IMAG-E-NATION the political & philosophical arts initiative blog

(re)imagining the political and philosophical in the 21st century

The Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative is interested in the ways in which people interact with and compose political and philosophical ideas and actions through the various, diverse media of technology and the arts. Participants in PAI seek to explore the ways in which poetry, literature, music, photography, performance and other creative arts interleave with the political and philosophical life, either as vehicles for criticism, elaboration, theorization, intervention or activism.
The Imag-e-nation blog is a forum for interested parties to share stories, images or other contributions. Contributors range from students and faculty to artists and musicians to professional and casual commentators. Pieces can be short opinions, re-postings of appropriate materials, or original compositions. In addition, the PAI at LUC will make a selection of relevant or provocative news items each week for (re)publication here.


Get ArtActive! Urban intervention in The Hague during NSS 2014

*26 March update*: As the Nuclear Security Summit ends and the roadblocks, fences, and security measures gradually become dismantled, capture this de-escalation moment with your paper tank and send your photos to by 31 March 2014!

How can we visualise the International Zone in a playful manner, penetrating its hard physical shell and exposing its soft underbelly?  How can we involve people in and of The Hague, whose everyday routines are interrupted by the high-level security and surveillance put in place for the Nuclear Security Summit on 24 and 25 March, to add information to the as yet indeterminate map of the International Zone?

The Political Arts Initiative and Stroom Den Haag took a first step with the academic community of The Hague at the i4C on 19 March 2014.  Students and staff from various higher education institutions in The Hague, as well as artists and curators, joined the ArtActive Lab on the top floor of Central Station to prepare for an urban intervention before, during, and after NSS 2014.  The displacement of residents around the World Forum, the extra fencing around The Hague, and the crisis rehearsals in the International Zone culminate in a palpable tension between military presence and civic life, all the more ambivalent in the international capital of peace and justice.

An origami paper tank, unique to each participant, is a small individual gesture to express a critical voice to those invisible surveillance and security measures which are, more often than not, implemented without consent or consultation of the citizenry and in the name of pre-emption of and protection against terrorism.  When each paper tank is placed within the International Zone, wherever its boundaries, these harmless representations of instruments of violence will make an unexpected and united statement about sustained exceptionalism, rights to privacy, and freedom of movement for residents of The Hague.

So, a set of simple instructions for this ArtActive intervention:

1. Fold a paper tank; if you already have yours from the i4C launch, all the better!

2. Place it somewhere in the International Zone, with an international institution (such as an embassy, an NGO office, Peace Palace, World Forum) in view.

3. Take a photo of the tank in your chosen spot and e-mail the snap to i4C in time for a collage at the end of March, which will be displayed at Gaming The City, a Political Arts Initiative symposium in April.

4. Leave the tank there for it to make its statement, or take it elsewhere and repeat steps 2 to 4. 

Make the invisible visible, and join us in this urban intervention!

paper tank / surveillance mechanism / union jack 



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