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Artist and propaganda researcher Jonas Staal discussed the role of artistic imagination in engineering the War on Terror and new nationalist regimes manifesting the world over today.

19:30 – 21:00
also this evening

17:30 - 18:30 Presentation: Disarming Design from Palestine

18:30 - 19:00 Dance performance Accusation # 4: I act

19:30 - 20:30 Book launch: Four walls and a Roof by Reinier de Graaf

21:00 - 21:30 Accusation # 3: I fear fear

Pop-in expo Disarming Design from Palestine

Museum open until 21:00

Haberdashery open until 21:00



Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Programme€ 7,50
Programme students & Friends of Het Nieuwe Instituut€ 3,75
Thursday Bite (without programme)€ 7,50

As anthropologist Joseph Masco has argued that the War on Terror has an affective dimension, it forces people to think in terms of “Us versus Them” through a continuous threat production and the projection of imminent destruction. Acts of terrorism, nuclear assault, biological warfare, anthrax letters and cyberattacks are presented and repeated in everyday news feeds.Through the construction of enemies people are forged into new nationalisms, convinced to democratically elect authoritarian regimes and brought to support warfare within and outside countries. Such powerful imaginations of terror are created by cultural workers, such as theater makers, game designers, filmmakers and visual artists. Staal will discuss a manifold examples of contemporary propaganda art in the light of rising ultranationalisms and the never-ending War on Terror.

Jonas Staal

Jonas Staal (1981) is artist and founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit (2012-ongoing) and the campaign New Unions (2016-ongoing). Staal’s work includes interventions in public space, exhibitions, theater plays, publications, and lectures, focusing on the relationship between art, democracy, and propaganda. Recent solo exhibitions include Art of the Stateless State (Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2015), New World Academy (Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 2015) and After Europe (State of Concept, Athens, 2016). His projects have been exhibited widely, among others at the 7th Berlin Biennial (2012), the 31st São Paulo Biennale (2014), and the Oslo Architecture Triennial (2016). Recent books by Staal include Nosso Lar, Brasília (Jap Sam Books, 2014) and Stateless Democracy (BAK, 2015). The artist is a regular contributor to e-flux journal and researcher at the PhDArts program of the University of Leiden on the subject of Propaganda Art in the 21st Century.

Reading Room

The Reading Room is a series of evenings dedicated to the act of collective reading. It is a place to decipher and interpret the world with its countless languages and systems, including phenomena that by their ubiquity evade investigation. Led by an artist, researcher or designer, a small audience will reflect upon a concept, a text, an object or an image. The Reading Room is a space for intimate, provocative conversations. It is a place for creative confusion and sometimes even frustration, in which speakers and audience are not looking for concrete solutions but for higher resolutions. Subjects in previous Reading Rooms include exhibition, surveillance, migration, liquidity, museum, insecurity.

Thursday Bite

Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite and eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:00 Het Nieuwe Café will serve either soup with bread or a quiche with salad. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7,50 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link on this page.

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.