a place in advance for a conference held on 1st May 2009, at the Senate House Room, N336 , University of London. The conference is entitled: Recovering Stolen Generations, Land and Culture: Indigenous Rights and Transitional Justice. Organised by the Human Rights Centre and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the conference explores topics such as the UN declaration of rights for indigenous peoples, language rights and language politics, mobilization, and dealing with historic trauma and reconciliation. The conference runs from 8:30am- 6:00pm. The conference is free and open to all but advance booking is required. For more information or to reserve your place email:

SATURDAY 18th April- Capturing the soul of Shah Abbas on film

Today I am going to the British Museum to see a documentary made about the Shah Abbas exhibition now on at the museum. The film contains footage of religious sites and the buildings of Isfahan, as well as interviews with the curator. The British Museum's Director Neil MacGregor is the film's narrator. The documentary is being shown at 1:15pm at the BP lecture theatre. Admission is free, but booking is required. Take a look here for more information.

SUNDAY 19th April- Art and Atrocity

Today is a study day for adults at the Imperial War Museum London, to examine a current art exhibition called: Unspeakable- The Artist as Witness to the Holocaust. The exhibit explores different ways in which official war artists, contemporary artists, and Holocaust survivors, have used art to try and come to terms with the Holocaust. The study is free, for more information contact:

MONDAY 20th April- Festival of Latino rhythms

Running for its 9th year in a row, La Linea Festival is a Latin music festival which runs just over a month and takes place at various venues in Central London. Celebrating music from a wide variety of Spanish speaking countries and diaspora this year has a special Catalan theme. For more information about the festival and a list of the different concerts take a look at this website.

TUESDAY 21st April- Kanaval exhibition and talk

Tonight at the Photofusion Gallery on 17a Electric Lane, British photographer and filmmaker Leah Gordon will talk about her extensive media work in Haiti with John Curras, Postgraduate Theory Coordinator of Chelsea College of Art and Design. The gallery is hosting an exhibition of black and white photographs of Leah's research on pre-Lenten Mardi Gras festivities in Southern Haiti. The talk explores Leah's new film: Atis Rezistans- The Sculptors of Grand Rue, a documentary about a collective of Hatian artists who use junkyard finds to build their voodoo infected sculptures. John Curras (artist, writer and educator) will also talk about his own work exploring survivals of occult and spiritual belief systems in popular culture and the media. The talk starts at 7:15pm and is 5 pounds for non-members. To book your ticket phone: 020 7738 5774.

WEDNESDAY 22nd April- Chicle- Exploring the world of gum

For those of you who have tried the Chicza and have regained a renewed enthusiasm for chewing gum, you might be interested to explore the subject beyond your taste buds. Jennifer P. Matthews, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Trinity University, is currently publishing a a book called Chicle: The Chewing Gum of the Americas, from the Ancient Maya to William Wrigley. The book explores the history of what we in the West call gum, and the work and culture around chicleros (gum farmers). You can read an excerpt of the book here.