November 2010 (Amsterdam) and January 2011 (Paris)
On 18 and 19 November 2010, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis jointly helped organise a conference titled â€˜Paris-Amsterdam Undergroundâ€™. The Paris-Amsterdam Undergroundâ€™ conference sought to interrogate the post-war history of underground culture in the cities of Paris and Amsterdam. The post-war histories of both cities have been significantly defined by â€“and occasionally encountered in â€“ the notion of the â€˜undergroundâ€™ as both a literal and metaphorical space. During the 1950s and 1960s, the work of avant-garde movements like the Situationists, Constant and the Provos were an important part of the counter-culture in both cities. What these projects had in common was a radical reinvention of city space that was both political and aesthetic. During the Paris-Amsterdam Underground conference, participants examined this history and the notion of underground culture in the city by fast forwarding to 21st century realities, where the notion of the â€˜undergroundâ€™ also includes the problems of violence and integration in the Parisian banlieu and the Amsterdam suburbs, the sex and drug trades in both cities, and the impact of metros on the heterogeneity of city life. In addressing these issues, the Amsterdam leg of the conference â€“ the other which took place in Paris – aimed to create a mirror effect about the notion of the â€˜undergroundâ€™ as a necessarily dissonant but also culturally binding force in the making of the 21st century European city.
Some of the project members of the ASCA Paris-Amsterdam Underground Workshop 2010 included:
- Dr Carolyn Birdsall, assistant professor of Television and Popular Culture at the University of Amsterdam;
- Dr Sophie Berrebi, lecturer in the History and Theory of Photography at the University of Amsterdam;
- Ginette Verstraete, professor of Cultural Studies at the VU University Amsterdam;
- Patricia Pisters, professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam;
- Christoph Lindner, professor of English Literature at the University of Amsterdam.
For more information about the ASCA Paris-Amsterdam Underground Workshop 2010, please contact:
The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis
Spuistraat 210 (room 113)
1012 VT Amsterdam