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The Political Equator : Urbanities of Labor and Surveillance

June 9, 10 and 11, 2006 - The Political Equator

Part dialogue and part “happening,” a three-day binational event called “The Political Equator” examines issues along an imaginary line extended from the U.S.-Mexico border around the globe, where the first and third worlds meet and where lie some of our planet’s most contested thresholds.

Described as a “carnival of conversation” by architect Teddy Cruz and filmmaker Steve Fagin – co-conveners of the event and members of the University of California, San Diego visual arts faculty – Day 1 is choreographed so that the opening act, a town-hall style meeting, will become a roundtable taco dinner and will then be followed by a DJ’ed dance party.

“The Political Equator” begins June 9 at 7 p.m. in San Ysidro, Calif. Community-based NGO Casa Familiar will be the stage for a debate on the politics of immigration, labor and surveillance in the post-9/11 city and the effects of these on both the physical environment and on arts/architectural practice.

Featured speakers are: Cruz on the Tijuana/San Diego border region; Andrew Ross, director of the Metropolitan Studies Program at New York University, on urbanization in China; and Eyal Weizman, director of the Center for Research Architecture at the University of London, on Israel/Palestine. Fagin will moderate the discussion.

Day 2 is set in Tijuana, at the Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), and features the regional premiere of Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre’s activist documentary Maquilapolis, at 8 p.m.

On Day 3, “The Political Equator” returns stateside at noon, to the Haudenschild Garage in La Jolla, for presentation/discussion of Chinese artist Cao Fei’s multimedia San Yuan Li Project.

Free and open to the public, “The Political Equator” is presented by UCSD’s department of visual arts, in collaboration with the Haudenschild Garage, Casa Familiar and inSite, co-sponsored by CECUT, the California Western School of Law and the UCSD Division of Arts and Humanities.

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