• 2 October 2019
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • 18.00–19.30 Paper and Q&A
    19.30–20.00 Drinks and Nibbles

    All are welcome! However, places are limited, so please do book a free ticket.
  • Paul Mellon Centre
This paper stems from a sustained examination of visual activism at the Greenham Common Peace Camp, alongside artworks made at, in reference to, and in support of the camp and its anti-nuclear, anti-militarist agendas, specifically considering how questions of life, death, survival, and violence are addressed by visual and material means. At a time when the peace camp and its Berkshire site are beginning to be recognised as English (and Welsh) heritage with a transnational reach, my work tries to consolidate this recognition, while also troubling the notion of ‘heritage’ with the tool kit of feminist art history. Specifically, I suggest that Greenham viewed through the lens of feminist intergenerational transmission, exemplifies Griselda Pollock’s formulation of the virtual feminist museum.
Mobilising Aby Warburg’s Nachleben (afterlife/survival by metamorphosis), the virtual feminist museum untethers artefacts, images, and practices from their historical contexts and sets them in motion, tracing their travels, reoccurrences and transformations across time and space. For Pollock, virtuality is not opposed to actuality but vibrates with the possibility of imminent realisation. I argue that the virtual museum of Greenham Common is fuelled by the transdisciplinary intersection of scholarship and the continuing fight for change, be it against war, the arms trade, nuclear power, global inequalities, or austerity.

Image information:

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, main gate, c.1983. Photograph by Sigrid Møller, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; slides scanned by Holger Terp, June 2006.

About the speaker

  • Head and shoulders portrait of Alexandra Kokoli headshot

    Dr. Alexandra Kokoli is a senior lecturer in visual culture at Middlesex University London and a research associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. An art historian and theorist originally trained in comparative literature, Kokoli researches the aesthetic mobilisation of discomfort to political ends, focusing on art practices informed by and committed to feminism, the fraught but fertile relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis, mourning and shame. She curated Burnt Breakfast and other works by Su Richardson (Goldsmiths, 2012) and, with Basia Sliwinska, Home Strike (l'étrangère, 2018), and has published widely on feminism, art and visual culture in journals including Art Journal, Women and Performance, n.paradoxa, Performance Research, Oxford Art Journal and Hypatia. Her books include The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (2016) and, as editor, Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference (2008) and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller, 1977-2007 (2008). Kokoli is a Paul Mellon mid-career fellow (2019), for her research into the legacies of the women's peace camp at Greenham Common and, more broadly, the aesthetics and politics of feminist anti-nuclear activism.