Lecture by Fahim Amir: "Under Afghan Eyes: Stories of Plants and Paints"

New York, USA. June 11th, 19:00

Lapis lazuli with lazurite (blue), pyrite (gold), and calcite (white) from one of the “Blue Mines” of Sar-e-Sang (Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan); detail. The mines are believed to be in use for more than 5000 years. Source: Fahim Amir and Elke Auer, Ultramarin (Afghanistan), Graz: Forum Stadtpark, 2024.

In his lecture, Fahim Amir, a Vienna-based philosopher and author, will explore the mundane entanglements of two non-human entities from Afghanistan: the rock lapis lazuli, which forever changed Western art history, and the plant gandana, which continues to enrich the lives of ordinary Afghans. He will connect notions and histories of distance and proximity, minerals and myths, plants and paint, revolt and hope.

Amir is known for his research on naturecultures, art, urbanism, and the themes of coloniality, transculturality, and cohabitation. His study "Schwein und Zeit" ("Being and Swine") has received numerous international awards and has been translated into several languages.

The event, organized by the e-flux platform, aims to approach "the posthuman" not as an external critique but as an immanent constitution, understanding Afghanistan as a paradigm of contemporary contradictions. Questions such as the place of non-human life in histories of transculturality, the relation of seeds, plants, and their cultivation to violent histories of migration, the construction of Western subjectivities to certain forms of understanding of non-Western plant life, and the relationship of animals and animality to a material understanding of colors will be explored.

For more information about the lecture and to register, visit e-flux's website.

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Brooklyn, NY 11205