Aikaterini (Katia) Arfara
Visiting Fellow, Summer 2019
Aikaterini (Katia) Arfara holds a PhD in Art History from the Paris I – Panthéon/Sorbonne University and presently works as the Theatre and Dance Curator of the Onassis Stegi in Athens, Greece. Dr Arfara has a BA in Classical Studies (Athens University) and a BA and a MA in Theatre Studies (Athens University). Her current research interests include socially engaged art, public works and post-documentary performance. As the Theatre and Dance Artistic Director of the Onassis Stegi in Athens from 2013 to 2018, she initiated and curated numerous interdisciplinary events and international festivals such as the Fast Forward that commissions site-specific projects at the intersection of art, science and civic practice. She has lectured extensively in France and Greece. Dr Arfara is a Fulbright fellow, a DAAD and Clemens Heller scholar and a member of CIMAM and of the Intermediality working group of the IFTR. Her essays at the crossroads of theatre, dance, performance and contemporary art have appeared in french, english, spanish, arabic and greek in various journals and critical anthologies such as Being-With in Contemporary Performance Art (2018) and L'Objet technologique en scène (2019, in press). Dr Arfara is the author of the book Théâtralités contemporaines (2011), the editor of the special issue ‘Scènes en transition-Balkans et Grèce’ for Théâtre/Public (2016) and the co-editor of Intermedial Performance and Politics in the Public Sphere (2018).
At the aftermath of the Occupy movements and protests, public works interweaves the public discussion on socially engaged art and the growing global interest on new forms of subjectivity beyond the politics of exclusion and dispossession. By adopting a transversal methodology and an intersectional perspective, I examine the socially committed works as an agent of coming together culturally, socially and politically. During my fellowship term, I undertook a comparative study of Greece and United States’ ongoing academic, artistic and curatorial debate on commoning practices and new social relations, amongst heterogeneous cultural and social backgrounds. My theoretical and empirical findings in theater, dance, performance, art history, curatorial studies, urbanism and postcolonial theory, showcased numerous artistic and cultural initiatives into the evolving landscape of solidarity and self-empowerment in order to analyze collective models of creation, civic participation and knowledge dissemination. My systematic research at Firestone and Marquand Art Library’s collections on primary sources and secondary literature covered issues of identity politics, migration and labor at the intersection of art, politics and education.