Hemispheric New York Events

Hemispheric New York features special programs, such as EMERGENYC (EMERGENYC), lectures, film series, conferences, and performance workshops, some of which are exclusively for members, and some which are open to the public at large. Below are upcoming and recent events.

Exhibition | CHILE: 40 Years of Struggle and Resistance

Opening Reception:
September 11, 2015 | 7–9 pm
Exhibition run time:
September 11-October 23 | 10:30am-6pm (Mon-Fri)

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics proudly presents “CHILE: 40 Years of Struggle and Resistance.” Organized by Londres 38 - A Space of Memories—a former Chilean torture and detention center under the Pinochet regime—and the Instantaneous Silkscreen Collective, the posters featured in this exhibition were collectively designed in 2013 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the military coup that overthrew Salvador Allende's Popular Unity government in September 1973. The posters are the result of more than three months of work that included participatory workshops as well as training in agitprop and silkscreening techniques.

Drawing from the practice of the Ramona Parra Brigade—an artistic collective linked to the Chilean Communist Party whose street murals achieved prominence during Allende’s Popular Unity government (1970-1973) and later in opposition to the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990)—the posters were wheat pasted in agitprop style throughout the streets of Santiago. For the 40th anniversary of Chile’s 9/11, participating organizations responded to a core set of questions, which were reflected in each of the poster designs:

What has happened in Chile over the past 40 years? What social processes have developed? How have the country and society changed? What models are there for the kind of society and country people want to live in? How are the legacies of the military coup and the dictatorship manifested today?

The posters are currently on exhibit at Londres 38, and perform as artifacts engaging with past and current political dialogues regarding the military coup in Chile.

The exhibition of the posters at the Hemispheric Institute invites viewers to continue and expand upon these reflections. To explore the roles that site and memory play across geographical contexts, the Hemispheric Institute exhibits the posters in the same manner as they are installed at Londres 38. As part of the exhibition, the Hemispheric Institute will initiate a street performance on September 11, 2015 by inviting local organizations, which include the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), Clemente Soto Vélez Center, and Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc), to display re-printed versions of the posters across New York City streets. The street performance seeks to acknowledge the relationship between September 11, 1973 in Chile and September 11, 2001 in the United States. The posters themselves call out the connections—one shows Uncle Sam strategically supporting the Chilean military in a geopolitical chess game. Both the exhibition and the performance intend to further complicate the connective histories of what gets remembered where on September 11.

"CHILE: 40 Years of Struggle and Resistance" is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Collective Archives: Connective Histories," and the Women Mobilizing Memory conference at Columbia University. Curated by Katherine Cohn and Isin Onol, "Collaborative Archives: Connective Histories" reveals unexpected connections and resonances between divergent histories. Confronting legacies of political violence in their own communities and in the lives of others, the artists in the exhibition bear witness to the power of art to combat injustice and forgetting. They mobilize intimate and collective archives to reveal individual and communal acts of resistance and survival, and thus their work enables us to imagine more open and progressive futures. 

Women Mobilzing Memory is part of the Women Creating Change initiative of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Social Difference, working in close collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. We are grateful to the generous co-sponsorship, at Columbia, of University Seminars, School of the Arts, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia Global Centers, Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Oral History Research, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Armenian Center, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, as well as the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the New York State Council for the Humanities and Sabanci University.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue. 

Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Politics | "Keeping America Pure: the State, the Church and the Migrant Body," By Lois Lorentzen (University of San Francisco)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The U.S./Mexico border is the world’s most militarized border between two supposedly “friendly” countries. Along the same border, religious groups offer aid to migrants who have been deported or are in transit, providing shelter, food, clothing, sturdy boots for desert crossings, phone calls home, counseling, and medical care—to most undocumented migrants, that is. However, when it comes to transgender sex workers, Church and State seem to be in agreement about the need to maintain purity and good order at the exclusion of these undocumented migrant bodies. Faced with this twinned opposition, many of those migrants (and especially those who identify as LGBTQ) turn to “border” saints for spiritual guidance and support to survive the perilous journey. Based on Professor Lorentzen’s research with deported migrants at the Nogales, Arizona/Nogales, Mexico border, and with transgender sex workers in San Francisco, this discussion will analyze the ways in which multiple borders—of nation, gender, and faith—are being contested by Church, State, and migrants themselves.

