Join us for an evening with internationally renowned anthropologist Michael Taussig and artist Simryn Gill. The evening marks the long term inter-disciplinary collaboration between Taussig and Gill, where they will discuss their recent research regarding the violent bio-drama of oil palms, considering various socio-political issues at play.
Michael Taussig will present A Test Case: The Palm Plantation as Violence and Art, addressing the African Palm in the context of northern Colombia where it is known as a “paramilitary crop”, taking over peasant land through brutality.
Based on Taussig’s recent anthropological fieldwork in Colombia, he will construct a tableau illustrating the onslaught of problems on a small village, taking into account the palm trees as a major factor, while questioning how art and politics intertwine.
Simryn Gill will present Becoming Palm, and will speak about how the oil palm has come to embed itself in Southeast Asia. She will raise questions about its multifaceted role in the region: How do we think about the oil palm here? A tree, a landscape, a commodity, a friend, an intruder, an enemy? A saviour? A migrant? Can making art give any sense to these questions?