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Walking the line – Art of border zones in times of crisis

Siân Aggett

Siân Aggett is a Wellcome Trust doctoral student in the Centre for Global Studies at Sussex University. Her doctoral research is exploring the use of socially engaged arts as a tool to engage biomedical research with local communities and publics. Prior to this, she worked for five years at the Wellcome Trust, a global foundation to support biomedical research, as the manager of the International Engagement Programme. This role saw her build and facilitate an international community of people and programmes interested in community and public engagement with scientific research through education, media and the arts. She has worked with medical research programmes in East Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. With a first degree in Biology with Media, her career began within informal education at London's Science Museum and later, The Natural History Museum where she worked as a host of programmer of  public events. More recently she has hosted science related discussions at the Wellcome Collection and Latitude festivals. Siân also has a Masters degree in Sustainable Development; her thesis explored the use of participatory video as a tool for empowerment with young women in Honduras with whom she retains a committed relationship. Sian is dedicated to supporting the arts and to see it enrich local lives in her own local community through her work as a Trustee of the local Brighton and Hove Visual Arts organisation Fabrica.


Julie Alary Lavallée

Julie Alary Lavallée is currently pursuing her PhD in Art History at Concordia University (Montréal) with a focus on museum, diasporic and global studies. Her research project investigates how large-scale exhibitions of Indian contemporary art, presented outside of India, are involving a transnational dialogue between the motherland and its diaspora communities. Julie is the communications and archives coordinator of the artists-run centre OPTICA and publishes on a regular basis for contemporary art magazines. As well as presenting her academic research in Québec and abroad, she is the recipient in 2011 of esse arts + opinions magazine’s Young Critics Competition.

Heba Amin

Heba Y. Amin is an Egyptian artist, researcher and currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts at the American University in Cairo. She received her MFA at the University of Minnesota, USA and a two-­‐year DAAD post-­‐graduate research grant with the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin. Her research and artistic practice examine the convergence of territory and technology, looking to artists who scrutinize narratives embedded in contested space (physical and cyber) and address the impact of built infrastructure on the human psyche. Amin’s current work focuses on technology, migration and visualized landscapes along migration routes in Africa culminating from extensive research and travel by road from West Africa to North Africa and Europe in 2014 and 2015. She is a founder of the newly launched Black Athena Collective and a curator for Ramdom Association.

Nurul Azlan

Nurul Azlan is a PhD Candidate at the Chair of Design as Politics, Delft University of Technology, where she is working on her dissertation on the spatial aspects of protest in post-colonial Kuala Lumpur. An architect trained at the University of Technology Malaysia, she received a Masters in Architecture (Urban Design) from the Bartlett, UCL in 2007. Nurul is interested in the power structure that shapes and governs public space in postcolonial societies, and how social media plays a role in redistributing that power and reshaping the public sphere.

Marie Back

Marie Back is currently pursuing the International Master of Art History and Museology (École du Louvre, Paris/Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) after graduating in Art History and Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include the history of exhibition practice, the mediation practices in museums and the photography of art and art exhibitions. Her recent research project focuses on the exhibition ‘My East is Your West’ and its context as an Indo-Pakistani collateral event at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Dilpreet Bhullar

Dilpreet Bhullar completed her Comparative Literature with a dissertation ‘Mapping Colonial Gazing(s): A Study of The People of India - A series of photographic illustration with descriptive letterpress of the race and tribes of Hindustan 1868-1875’ from University of Delhi, India. Her current research work delves into the geopolitics of creative art practices through lived experience and knowledge production. It works around the concept of postmemory in the postconflict area to explore the uneasiness lying within the identity markers. Her essays on visual sociology, identity politics and Partition Studies are published in various journals. She works as the Art Coordinator at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.

Bùi Kim Đĩnh

Bùi Kim Đĩnh graduated from two master courses in Vietnamese Archaeology in Hanoi, and Management and Communication in Museums in Berlin. Besides, she has working experiences in archaeology, anthropology, early childhood education, contemporary art and public education. Since December 2014, Đĩnh has been working as a research assistant for the competence network “Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia” (DORISEA) and is preparing for her doctoral project on Independent art in Vietnam since the late 1990s as a political power for civil society. Her work focuses on how art develops and negotiates with politics in the contemporary political and social context in Vietnam.

Danijel Benjamin Ćubelić

Danijel Benjamin Ćubelić studied Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Cultural Anthropology in Heidelberg, Bochum, Damascus and Aleppo, and is Research Fellow at the Department for the Study of Religions at Heidelberg University. He is currently working on his PhD thesis on 'Arab’ and 'Islamic' contemporary art the context of national branding and neoliberal city marketing in the Gulf states. For his research project, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Doha, Dubai, Kuwait City and Sharjah with a focus on Mathaf Doha and Sharjah Art Foundation and art events such as the Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival and Art Dubai.  

