Sunday, October 20th, 2019 | 11:00am at Monnot Theatre

Rijin Sahakian will trace some of the formidable uses of discourse and image making that have furthered acceptance and mystification of war-making power as well as the wide-ranging ramifications of violence as an act, ideology, and research methodology, as evidenced through the Gulf Wars and their after-effects. Iraq has long been a “prescient state,” a site where the intentional actions of a host of forces⁠—imaginary and physical, international and domestic⁠—have resulted in conditions that shaped, and continue to inform, our futures. These include: the conflation of mass incarceration and refugee mega camps; systemic wealth disparity and the circulation of labor; physical and sexual violence; irreversible environmental damage launched through traditional and non-traditional warfare; destruction of historic sites and community histories; surveillance and information systems that employ PSYOPS to everyday encounters; and the very real relationship with terror as a regular, exhausting specter.

Rijin Sahakian received her MA in Cultural Policy from New York University. She founded Sada, a nonprofit platform for arts education and production efforts serving Baghdad-based artists, which she directed until its closure in spring 2015. Sahakian has conducted seminars and programs at arts and education spaces in the US and abroad, including the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, where she curated Shangri La: Imagined Cities and co-edited the accompanying book with Mostafa Heddaya. She has contributed in writing to a range of artist projects and publications including Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, Hyperallergic, Jadaliyya, Warscapes, and e-flux journal