Rewriting Events: Performance, News, and Violence in Bhanu Kapil's Poems

JUly 17, 2018, 5–6:30pm



Join via EventBrite or email Bea and Gina.



Bea Huff Hunter


Kapil, Bhanu. Ban en Banlieue. New York: Nightboat Books, 2016. [PDF of first half of the book.]


Explore some of the ways that visual art and writing come face to face in this summer reading group. Read texts by artists and scholars, reflect on interdisciplinary relationships, and write your own experimental drafts. RSVP for one session or follow along for the season. 

Will you give a hand to Ban? Do you have a sentiment, do you have class? Let me tell you before you extend yourself that Ban is disgusting. Let me tell you that Ban is a difficult person to love, full of transience. I could tell you things about Ban.
— Bhanu Kapil, Ban en Banlieue

Ban en Banlieue is partly a response to writer, artist, and activist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s murder, partly an exploration of poet Bhanu Kapil's childhood stories and adulthood performances, and partly an impossible struggle to memorialize the rape of a young Indian girl walking home alone during a race riot.

We'll specifically consider the ways in which Kapil describes and overwrites her own visual and sound-based performance art, drawing upon images of performances of violence, including those of Ana Mendieta. If there's interest, we'll write about works of art we've experienced, too, and how they might connect to memory and identity, to knowing and to not knowing. 


Ahn, Abe. "A Korean American Artist Who Grappled With Losing Her Voice and Roots." Hyperallergic. [Link - on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha]

Browne, Laynie. "A conversation with Bhanu Kapil." Jacket2 [Link]

Conner, Allison. "Poetry in Ruins." Jacket2 [Link]

Mendieta, Ana. Untitled (Rape Scene) (1973).  [Description at] [Photograph (sensitive image)]

Kapil, Bhanu. "Poetry Reading at Kelly Writers House." PennSound. [Link to video and MP3.]





Institute of Contemporary Art, Library, 118 South 36 Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104