Disability, skin colour, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, gender, religion, social origin, illness, poverty, language used - these are the most common causes of exclusion. Each of them includes many other characteristics because of which specific people and whole societies are discriminated against.
Every day members of another group are considered strangers. Society creates new means to let the excluded know that there is no place for them in “our” world. The very same means help create completely new exclusions.
There are different levels of discrimination: sanctioned by the law, originating from tradition, stemming from a lack of knowledge, unbound by borders and just local. What seems natural to us, a few hundred kilometres away can cause someone to be excluded from society. And vice versa, a difference that we feel fear and disgust towards, elsewhere may be the most ordinary thing in the world.
This and many other issues will be discussed during the two-day Brave Festival "Outcasts" conference.
Conference venue: Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław 36 Szewska street, room 208
Dates: 29-30 Jun 2016
Professor Valeria Campos Salvaterra, a philosopher at Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile, will introduce us into the problem of exclusion in South America as seen from a rather unconventional point of view.
Professor Mirosław Kocur, a director, a theater theorist and historian, as well as the head of the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław, will discuss theatrical concepts of the excluded as exemplified by jesters, lunatics, fools and possessed characters.
Together with a number of his collaborators, Jacek Schindler, the founder of the Nowa Idea (New Idea) association, a member of Ashoka Innovators for the Public, as well as the author of publications on the theory of culture, ecology and activation processes, will talk about the clash of various points of view concerning migrants, refugees, minorities, foreigners and the other as observed in Wrocław.
Dr Dorota Koczanowicz, the author of publications on aesthetics, art and modern culture, as well as a prominent theorist of the art of eating, will give a talk about exclusion in the context of eating. She will also organize a special culinary event.
Katarzyna Jewtuch, a PhD student at the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław, will address the problem of alienation in the context of those involved in the sex industry. Not only pornographic actresses, female directors and researchers, but also women unwittingly filmed during sex often face the problem of being excluded and discriminated against.
Magda Podsiadły, a journalist, traveler and PhD student at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, will deliver a speech about certain Burkina Faso communities in which women are considered guilty of all sorts of misfortunes and accused of witchcraft. As a consequence, they are often sent into banishment or even sentenced to death.
Aleksandra Bednarska, a PhD student at the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław, will take a break from her many-months field research on spirit-possession cults in Kerala to participate in the conference and present the rather shocking stories of exclusion she has witnessed in India over the past months.