Open City Documentary Festival

The Congress of Idling Persons: A Performance Lecture by Bassem Saad

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The Congress of Idling Persons is a mixtape history: an alternative recounting of instances where groups and populations conceptualised, demanded, and practiced radical healthcare or  “democratic biopolitics”, while also questioning the state’s monopoly on violence. In more poetic terms, these actors confirm the centrality of both life and death to liberatory struggle, from Bolshevik scientist and philosopher Alexander Bogdanov’s physiological collectivism, to the Black Panthers’ leadership of a protest coalition against the establishment of a “violence center” at UCLA in 1973 dedicated to the study of the psychology of violence and rioting in urban populations, to contemporary Beirut where protest activity by citizens and migrant workers continues despite looming threat of famine.

The Q&A will be hosted by Raafat Majzoub. Raafat Majzoub publishes political possibilities through fiction, education and writing. He’s a lecturer at the American University of Beirut and director at The Khan: The Arab Association for Prototyping Cultural Practices.

Please note: this event will be as a livestream and is available worldwide. The event is ticketed and booking is required. Ticket holders will be sent a password protected link to access the event 1 hour before the event start time.

Bassem Saad is an artist and writer born on September 11th and trained in architecture. His work explores objects and economies that distribute violence, pleasure, care, and waste.  Through time-based media, sculpture, and writing, he locates space and time for manoeuvring within and beyond modes of governance.