Lois Ann Lorentzen is Professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department will be Director of the Master in Migration Studies at the University of San Francisco. Recent work includes the edited three-volume series: Hidden Lives and Human Rights in the United States: Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration and the co-edited Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: Politics, Faith and Identity in New Migrant Communities.She has published articles and conducted extensive research on religion and immigration, religion in Latin America, gender and migration, and grassroots environmental movements in Latin America. 

This event is made possible with the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and is cosponsored by the College of Sexuality and Gender Studies (CSGS) at New York University.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.

Hemispheric Dialogues/Diálogos Hemisféricos | Greg Grandin, "America?"

Thursday, October 8, 2015
3–4:45 pm
*This event will be livestreamed*
Click here to view the live video feed, starting at 3 pm (EST)

A discussion of the idea of America, or American Exceptionalism, usually references two things: first, the fact or belief that the United States has been exempt from the kind of domestic class conflict that has afflicted the development of other nations; second, the fact or belief that the United States has been able to project an unprecedented degree of global power free from the kind of direct colonialism and militarism that has defined previous empires. But in all the debates over what is and isn’t distinct about the United States, little discussion has been paid to one variable that can, at least in relation to its global ascendance, unambiguously be called unique: its relationship with Latin America. Unlike their European counterparts, the Anglo and Saxon settlers who colonized North America looked to Iberian America not as an epistemic 'other' but as a competitor in a fight to define a set of nominally shared but actually contested ideas and political forms: Christianity, republicanism, liberalism, democracy, sovereignty, rights, and, above all, the idea of America.

Our facilitator has suggested reading Kennan's South American Diary in preparation for this discussion. Click here to download a PDF of the reading.

Tea and cookies will be served.

Greg Grandin is a Professor of History at New York University and the author of a number of prize-winning books, including most recently, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World. Toni Morrison called this work “compelling, brilliant and necessary.” Released in early 2014, the book narrates the history of a slave-ship revolt that inspired Herman Melville’s other masterpiece, Benito Cereno. Philip Gourevitch describes it as a “rare book in which the drama of the action and the drama of ideas are equally measured, a work of history and of literary reflection that is as urgent as it is timely.”

Hemispheric Dialogues invites key thinkers to lead discussions about some of the pressing issues of our time. The series envisions informal yet sustained dialogue among faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, artists, and members of the community.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.

Artist Talk | "An Act of Collective Imagination: Barnraising the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture," with Emerging Artist Fellow Adam Horowitz

Thursday, November 12, 2015
6–8 pm

Join the Hemipheric Institute's Emerging Artist Fellow Adam Horowitz for a discussion about USDAC,  U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. More information about "An Act of Collective Imagination: Barnraising the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture" is forthcoming. For more information about USDAC, see below:

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is the nation's newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination. 

What we do:
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is an action network of artists and cultural workers mobilizing creativity in the service of social justice. Locally, we support creative individuals in leading arts-infused civic dialogues and changemaking initiatives by connecting them to a broader network of people, training, and resources. Nationally, we amplify impact through large-scale actions and calls for creative response, building momentum for positive social change and democratic cultural policy. We harness artists’ skills to address the issues of our day, while also nourishing the artist in all of us.

In this era of broken systems—from healthcare to energy to education to the way our entire economy is structured—citizens must be empowered to imagine and enact positive alternatives. To cultivate effective co-creators of new systems based in equality, non-discrimination, and sustainability, we must provide universal access to empowering creative experiences that build empathy and social imagination.

Active creative participation is a gateway to ongoing civic engagement and the capacity to collaborate is a key element of any resilient community. But for too long, we’ve believed that everything that counts can be counted, ignoring the vital role that arts and culture play in advancing equity, innovation, and democracy. Everything that is created must first be imagined, yet we've failed to fully invite and support people in every community to step up as artists and agents of change. 

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture exists to help change that story.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.