Emeric Lhuisset: Last water war, ruins of future, series of photographs of the archaeological site of Girsu (Telloh), Iraq, 2016.

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    Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

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Through focusing on a specific theme, the annual Land/Water symposium brings together artists, writers, curators and those involved in related disciplines to explore environmental questions and issues.

This two-day symposium will offer an insight into artistic practices that engage with concepts of territories within contemporary culture.

Possession is a necessary condition when space is framed as ‘territory’, whereas landscape may be considered in purely aesthetic terms. When landscape is territory, we can think of a ‘territorial gaze’, a possessive look of privilege, of ownership, of control, with an implied need to defend or conquer that bounded space. Territory, therefore, is always political, a situation of power relations.

Territorial claims are the source of multiple conflicts globally in the twenty-first century and the cause of population displacement, exacerbated by environmental and climatic challenges: rivalries over national and intra-state boundaries are a major cause of disputes; minorities within a nation or sovereign state may stake claims for independence, against the wishes of the controlling power; at a local level, issues of territorial ownership occur amongst neighbours, between humans and non-human animals, and within and across species. The edgelands that may exist between the lines that mark territorial spaces are also of interest, as these create a liminal zone within borders, offering potentialities for exploration and hybridity.

In choosing this theme for our 2017 Land/Water and the Visual Arts symposium, we offer a critical space for sharing perspectives and experiences as creative practitioners and interdisciplinary researchers, in order to explore notions of ‘territories’ and what this might mean for us.

Confirmed speakers 

  • Emeric Lhuisset
  • Carole Baker
  • Susan Trangmar
  • Dominica Williamson
  • John Martin
  • Fedra DeKeyser
  • Claudia Pilsl
  • Tom Cox
  • Barbara Bosworth


Prices include the proceedings, conference pack, tea breaks and lunch on 23 June

  • Early Bird: £40 - Early Bird registration is available until 1 June
  • Plymouth University staff and students: Free
  • Concessions: £25 - unwaged, alumni, students at other institutions

The conference dinner is optional and will be at The Mission. 

Contact the Conference Administrator Libby Chapman-Lane (elizabeth.chapman-lane@plymouth.ac.uk) for any queries.

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