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03/06/2019 - 05/26/2019

open to public
Organizer: Freud Museum London
Venue: Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
NW3 5SX London
United Kingdom
>> Website

Wunderblock is an exhibition of new work by artist Emma Smith, drawing on original historical research into the post-war fascination with the infant mind.

This research, undertaken by the Hidden Persuaders Project at Birkbeck, University of London, examines ‘brainwashing’ during the Cold War. Smith’s exhibition particularly focuses on this history in relation to the child.

In the wake of World War II there was considerable anxiety about how children’s minds could be shaped or influenced to support fascism, communism or liberal democracy. A generation of children had also directly experienced the devastation of war, separation from their families, or life in institutions. Child psychoanalysis and psychiatry gained a prominent role and it was a time of great innovation and debate. However, observing and interpreting the developing mind, nurturing infant mental health, and supporting good parenting, also became powerful political issues. These were inextricably linked to the interests of the state, and aspirations for generating democratic citizens.

The mother’s close relationship with her newborn became a central preoccupation. The war years and the Nursery School Movement had helped enable women of all classes to work. Post-war research and debate offered conflicting messages, and put women under pressure to return to the home. Arguably, political interest in children’s care inside and outside the home was concerned as much with regulating populations, as with supporting the child and recognising their rights.

Smith’s exhibition turns some of this complex history of debate about nature and nurture, and about benign and malign influences over the child, on its head. Smith asks ‘What is the agency of the child?’, ‘What is innate to the infant and in what ways are they an ‘expert’?’; and, crucially: ‘To what extent does the baby or child influence their environment, and shape the adult’s world?’. Inspired by the rich material surrounding infant observation in psychoanalysis by practitioners such as Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Margaret Lowenfeld and Donald Winnicott, as well as the emergence of child-centred pedagogy and the anti-psychiatry movement, Wunderblock considers how we might engage with this history and meet the child from their own perspective.

The Political Mind: Jacqueline Rose seminar

05/07/2019 20:15

open to public
Organizer: Institute of Psychoanalysis
Venue: Institute of Psychoanalysis
Byron House, 112A Shirland Road
W9 2BT London
United Kingdom
>> Website

The Call of the Unconscious: Trans and sexual harassment - returning to the question

Join David Morgan and Jacqueline Rose for this one-off seminar as part of The Political Mind series.

Jacqueline Rose is one of the most influential and provocative scholars working in the humanities today. She has written extensively on a range of topics including feminism, motherhood, politics, and psychoanalysis.

In this seminar, Rose will explore the political implications of transgender subjectivities and the harassment of women from a psychoanalytic perspective. She will argue that the dialogue with psychoanalysis on transgender identities and the harassment of women – two of the most vexed, complex issues of our time – is as challenging as it continues to be urgent. She asks "What happens when we try to insert the concept of the unconscious into the reality of our political lives, or rather, when we recognise the place of the unconscious in the public identities we foster, inhabit, and fight?" Both transgender issues and the harassment of women confront us with the question of social justice. Is it always the role of psychoanalysis to issue a caution in relation to our dreams of a better world, or might it belong right at the heart of our struggle to attain it?
May 7th, 2019 8:15 PM   to   9:45 PM

Sigmund Freud Museum SFU Belvedere 21er haus stuhleck kunsthalle
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