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.


What Is T̶h̶e̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶m̶o̶n̶ ̶G̶o̶o̶d̶? An academic, activist, artistic discussion on 22 April

Accompanying et al.’s installation For The Common Good, the Political Arts Initiative joins West Den Haag to investigate the conceptual and practical contours of “the common good”: what is common, what is good, and what are the challenges, opportunities, and caveats of defining a common good?  

You are warmly invited to:
An interactive discussion amongst academic, activist, and artistic voices
on 22 April 2015, 16:00 – 19:00 @ West Den Haag

From et al.'s For The Common Good @ West Den Haag

Attentive to et al.’s artistic strategies and socio-political sensibilities, speakers from a wide range of professions and priorities will share their perspectives on the question of the common good and invite the audience to tease apart assumptions and talk through current and future claims and visions for the common good.  Enabled by et al.’s redactive approach, let’s ponder the blackened omissions and imagine strategies for living and acting together in the 21stcentury with:

  • Jason File (b. 1976, Marquette, Michigan, USA) is an artist, lecturer and war crimes prosecutor. He holds Fine Art degrees from the Chelsea College of Arts, London and from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (2013), where he currently teaches. He also holds degrees in the humanities, social sciences and law from Yale (1998), Oxford (2000) and Yale Law School (2004). He has been awarded numerous art prizes including the 2014 Zabludowicz Collection Future Map Prize. File has exhibited in solo and group shows both in Europe and in the United States. He lives and works in The Hague.
  • Of Flemish-Scottish, atheistic background, Helen Hintjens grew up in the African continent, following her father's career to Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Angola, Rwanda, France and Croatia.  Since 1986 Helen has been teaching Development Studies in UK universities and since 2005 at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She publishes on Rwanda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and on asylum rights advocacy in the EU and beyond.  In July 2014, she achieved a lifetime dream of graduating in Fine Art from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague.  In the Age of the Wall, with a global war on forced migrants, Helen stubbornly sticks to the belief in the common good of unrestricted free movement.
  • Els Leclercq is an urban designer and published researcher with expertise in delivering planning, design and development projects for the public and private sectors, including urban analysis, urban design and masterplanning, and project management. She has a professional interest in observing and researching the evolution of urbanity.  To this effect, she is currently undertaking a PhD at the department of Design as Politics at TUDelft, Netherlands, to examine whether the European ‘urban renaissance’ of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has delivered the regenerative revival it promised to deliver.
  • Enzo Rossi teaches political theory at the University of Amsterdam, and co-edits the European Journal of Political Theory.  His academic background is mostly in philosophy, and his work is centred around the relationship between the normative and the descriptive study of society.  The more practical upshot of this focus is an ongoing interest in legitimacy, both de facto and normative—an interest which recently has become far more practical than usual, because of Enzo's involvement in the Rethink UvA campaign for the democratization of university governance.
  • Urok Shirhan (b. 1984) is a visual artist and a current research resident at the Jan van Eyck Academy.  She studied Fine Arts at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2012/2013 she was a participant in the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, Lebanon.  Shirhan’s work examines issues such as identity, migration and (mis)representation.  She has recently worked on a research project regarding the mediatisation of the Iraq War, Occupy Baghdad (2012-2014).  Shirhan currently lives and works between Amsterdam and Maastricht.

The event will be moderated by Cissie Fu in an intimate and interactive setting, where speakers and audience will share the site-specific terra nullius created by et al. for a substantive and open dialogue. 

Entry is free and a light supper will be served.  For catering purposes, RSVP here.

We look forward to welcoming you on 22 April!


Tagging beautiful moments: an all-weekend data party 11-12 April

Following PAI's collaboration with i4C to kick off Janne Willem's Seize Your Moments data weekend in February, Janne invites you to party with her team and thousands of beautiful moments collected from around the world this coming weekend in Utrecht!  Full details are here.

Data analysis for Janne's project began on 20 February and has continued steadily over the weeks, with keen eyes and descriptive power of over seventy crowd-sourced strangers who met in person to shared memorable moments while tagging images collectively, or worked separately at home to code distinctive characteristics per drawing to keep intercultural perceptions of beauty to life.  Take a glimpse into Janne's online tagging environment and join in the fun!



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