Susan Smith and Özgür Akgün to present at 3rd Annual New England Graduate Symposium in Bostan, MA

Susan Smith Susan Smith and Özgür Akgün will be presenting on social engagement and collaboration at this year’s 3rd annual New England Graduate Symposium in Boston, MA. The symposium is themed Assembling Bodies: Exchanges in Collaboration. Participants will present work surrounding these ideas and engage in panel discussions around the process of and the questions that arise from collaboration methods of artistic production. Both Susan and Özgür are graduates of the University of Maine Intermedia MFA program and are now in the UMaine Intermedia Ph.D. program.


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Özgür Akgün
Özgür Akgün

Susan currently teaches as an adjunct in the Intermedia MFA program, with a focus on collaboration and alternative (radical) pedagogical methods, with courses in site specific, participatory and collaborative work. Also as the coordinator for Lord Gallery, and an independent curator, Smith’s personal practice explores the socio-political, through non-conventional methods and materials. Currently, she is using a repurposed 1985 camper/trailer as a mobile unit, also known as the Burro, for making art and social projects, and collaboration with community and “multi-species.”

Özgür’s short films, documentaries, and scholarly videos have been recognized nationally and internationally. He received his Ph.D. in film studies from Istanbul University, where he explored traditional forms of filmmaking practices. Currently, during his interdisciplinary Ph.D. study, he is focusing on using creative techniques to challenge the traditional forms of filmmaking. His interest in filmmaking has evolved to participatory art practices. Özgür’s works aim to work as a tool to start a dialogue between the audience and artist.

The symposium will take place on March 25th from 10:00am – 7:30pm at Emerson Collage. Smith and Akgün will discuss their individual projects, as well as recent collaborations which will include the Burro Projects, and work centered on the immigration and refugee crisis and the resulting global displacement; Dispossessed. Filmmaker and musician Laurie Anderson will also give a keynote presentation. For more information, please visit