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.


A tally of 162 faces for 162 deaths in Gaza


No one seems to know the precise death count for sure. When someone said “one hundred and sixty-two” it was a precise number, so I stuck to that for this drawing. This is because the news is the worst when they say how many people were killed and they only need three seconds to say it.

A small drawing of a human face doesn't say very much about a human life. Each face required individual attention and consideration. This took several hours, rather than several seconds. Now their imagined faces take up space for them to be considered people again………

This new column and earlier graphic columns are here.

'First Contact' - Manga Competition

The Political Arts Initiative is happy to collaborate with Leiden University's on their newest manga competition.

Following on the success of Asiascape’s 2010 manga competition, which led to the creation of the ‘Manga in/as Essay-’magazine, is proud to announce its second competition.
As before, Asiascape seeks contributions from manga artists, cartoonists, students, and scholars for an anthology and also for an exhibition (in real and virtual space). Contributions should take the form of a graphic essay; they should interrogate the theme of ‘First Contact,’ be this between humans and aliens, self and other, man and god, lovers, material and spirit. Contributors may interpret this task as creatively, expansively, or parsimoniously as they like: style, genre, and length may all be freely chosen.


Preference will be given to contributions that seek to explore the impact of First Contact on the politics of knowledge. But any treatment of First Contact will be considered.

Text may be used if desired (in any language, as appropriate – but please provide English translations), but text is not required. The purpose is to explore the expressive potential of manga. Entries can be accompanied by a textual narration/interpretation, but need not be. Winning contributors will be asked to provide such a transcript ahead of publication.

Euro 1000 in prizes will be awarded for the best entries.

Deadline: 31 March 2013

More information is on the Asiascape website

12.12.12 philosophy at the end of the world

In association with the LUC Research Centre, PAI is excited to announce further details of the Christmas Lecture 2012 ... the first 'Philosophy at the end of the World' lecture.
The event promises to cross some boundaries between art and politics and philosophy, as well as between this life and the next.
All are welcome, not only to the lecture but also to the reception, 'Last Orders,' that follows.
The event starts at 19.30 at the Nieuwspoort in the centre of The Hague.

New +HIP Competition & Winners 2nd edition

+HIP, PAI's online magazine in for (photo)graphic street art, calls or entries for its 3rd issue: Alie{n}-ation
This special, themed issue of +HIP calls upon the people of The Hague to photograph, sketch, paint or otherwise (re)present ideas about the alien and alienation in and around the city. These could be statues, dioramas, actors, ETs or anything else that can be (or has been) placed in a place or a space with some significance for INCLUSION, exclusion, VIOLENCE, right, JUSTICE

The deadline for submission is 1 February 2013.


PAI congratulates Chris Terwisscha van Scheltinga and Luc van der Stegen with their winning entry for +HIP Issue no 2: Figur{in}es the Hague.
Their entry and those of others are part of a video parade which is stored in PAI's Video Vault


More info on +HIP and the competition is here.

Zombies at the Futurism Feast

Ian Ginn's fascinating account at the Futurism Feast earlier this November of the recent zombie invasion is now available on the Political Arts website (


More on Ian Ginn and the zombie attack is here

US Elections 2012

A new contribution from Roxane van Beek, the PAI graphic columnist for this academic year.
Roxane warms us up for the US presidential elections Graphic Columnist Style!

A bigger version of this column and earlier graphic columns can be found here.

2012 elections


12.12.12 coming soon ...

In collaboration with the LUC Research Centre, PAI brings you the annual 'Philosophy in the World' lecture on 12.12.12.  Prof Chris Goto-Jones, dean of Leiden University College in The Hague, will speak on 'Life at the End of Days: Philosophy and Apocalypse' at 18.00 (venue tbc).  The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Please mark the date of the beginning of the end in your diaries, and check back to find out where it will happen ...


Futurism Feast: 7 November 2012

The Futurist Manifesto by Marinetti
Movers'n'Shakers reading group discussion
17:00 @ Lobby Café, Ground Floor
Recital of lieder by Alban Berg
Jennifer Elaine Young, Soprano
Jurre van Egteren, Piano
18:00 @ Open Space, 1st Floor
Transmedia story-telling and game-playing
18:30 @ Open Space, 1st Floor
Formaggi e Frutta
Announcement of winning entry
19:30 @ Open Space, 1st Floor
Première of short film
by Toko Mzarelua and Robert van Haaften
19:40 @ Open Space, 1st Floor
Gratuity included for the first 100 patrons to the feast.

New: PAI's Graphic Column

PAI is delighted to present you its first graphic column.
During the course of an academic year, an aspiring (young) artist will share her/his artistic view on politics with the PAI audience by means of a drawing, collage, photograph, etc.

PAI is exited and honoured to have Roxane van Beek as its first Graphic Columnist.
Her first contribution and short biography can be seen on the Graphic Column page of the Political Arts website.


We hope you will enjoy this and the future one(s).



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