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Centre for European Research

The Vein, the Fingerprint Machine and the Automatic Speed Detector- Performance and discussion

28 January 2019

Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Venue: Arts Two Film Studio, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road

Dr Catherine Charrett (Centre for European Research, Queen Mary University of London)

Professor Engin Isin (Professor in International Politics, Queen Mary University of London)

Nasser Golzari (Principal partner in Golzari - NG Architects., MA Architecture Course Leader at the University of Westminster)

Majisola Adebayo (London born theatre artist - performer, playwright, director, producer, facilitator, teacher and researcher, trained in Theatre of the Oppressed and Physical Theatre)

Dr Sarah Wolff (Director of the Centre for European Research, Queen Mary University of London)


The show will be starting at 18:30, so please make sure you have taken your seats by then.

2018/2019 Debating Europe Seminar Series– SPECIAL EVENT

What does it mean to call a weapon sophisticated, advanced and precise? This performance takes on the spectacle of technology and its role in the Israeli colonisation of Palestine. Helga Tawil-Souri describes technology as a “mechanism by which we learn to internalise values, beliefs and norms of culture and as a material device in which are encoded the dominant beliefs and norms of society.” Technologies can act as reflections of the societies that develop and use them. They hold myths about national identities and encoded messages about hierarchies. But what if these technologies could talk? What if they could unveil their myths to you, share their secrets, and explain their encoded messages? What if they could reveal the distortion of intelligence embedded within them, the destruction of trust and community they promote and the melancholy and sadness behind their design? Would we still call them sophisticated?

By tracing the technologies that shape Europe’s involvement with the occupation of Palestine this performance tells a story of the global colonial structures that maintain the oppression of the Palestinian. This project is based on the performer’s ethnographic observations of the technologies of Occupation, as well as interviews with Israeli start-up firms who imagine the future through their technologies and interviews with Palestinian police who try to manoeuvre around the limitations imposed by these technologies. It presents weapons fairs in Europe and in Israel where new technologies are put on display and passed around. It discusses the restrictions Israel imposes on the equipment and movement of European police working in the West Bank. Technologies act as windows into the inconsistencies, but also trends that compose this international order of occupation.

Timothy Mitchell’s writings on the colonial exhibition reveal the coloniser’s attraction to its own spectacle of security. ‘Life as exhibition,’ he explains favours structure over reality, appearance over essence. This performance interrogates how Israel’s technologies of occupation reflect a plan that misses an essence of life and movement. From the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, to the segregation wall, to the provision of 3g in the West Bank, to the permit system imposed on Palestinian police, this performance tackles what it may mean to be the reality that circumnavigates a colonial spectacle of order.

This 60-minute performance uses the techniques of drag, melancholia and satire to directly challenge the structures that idealise technologies of war and segregation. By speaking from the position of the object and embodying its design, its circulation and its intervention into life this performance aims to dislocate the appearance of order that permits the waging and witnessing of the continued violence against the Palestinian.

Performance: The Vein, the Fingerprint Machine and the Automatic Speed Detector

Followed by an Transdisciplinary Panel:

"Re-imagining political infrastructures through care and community"

Catherine Charrett

Catherine Charrettis an Early Career Research Fellow for the Independent Social Research Foundation and is currently based at Queen Mary University of London in the School of Politics and International Relations. Dr. Charrett’s work interrogates the ritualised practices and language of security and diplomacy in the Occupation of Palestine. Dr. Charrett uses interdisciplinary methods to disseminate her research, and is the producer of a political performance on EU-Hamas relations entitled, “Politics in Drag: Sipping Toffee with Hamas in Brussels.” Dr. Charrett has also published this research in the European Journal of International Relations and has a forthcoming book with Routledge entitled,Performing Politics: Hamas, the EU and the 2006 Palestinian elections.

engin isin

Professor Engin Isin research and teaching focus on doing international politics: the ways in which people constitute themselves as actors or subjects of international politics through performances, movements, and struggles. Engin holds a bachelor's degree from Middle East Technical University (Turkey) and graduate degrees from the Universities of Waterloo (MA) and Toronto (PhD). He developed an early interest in continental philosophy and was educated as an historical sociologist and political sociologist. Engin is a chief editor of Citizenship Studiesand is the editor of a book series Frontiers of the Political with Rowman & Littlefield International.

Engin is based in Mile End and University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) establishing a research community across two institutions on doing international politics especially concerning migration, borders, and citizenship. Engin was a professor of social science (1996-2002) and Canada Research Chair (2002-2006) at York University, and a professor of politics at The Open University (2007-2016) before joining QMUL in 2017.


Nasser Golzari 
ARB qualified, fully registered architect since 1990. He is the principal partner in Golzari - NG Architects. MA Architecture Course Leader at the University of Westminster.

Nasser Golzari is part of the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) 

"Seeking a critical form of architecture practice has become an urgent and vital part of any effective regeneration plans for Palestine, a country which is now fragmented and spatially denied its own basic resources.

As practicing architects, urban planners and academics, PART searches for potential spaces of possibilities that can be used to empower the fragmented Palestinian community and bridge the gaps between the divided spaces they now live in."

Mojisola Adebayo

Mojisola Adebayo holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts, an MA in Physical Theatre, a PhD in black queer theatre (Goldsmiths, Royal Holloway and Queen Mary, University of London) and she trained extensively with Augusto Boal in Theatre of the Oppressed. She has worked in theatre, radio and television, on four continents, over the past two decades, performing in over 50 productions, writing, devising and directing over 30 plays and leading countless workshops and training courses, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. Much of her work has been in locations of crisis, conflict and occupation and all of her work is concerned with social change.

Her own plays in production include Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith and Oval House), Muhammad Ali and Me (Oval House, Albany Theatre and National touring), 48 Minutes for Palestine (Ashtar Theatre and international touring), Desert Boy (Albany Theatre and national touring), The Listeners (Pegasus Theatre), I Stand Corrected(Artscape, Oval House and international touring and The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre). Her publications include Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One (Oberon Books), 48 Minutes for Palestine in Theatre in Pieces (Methuen), The Interrogation of Sandra Bland in Black Lives, Black Words (Oberon Books), The Theatre for Development Handbook (written with John Martin and Manisha Mehta, available through as well as numerous academic chapters published by Methuen and Palgrave Macmillan. Mojisola Adebayo: Plays Two (Oberon Books) is out this year.

Mojisola is currently commissioned by the National Theatre (Connections) for whom she is writing Wind / Rush Generation and will premiere in 2020. Her new play STARS also opens at Ovalhouse next year. The Interrogation of Sandra Bland will have its US premiere in April at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago as part of Black Lives, Black Words - part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Mojisola is an Associate Artist with Pan, a Visiting Artist at Rose Bruford and Goldsmiths colleges and a Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London. Mojisola has worked extensively in Palestine and is honoured to be invited to share in this discussion.

 sarah wolff

Dr Sarah Wolff is Director of the Centre for European Research and Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary University of London. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael). Dr Wolff is an expert on EU politics, Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), migration and border management policies, as well as EU-Arab Mediterranean relations and EU development aid. She is author of the monograph The Mediterranean Dimension of the European Union’s Internal Security (2012) and received the LISBOAN Research Award 2012 for her co-edited book Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm (2012). Her current research focuses on Secular Power Europe and EU engagement with Islam for which she was awarded a Fulbright-Schuman and a Leverhulme research grant in 2014/2015. Prior to joining the academia, Dr Wolff worked at DG Devco at the European Commission and as a parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament.

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A involving the audience.

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