KUNSTHAL DEVELOPMENT RESIDENCY: COLLABORATIVE SPECULATIONS

“The only thing that is radical is space that we don’t know how to inhabit. This means space where we have to invent the ways to act and to live.”
Lebbeus Woods
architect

From February 2020 to beginning of May 2020 the collective is hosted by Kunsthal Gent for a development residency. In this 3 months the collective aims to build up artistic practices that transcend language and cultural barriers and address to a broad audience. it also seeks to extend its network and knowledge on how to sustainably structure itself and its agency.
The group will work on the fields of speculative design, self-publishing, graphic design, performance/sound art, collective reading and viewing, cultural activism and other artistic and critical practices.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++PUBLIC PROGRAMME++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE POST COLLECTIVE:
COLLABORATIVE SPECULATIONS
AGENDA

 

7 MARCH 2020, Saturday 13.00 – 17.00: Lunch assemblies on Collaborative speculations

13 MARCH 2020, Friday, 10.00 – 15.00: Vocal Performance Workshop: introduction

14 MARCH 2020, Saturday: participating at TWIIIDs workshop: constitutions

20 MARCH 2020, Friday, 10.00-15.00: Parallel Perceptions: Workshop on VideoWalking

21 MARCH 2020, Saturday, 10.00-15.00: Design A Book Cover Workshop

21 MARCH 2020, Saturday, 15.30 – 18.00 Film screening: ON BELONGING

22 MARCH 2020, Sunday, 10.00-15.00: Design A Book Cover Workshop

27 MARCH 2020, Friday: Vocal Performance Workshop: on listening

28 MARCH 2020, Saturday: participating at TWIIIDs workshop: writing

3 APRIL 2020, Friday, 10.00 – 15.00:  Vocal Performance Workshop

4 APRIL 2020, Saturday, 13.00 – 17.00: Lunch assemblies on Collaborative speculations

10 APRIL 2020, Friday, 10.00 – 15.00:  Vocal Performance Workshop

11 APRIL 2020, Saturday, 13.00 – 17.00: Lunch assemblies on Collaborative speculations

17 APRIL 2020, Friday, 10.00 – 15.00:  Vocal Performance Workshop

18 APRIL 2020, Saturday, 13.00 – 17.00: Lunch assemblies on Collaborative speculations

19 APRIL 2020, Sunday, 13.00 – 17.00: ZINE Making Workshop

20 APRIL 2020, Monday, 13.00 – 17.00: ZINE Making Workshop

22 APRIL 2020, Wednesday, 20.00, Film screening: The wasp and the weather

23 APRIL 2020, Thursday, 10.00 – 20.00: Openbare Werken @Vooruit, On Co-Elaboration

24 APRIL 2020 TWIIID presentation

1 MAY 2020 PERFORMANCE AT MAYDAY FESTIVAL

9 MAY 2020 PUBLIC EVENTS AND CLOSURE OF THE RESIDENCE

10 MAY 2020 PUBLIC EVENTS AND CLOSURE OF THE RESIDENCE

ONGOING/ parallel to other meetings:  COLLABORATIVE DRAWING WORK 

 

THE POST COLLECTIVE INVITES YOU TO PARTICIPATE WITHIN ITS COLLABORATIVE SPECULATIONS PROGRAM @ KUNSTHAL GENT, Lange Steenstraat 14, 9000

 

The Post Collective is a young collective that is establishing an autonomous platform of co-creation, co-learning and cultural activism created by and for refugees, asylum seekers, sans papiers and their accomplices. It seeks to introduce a range of artistic, cultural and employment opportunities, as well as provide an overall collaborative environment for the participants regardless of their legal status. The collective arose from the ‘Open Design Course for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ 2018 at KASK school of arts, Ghent (BE) when some alumni and teachers decided to continue working together. 

 

The post collective offers free workshops, screenings and public meetings that will occur during our residency at the Kunsthal Gent between March and May 2020. Please join us if you want to learn new skills, share stories and practices, want to augment your voice and find new ways of expressing your voice.

 

Lunch Assemblies: Collaborative Speculations

Facilitated by Elli Vassalou, Sawsan Maher and Mirra Markhaëva 

Dates: Saturday 22/2, 29/2, 7/3, 4/4, 11/4, 18/4, 13.00-17.00

The Post Collective is researching its own modes and conditions of collectivity and legal presence. How to design a collaborative environment regardless of the legal status of its participants? How to structure codes of conduct and build agency  inside a group of people who do not only struggle with structural exclusions of race, class and sex but also legal exclusions, citizenship and human rights? How to surpass cultural barriers and create a safe environment of trust, commitment and opportunities for all? 

Book your place here: https://lite.framacalc.org/9fbu-collaborative-speculations

Or just pass by unexpectedly 🙂

Interesting for activists, researchers, people who want to create their own collective structure

 

Vocal Performance Workshop.

Conducted by Marcus Bergner. Visual work lead by Mirra Markhaëva 

Friday 13/3, 27/3, 3/4,10/4, 17/4  10am to 3pm@ Kunsthal Gent

 

No previous experience required other than being prepared to use your voice and language in new and exploratory ways. We will create a chorus where participants can write and design their own songs for collaborative performing. After this introductory workshop those who wish to continue will meet on a regular Friday basis to develop material for public performances. We will draw from the diverse musical, language and poetical experiences of those participating.  

 

The process will be documented by visual representation of spoken sound by use of different languages in their traditional calligraphies fused together. The letters will be done in lino cutting in order to create abstract calligraphic ornament.  

