October School Delhi 2018

Justice. Citizenship and the Self

Hosted by Shiv Nadar University, Delhi

The October School Delhi 2018 focuses on the topics of justice, citizenship, public sphere and Indian society through the lens of contemporary public art with a practical and research based approach.

What does liberty and individualism mean vis-a-vis the idea of greater common good in a country like India with more than one billion people? Do you understand justice as a negotiation between rights that the state affords its citizens, and the rights that the citizen claims for the self? How do individuals and communities fight for their rights without constraining the rights of others? How can art contribute to those public debates and social transformations in the light of people’s different conditions, needs and desires? Today, this negotiation stands between the pulls of legitimacy, representation, capital and politics. Can there be justice that is legitimate, yet not authorised by the state? Are there strategies in defending and sustaining freedoms for the self, of ways of life or of alternative economies through artistic practices? Are there any compulsions and solutions that people from Zurich, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Delhi might share? And can certain strategies of communication and resistance be generalized in order to use them in different contexts?

We are living in the ‘populist moment,’ as characterised by Belgian political theorist Chantal Mouffe, where politics has become emotional, irate, confrontational and erratic, and seem to have abandoned the rules and expectations of governance from liberal democracies. In these times, across the world hate and fear, are being consciously stirred up within communities, against the others–marginalized, minorities, refugees, foreigners–in order to construct an alleged like-minded, homogeneous identity. The distinction between the left and the right seems to have diminished, as similar atrocities are unleashed on the citizen subject from either sides. There is an upsurge in the cult like devotion to the leader, suspicions of the corporatized media, street level mobilisation amidst a growing sense of injustice.

Justice, therefore in our contexts, finds itself more often than not, in the lobby of a post-colonial project where development is the fetish. Justice and legitimacy are however authorised through a monopoly of the hegemonic state. Quite often dominant social and political stakeholders, out of personal interests and clientelism, enforce unequal and unfair social structures and prevent any social and economic empowerment for the populace. Access to education, political representation and free speech are gradually accorded to the privileged only.

The October School is an annually recurring workshop of InOctober, an international network of art universities in Delhi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mexico City, and Zurich – this year with Akita University of Art as a guest.

Facts and Figures

8–20 October 2018

Justice and fairness

Shiv Nadar University (SNU), Delhi, India

Collaborating Partner Institutions
Shiv Nadar University (SNU), Delhi, India
Chinese University Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong
Baptist University Hong Kong (BUHK), Hong Kong
Johannesburg University (JU), Johannesburg
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Zurich

Akita University of Art, Akita (Guest University)

Curatorial lead in Delhi
Prof. Sharmila Samant
Prof. Tushar Joag

Total amount of students
35 from all the collaborating partner institutions

BA-, MA-, PhD-Candidates, Researchers, Faculty members

Collaborators Meeting
October 11–13 meeting of faculty members of collaborating universities

Detailed Information

Fact Sheet

Fanzine October School

Schedule for print