Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Planetary Poetics Workshop: Village versus Empire (2016) Premier and Panel Discussion

23 September 2017, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Village Versus Empire Image 2

Event Information

Open to



Darwin Lecture Theatre (LT40), Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6XA

As part of our Planetary Poetics Workshop we will be screening Mark Kaplan's latest documentary Village versus Empire (2016). This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr Jaeho Kang (Senior Lecturer in Critical Media and Cultural Studies, Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts, SOAS), Dr Jacqueline Maingard (University of Bristol) and Dr Michael Stewart (Founding Director Open City Documentary Festival and Professor of Social Anthropology, UCL). 

Village versus Empire (2016) is set on Jeju Island, off the coast of the Korean Peninsula - one of the 'Seven Wonders of Nature', and also  known as The Island of Stone,  Peace Island and a Woman's Island -a place of beauty and wonder, with more UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites than any single geographic location on planet earth. 

But, there is trouble in this paradise. It is being transformed - militarised. Its fragile ecology and ancient shamanistic traditions are currently being devastated by the construction of a US naval base that is perceived by the islanders as a globally dangerous provocation which imperils the island's future and masks its troubled history. Village versus Empire, dramatizes the threat to Island life and nature, through the performances of an artist, Dohee Lee, born on the island and deeply troubled by its transformation, the activists who contest its occupation, the residents who have lived through its changes and the archive through which its traumatic past is uncovered.

All welcome. 

Download poster here

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Planetary Poetics brings together a group of specialists from different disciplines to debate and consider a variety of critical, theoretical and creative approaches to the idea of the 'planetary', exploring the nonhuman, the post-human and humanism; singularity, the universal and the limits of cosmopolitical thought; animal studies and ecocriticism; affect, new materialism and the politics of representation; 'nature', earthly finitude and speculative realism. Each of these themes addresses planetary (and extra planetary) narratives, imaginations, experiences and worldings, and their relationships with the fractal figure of the human. Throughout the poetic and the aesthetic will be explored as means through which to engage with, dramatize and produce new knowledge about our relationship to the planetary.

The Planetary Poetics Workshop will open with a keynote lecture to be given by Professor Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University and Distinguished Visiting Researcher at the IAS) on the 21st September. The event will close with the UK premier of Mark Kaplan's documentary film 'Village versus Empire' on 23rd September.

Confirmed Speakers: Andrew Barry (Department of Geography, UCL), Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University and Distinguished Visiting Researcher at the IAS), Ute Eickelkamp (Sydney Environment Institute), Ann Elias (Sydney Environment Institute), Briony Fer (History of Art, UCL), Tamar Garb (History of Art and the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL), Haidy Geismar (Centre for Digital Anthropology, UCL),  Jennifer Hamilton (Sydney Environment Institute), Rye Holmboe (History of Art, UCL), Tariq Jazeel (Department of Geography, UCL) David Jeevendrampillai (Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL),  Julia Jordan (Department of English, UCL), Iain McCalman (Sydney Environment Institute), Cat Moir (Sydney Environment Institute), Florian Mussgnug (School of European Languages, Culture and Society, UCL), Astrida Neimanis (Sydney Environment Institute), Mignon Nixon (History of Art, UCL), Killian Quigley (Sydney Environment Institute), Peg Rawes (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL), Jennifer Robinson (Department of Geography, UCL), Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (The School of European Languages & Culture, UCL) Kirsten Wehner (Sydney Environment Institute), and Vron Ware (School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Kingston University).

Sydney Environment Institute