April 19, 2017

​May Day book launch and celebration— 
Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production. Courtesy OR Books. Image: Interference Archive.

Assuming Boycott defiantly holds the best arguments regarding boycott. It shows that boycott is not only a form of sanctions but also an invitation to dialogue. This collection of essays offers a historical perspective with comparative case studies, making it the ultimate resource to help decide where to draw the ethical line.
–Galit Eilat, writer and curator, co-curator of 31st São Paulo Biennial

The brilliant writers and debaters assembled here come at the issue from different angles, all from the central belief that art is never not political. In the end, they are less interested in arguing for or against tactics than they are in advocating an art of political thinking.
–Holland Cotter, co-chief art critic, The New York Times

The refusal to participate in an oppressive system has long been one of the most powerful tools in the organizer's arsenal. Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production is the essential reader for today's creative leaders and cultural practitioners, and includes original contributions by artists, scholars, activists, critics, curators, and writers who examine the historical precedent of South Africa; the current cultural boycott of Israel; freedom of speech and self-censorship; and long-distance activism. Far from representing withdrawal or cynicism, boycott emerges as a special condition for discourse, artmaking and political engagement.

As U.S. cultural and academic organizations are increasingly subjects of boycotts—in response to the ban on immigration from majority Muslim countries issued by the current U.S. administration—the question of boycott attains additional urgency. This May Day Book Launch features the three editors, Kareem Estefan, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, in a lively exchange with book contributors artist Mariam Ghani and art historian Chelsea Haines, joined by Claire Potter, Professor of History, The New School, and investigates the potential of boycott as a tool for organizing and art making.

A festive reception with DJs ConVex and DJD (Salome Asega and Derek Schultz) follows, in celebration of the book and other May Day assemblies in the city. Co-sponsored by Interference Archive, on occasion of Sowing Resistance, Propaganda Party no. 5.

Assuming Boycott features twelve newly commissioned essays and six contributions by Nasser Abourahme, Ariella Azoulay, Tania Bruguera, Noura Erakat, Kareem Estefan, Mariam Ghani with Haig Aivazian, Nathan Gray and Ahmet Öğüt, Chelsea Haines, Sean Jacobs, Yazan Khalili, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, Svetlana Mintcheva, Naeem Mohaiemen, Hlonipha Mokoena, John Peffer, Joshua Simon, Ann Laura Stoler, Radhika Subramaniam, Eyal Weizman and Kareem Estefan, and Frank B. Wilderson III.

It is published by OR Books, in association with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

For pre-orders—at a discount!—please visit OR Books.

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