Caitlin Dalton

Caitlin Dalton is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture department at Boston University. Prior to this, she received her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2011. Her doctoral dissertation, “Imprinting Art and Ideology: Pedagogy and Print Culture in the Early German Democratic Republic” considers how several German artists/professors negotiated cultural and political identity in the context of art academies during the years immediately following World War II and throughout the early years of the Cold War. She is interested in the tension between artists’ individual practices, political beliefs, and public institutional models.

Martijn de Rooij

Martijn de Rooij obtained his MA in Cultural Anthropology from Leiden University in 2011. For his Master he did ethnographic research on ethnographic museums in Northeast India. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" at Heidelberg University. For his PhD project "Shifting Art Frames in Kolkata" he analyzes contemporary art practices in Kolkata and explores methods and theories for an anthropological approach to contemporary art.


Natalie Diffloth

Natalie Diffloth holds a B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University and a Graphic Design degree from the Massachusetts College of Art. Currently, she is at the conclusion of her M.A. in Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University, where she recently submitted her thesis with a focus in the area of Visual Media and Material Culture. Professionally speaking, her work has concentrated on the development of digital media, along with design and communication strategies for a range of clients in Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. Germany has been her home for an extended period of time.

Saima Haq

Saima Haq is currently working on her PhD thesis 'Cinema, Culture and Markers of Muslim Identity',  as a Doctoral fellow at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. She is currently enrolled at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research focuses on South Asia where she is trying to analyze how 'Islamicate' identity is portrayed in Indian cinema while looking at films produced in Hindi. With the many similarities and divergence visible in Global cinema that shapes our understanding on wars and conflicts today. She has completed her B.A. Hons. in 2006 and M.A. in English Literature from University of Delhi, India in 2008.

Chiara Iorino

Chiara Iorino received her MA in History of Contemporary Art at University of Bologna. After completing two internships, at DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art and at The Chemistry Gallery in Prague, she received her MA in Art Policy and Management at Birkbeck – University of London. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Management and Development of Cultural Heritage track and a member of the LYNX - Center for the interdisciplinary Analysis of Images at the IMT Institute of Advance Studies Lucca. Her research interests include the fluid and ever changing relation between people, space and place, the definition and reconstruction of urban space and the role and perception of the arts in the aftermath of traumatic events.

Elena V. Kuznik

Elena V. Kuznik studied Art History, Spanish Literature and Philosophy at the Universities of Heidelberg, León and Bologna. Currently, she is writing her M.A. thesis on the Italian conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti at the Institute of European Art History in Heidelberg. The thesis focuses on the semantic, textual and material aspects of Boetti’s “scriptural embroideries” and the cultural entanglements of his art works with the Middle East. Her further research interests include art of the 20th century, graphic of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque and Philosophy of Language and Postmodern Aesthetics.


Anna Messner

Anna Messner studied art history, Jewish history and culture and archaeology at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. Currently, she is a doctoral research fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut in the research group „Objects in the Contact Zone: The Cross-Cultural Lives of Things“. Between 2012 and 2015, she was a research assistant at Department Kunstwissenschaften LMU Munich. Her PhD thesis is entitled “Gazing at Palestine/Israel. Visual Geographies of German-Jewish Women Photographers after 1933” (LMU Munich). With regard to her research interest in transcultural processes, she will regard and investigate the photographies, showing iconographies and topographies of the Zionist nation-building process, as intercultural negotiation spaces and contact zones between East and West, Tradition and Modernity, Center and Periphery in the context of the shaping of a Post-War Mediterranean Modernity.


Oh Jooyoung

Oh Jooyoung  studied Anthropology and Chinese studies. Her main field of research is Migration studies. She obtained her M.A with the topic "The Formation and Transformation of the Citizen Concept among Korean-Chinese in Dalian, China" in Department of International Studies at Seoul National University. She finished her Ph.D. coursework at the Anthropology Department of Seoul National University, and did fieldwork in Taiwan on the Hakka people. Currently in the process of writing her thesis, she is looking for suitable supervision. 

In 2002 she attended a series of seminars on Comics and Cartoon at Seoul Animation Center; there, she got to know many Korean Cartoon and Comics artists. She took part in building collection, reviewing and researching on Korean Cartoon & Comics arts between 2002~2003 at Korean Manhwa (cartoon and comics in Korean) Culture institute as researcher. Based on these experiences, she carries out the research project “Body as a battlefield”, which is about Japanese Military comfort women in Korea and the art works (especially, cartoon and comics) on their life.         

