Terraqueous Territories and Flags of Convenience

Ash MONIZ (Fellow) in conversation with Laleh KHALILI (Political Scientist) and Liam CAMPLING (Economist)

Image taken by Ash Moniz, on board of a container ship at sea, depicting the weights in the exercise room. The depicted weights are lashing bolts for fastening containers, objects of labor that have been transformed into objects of leisure.

During their Fellowship in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Ash MONIZ addresses a central problem of global trade, namely the exploitation of maritime labor. This talk will look at the jurisdictional frameworks of maritime labor and trade, as situated within the strategic violences of colonial and capitalist histories. In the context of the Büchsenhausen Focus Weeks 2021 Moniz has invited Laleh KHALILI, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, and Liam CAMPLING, Professor of Political Economy at Queen Mary University of London, to discuss the phenomenon of “Flags of Convenience“ (reducing costs and regulations by purchasing the nationhood of a foreign flag) and how the trade of sovereignties and the sovereignties of trade overlap. This conversation frames the material and theoretical underpinnings of the artistic project that Ash Moniz is working on for their residency at Buchsenhausen.

Through a conversational approach, Moniz, Khalili, and Campling will discuss how aesthetic questions of form and narrative can be used to unpack the ways in which material geographies of land/sea lend themselves to justifications of exploitation, and what legal narratives are used to spatialize the violences of maritime labor. They ask how the binary divisions between land and sea can be challenged, and how these geographical implications are instrumentalized for infrastructures of coercion.

PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to directly participate in the discussion, please register via Eventbrite. You will receive the Zoom link automatically. Otherwise you will be able to follow the event on Facebook.

The event marks the start of the Büchsenhausen Focus Weeks 2021. More events organized by the Fellows 2020-21 will follow in the course of the next weeks.

Ash MONIZ is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice spans performance, installation, video and film. Their research deals with the securitization of supply-chain logistics and its labor. Through interviews and performative collaborations, they work with the ways that stories are told, deconstructing the temporality of narrative structure in Just-In-Time transportation logistics. The word “plot” and its historical etymological connection between land ownership and the arrangement of dramatic structure on a stage, is foundational to how Moniz approaches the intersection of cartography and scenography. Working with artifacts, documents, and found media that span from London 1792 to Sokhna 2013, Moniz “plots” systematic procedures of motion within the flows of value, subject hood, and causality.

Along with a BA from OCAD University (Toronto), Moniz has participated in independent study programs such as Raw Academy (Dakar, Senegal), the Harun Farocki Institute (Berlin, Germany) and Mass Alexandria (Alexandria, Egypt). Moniz’s exhibitions include solo shows at Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Sishang Museum (Beijing), and Birch Contemporary (Toronto); duo exhibitions at Kelder Projects (London) and Pari Nadimi (Toronto); and group shows at Forum Expanded | Berlinale (Berlin), the Dakar Biennale (Dakar), and the Minsheng Museum (Shanghai) [among others]. They teach at the Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, and write art criticism for the Egyptian online-magazine Mada Masr. Moniz was a member of the artist collective ADL from 2014-2018, and were the assistant curator of the AMNUA Museum in Nanjing, China, in 2014/15.

Laleh KHALILI is Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London and author of Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula (Verso, 2020), among others. Khalili’s most recent research project engages the politics and political economy of war and militaries as it intersects with infrastructure, logistics, and transport with specific focus on the Middle East. Khalili follows the geography of ports and trade routes, mapping the infrastructure of imperialism and its relation to logistics to create an image of the technosphere as it expands geographically along its many ports.

Liam CAMPLING is Professor of Political Economy at Queen Mary University of London and author of Capitalism and the Sea: The Maritime Factor in the Making of the Modern World (Verso, 2021). This book argues that the earth’s geographical separation into land and sea has significant consequences for capitalist development. The distinctive features of this mode of production continuously seek to transcend the land-sea binary in an incessant quest for profit, engendering new alignments of sovereignty, exploitation, and appropriation in the capture and coding of maritime spaces and resources.


Streaming on Zoom and Facebook

Register via Eventbrite