Beyond the Silence

How can we address the silence that is haunting us from within? Beyond the Silence  enacts a dialogue between performative drawing, trauma theory, and literary practice. Driven by the shared desire to explore different modes of knowing and inhabiting the world, this collaboration entwines practices of mark-making with both poetic and critical writing. In response to concepts such as Donna Haraway’s cat’s cradles or Gilles Deleuze’s rhizomes, we develop modes of thinking, reading and writing that are immanent and collaborative. The sounds, rhythmic visual patterns and bodily interactions emerging from Dejan Mrdja’s drawing performances unsettle the structure of theory-based argumentation in Katharina Donn’s work in trauma studies, inspiring a reciprocal pattern of thought and performance. Understood as an instance of “sympoiesis” (Donna Haraway in response to M.Beth Dempster), this process of creating as thinking exposes the interconnectedness of our being in language, body, and non-organic matter. Its poiesis entwines language with the non-linguistic signification of mark-making and sound; yet this is symbiotic rather than individualized, and occurs in the spaces in between bodies, different artistic or critical practices, human and non-human matter.

Beyond the Silence was presented in June 2018 at London Conference for Critical Thought at Westminster University.

Beyond the Silence is collaboration between Dejan Mrdja and Dr Katharina Donn. Katharina is  a teacher, lecturer and author in 20th century and contemporary literature. Her monograph A Poetics of Trauma after 9/11 (Routledge, 2016) explores the entanglement of intimate vulnerability and virtual spectacle that is typical of the globalized present. Katharina teaches at the Universität Augsburg in Germany and the University of Texas at Austin in the US, and has held research fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.

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