Ninette Rothmüller

Artist and academic Ninette Rothmüller (aka Aimee Xenou) holds several Master degrees, is a Senior Lecturer at Zeppelin University in Germany and is an artist-researcher for the German team of the comparative ‘Cultural Encounters in Interventions Against Violence’ (CEINAV) EU Project. Investigating Spivak’s question as to whether the subaltern can speak/be heard, Ninette facilitates art-workshops with adolescent participants and women who have experienced violence interventions. For the academic year 2015/2016, she will be a Research Associate at Mount Holyoke College in the US. Her academic work and art practice transcend the divisions between visual art, theory, Music and performance. She teaches, researches, collaborates, theorizes and practices in a site-sensitive manner, interdisciplinarily, in various languages (including nonlingual embodied forms of knowledge production) and at various international sites. Her artwork is process-oriented and engages diverse communities and populations, as much as social landscapes. She is interested in co-creating spaces that by design allow for various voices and experiences to co-exist and facilitating the establishment and negotiation of relationalities and tensions between these voices and experiences.

Ninette is completing her PhD at the University of Osnabrück. Her project engages with philosophy of the body, critical art and cultural theory in a feminist study of developments in biomedicine and the life sciences.

One of her recent artworks focuses on the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, and will be published shortly in a publication focusing on work speaking to ‘das Zarte’ (tenderness). Her last peer-reviewed article is called ‘Knowing through Art: Enhancing Access to Knowledge Production through Participatory Art-Research’ and can be accessed here.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva is an art writer who has been living in Asia for twelve years. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Pipeline (2011), an independent, thematic, contemporary art magazine based in Hong Kong. She often visits artists, gallerists, and curators to work with them on each particular theme of the magazine, and is currently considering a thesis research. Cristina also occasionally writes prefaces for art books, and regularly contributes to Artforum International Magazine. She obtained her Masters degree in International Prospective in 2001 in Paris.

Eve Schiefer

Eve Schiefer studied Anthropology and Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna and the University of Salamanca. She is currently working as a research associate at the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Klagenfurt in the field of Media and Cultural Studies. Interested in postcolonial, urban and mobility studies, she investigates on how space is produced in society and looks at positions that emerge through the arts. Eve is co-organizer of the EU project Performigrations – People Are the Territory, which engages in the relationship between academia and the arts focusing on contemporary movements of people and technology. She co-organized academic and cultural events in Klagenfurt such as the 2nd Summer Institute of the Association for Cultural Studies.

Barbara Seyerl

Barbara Seyerl focused on the art of South Asia during her BA, which she completed at the University of Vienna in 2014. She is currently enrolled in the MA program in Asian Art History at the University of Bonn, Germany, and focuses on contemporary art and architecture in South Asia, especially India. Her research project focuses on two contemporary female artists working in the field of photography and performance and the perception of their work in the West. Before coming to Germany, she gained work experience in several cultural institutions in Austria and abroad.

Pathmini Ukwattage

Pathmini Ukwattage is currently working on her PhD thesis on modern architecture on the Indian subcontinent after independence in 1947. Her research project takes into account the upcoming of global discourses on climate and regionalism, its networks and ideologies as well as issues concerning the interrelation between architecture, landscape and body. In a transcultural, and both historical and theoretical perspective the project engages with questions such as how architecture deals with concepts of identity, modernity or nationalism. Before starting the PhD program at eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism (Basel) in 2014, Pathmini studied art history, archeology and Romance Studies in Bonn, Freiburg and Basel.

Katharina Upmeyer

Katharina Upmeyer studied art history, history and Jewish history and culture at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Tel Aviv University. She also worked as student assistant in the research group “Objects in the Contact Zone – The Cross-Cultural Lives of Things“ at the Kunsthistorisches Institut/Max-Planck-Institut in Florence. Currently, she is doing research for a potential Master thesis. Her main fields of interest include cultural exchange and artistic interaction between Jews, Christians and Muslims as well as the history of photography and art exhibitions.

Yang Jing

Yang Jing received her BA in museum studies from Fudan University, Shanghai, and then obtained an Mphil degree in gender studies in Chinese University of Hong Kong. After graduation, she had worked on several researches on the intersection of media, performance and gender. She was also an editor at the Chinese University Press, managing books on arts, cultural studies and minority studies. Right now, she is a journalist covering European news, especially that of art and culture. She is interested to investigate the globalised social movements where art and new media is intensively produced and disseminated as means of protest.