This panel seeks papers that engage the relationships between aesthetics, politics and conflict. We explore the potential of aesthetics to make hegemony visible via its emphasis on a certain 'distribution of the sensible' (Ranciere 2009), as well as the co-constitution of art and violent events.
Drawing upon critical theoretical resources, anthropological studies of late have shown how political interventions in their various forms have sought to trigger, and regulate multiple senses through various aesthetic manifestations of conflict (Mookherjee and Pinney 2011). Though such work has engaged the arts, aesthetics mobilized in such terms can stretch beyond the purely artistic and grasp the material processes of apprehension that comprise the social as well as its contested nature. For Ranciere the aesthetic domain refers to a 'distribution of the sensible' (2009), into which (legitimately) political articulations must intervene. For Deleuze and Guattari, aesthetics can be seen as an 'affectuation' (1988) - a sense event - which is non-representational and hence disruptive. Building on such politico-intellectual lines of flight, this panel seeks in broad terms to explore the relationships between aesthetics, politics and conflict. We seek papers that explore how aesthetics (and art) work through the register of politics to offer ways of grasping interventions in the space of conflict, as well as those that position aesthetics as a way of staging conflictual articulation. We also seek papers that push at the potential that aesthetics offers as a way of making visible - and thus open to critique - forms of pervasive political and cultural hegemony. Broadly speaking, the panel invites papers which theoretically and ethnographically explore how the arts comprehends events of conflict, how these violent events might be constituted by art, and the value of thinking with broader notions of aesthetics to delineate spaces of hegemony and conflict.