December 4, 2014

The Stuart Hall Project

Piet Zwart Institute

John Akomfrah,The Stuart Hall Project (still), 2013. Film. Image courtesy of Smoking Dog Films.

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art hosts the screening of The Stuart Hall Project and a conversation with the director John Akomfrah, in collaboration with The Piet Zwart Institute and the Research Professorship for Cultural Diversity.

Stuart Hall (1932–2014) was a leading intellectual and cultural theorist in the UK for more than 50 years. He regularly appeared on television and radio, and fronted provocative, thoughtful documentaries. Not only was his work influential in terms of establishing the field of Cultural Studies, he also became one of the key theorists for a younger generation of intellectuals and artists throughout the Black Diaspora. Stuart Hall’s work embraces marginalized and situated knowledge, and examines what identity categories mean within a wider socio-political and academic discourse.

Director John Akomfrah, who belongs to this younger generation, comes to Rotterdam with his masterful film essay made entirely from Hall’s film, television, radio and photographic archives, and it is accompanied by a soundtrack from Hall’s musical hero, Miles Davis. Often using his own experience as a Jamaican-raised part Scottish, part African, part Portuguese Jew to make his point, Hall’s central argument is that a person’s identity is continually shaped by surrounding forces. Not only does this remarkable film work as both a portrait of Hall himself and his adopted country, it is also an intriguing insight into how the UK has for many decades used the documentary form to explore questions of identity.

This event is conceived by the Piet Zwart Institute’s Interdepartmental Think Tank. The group is composed of representatives from the Creating 010 Research Centre, staff members, students from each programme and the Director of the Piet Zwart Institute. Looking at how interests can be shared across courses, they plan interdisciplinary projects and public programming.

This afternoon is presented as part of Studium Witte de With, a collaborative education platform for art and theory which is intended to serve as a catalyst bridging various fields of knowledge across higher education. Studium Witte de With offers a broad program mapping and analysing the cultural and political ecology.


Piet Zwart Institute 
Call for applications 2015

Priority deadline
Non-European and European students: January 31, 2015
Second deadline
Non-European and European students: March 3, 2015
Final deadline
European students only: April 1, 2015

The Piet Zwart Institute is an international postgraduate program dedicated to study and research in the fields of art and design. We have four Master programs: Fine Art, Interior Architecture & Retail Design, Media Design and Communication and Education in Arts. All are founded on a shared interest in the complex social, cultural and political underpinnings of each discipline. Through a uniquely tailored curriculum combining collective learning, intensive individual tutorial support, practice-based research and theoretical inquiry, our programs educate young professionals who have a critically reflective, innovative and imaginative approach to their work. For more information check our website.



Piet Zwart Institute hosts a screening of The Stuart Hall Project at Witte de With

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