Interesting for performers, writers, poets, singers, musicians, graphic designers

 

Design A Book Cover Workshop. 

Conducted by Hooman Jalidi.  

Saturday 21 + Sunday 22 March. 10am to 3pm@ Kunsthal Gent

 

A workshop open to all. Learn how to design and produce a book cover using participants own illustrations, drawings, pattern making, collage and handmade prints. Material such as paper, inks and basic printmaking equipment will be provided. 

Interesting for graphic designers, illustrators, artists

 

Collaborative Drawing Work 

Conducted by Mohammend Tawfiq. ongoing@ Kunsthal Gent

An ongoing collaborative drawing that is open to everyone to contribute

to produce a large onsite drawing work.

Interesting for illustrators, graphic designers, artists

 

PROJECTION “ON BELONGING” introduced by Elli Vassalou

Saturday 21/3/2020 15.30 – 18.00

invited guests: Christina Phoebe Thomopoulos and Maxime Jean Baptiste

A dialogue between two filmmakers, the Post Collective and the audience

screening of 2 poetic documentaries which merges questions of belonging, borders and foreign-hood through dreamlike images and fleeting voices

  • 15.30 introduction 

  • 16.00 “Nou voix” by Maxime Jean Baptiste (15′)

  • 16.15 film fragments of the film “Amygdalia” and “So says she” by Christina Phoebe Thomopoulos

  • 17.30 discussion with the audience

Interesting for filmmakers, filmlovers, everybody…

 

Zine Workshop   
Conducted by Mirra Markhaëva

Sunday 19th+Monday 20th. April 1 to 5 pm.

 

Open to all. A workshop about the designing and making of Zine publications. 

Learn how to compose collectively a visual diary-like documentation, using your drawings, texts and notes. We will work with the material created from the different workshops and art projects to create a small zine publication of our work together.

Interesting for graphic designers, journalistics, writers, artists

Parallel perception: a workshop on video walking

developed by Elli Vassalou and Maya Dalinsky, with the insights of Christina Phoebe Thomopoulos

20 MARCH 2020, Friday, 10.00-15.00

Since 2015, Elli and Maya have been making and researching videowalking as a creative tool for community building, proprioceptive expression, group composition, environment-based art, participatory design, choreography and counter-mapping.

On 20 March, together with Christina Phoebe and the post collective participants they will explore the medium as another non-verbal tool of exploring collectivity.

Interesting for dancers, video-artists, photographers, performers, architects

———-

 

 PROJECTION: “The wasp and the weather”: screening + Q&A

‘the wasp and the weather’ (2019, 19′, EN st.)

The screening will be followed by a conversation between Robin Vanbesien and Antony Hudek [tbc].

 

In Robin Vanbesien’s new film poems ring out. At former youth centre Rzoezie, founded by young folks of Moroccan and Amazigh descent in Mechelen, some of the youngsters wrote poetry. The original authors and contemporary poets discuss these poems, probing their resonance in today’s social and political climate.

These poems preserve to various extent the activist history of the moment in which they were written and dedicated to (1990-2000). In ’the wasp and the weather’, some of the original authors (M’Hamed El Ouali, Abdelhay Ben Abdellah) and contemporary poets (Samira Saleh, Mathieu Charles, members of the Post Collective) revisit, recite and discuss these poems.

 

 

 

‘On Co-elaboration’ (study circle) by Robin Vanbesien

Thursday 23 April 2020, 10.30 – 18.00

Vooruit, Ghent – Theaterzaal Foyer

 

Today, cultural-artistic practice faces an invitation to rethink politics itself: to mark that empty place that representative democracy in the liberal order has become, and to publicly perform proposals of different socio-political praxis, to re-common the people, to (re)create the social imaginary. In this view, we choose to explore the role of the (poetic) word in this endeavor.

 

 

Morning programme:

10.30-11.00  – Welcome and introduction by Robin Vanbesien

11.00-12.30 – Conversation with Willem Schinkel and Rogier van Reekum, moderated by Robin Vanbesien

 

The study circle opens with a conversation with Willem Schinkel en Rogier van Reekum. At the occasion of their recent book ‘Theorie van de Kraal’ (2019), we discuss how new relations in/with words recompose our calls for social community and our ways of it.

 

 

Afternoon programme:

 

14.00-18.00 – Call and Response Study Circle with The Post Collective and The Living and the Dead Ensemble (including performances and conversations with the collectives and the participants)

 

In the afternoon session, the study circle facilitates an encounter of two artist’s collectives, The Post Collective and The Living and the Dead Ensemble, that both, through the exploration of storytelling, performance and poetry, look for ways to compose new forms of alliance and common-ability. These are artistic practices that take up the role to reframe our gaze toward a work on co-elaboration. It is a work whose composition is continuously incomplete, ever to be sculpted – like a gift in the expanded present.

Both collectives share their previously initiated call and response exchange, and further it together with the participants from the audience. The study circle concludes with performance lectures of the collectives.

 

This study circle functions as a guest-contribution to the residency of The Post Collective at Kunsthal Gent.

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPORTED BY: Kunsthal Gent, Stad Gent, Arts in Society Award 2019 – 2020, Refu-Interim, KASK school of Arts

INVITATION

Lecture-Performance, 30′

Radical Imagination, Integrated 2019 , Biennial International Arts & Design Conference, 5-6-7 November 2019, DeSingel, ANTWERP
https://integratedconf.org/

Who we are:
We are members of the Post Collective or POCO for short. We are artists, designers, activists, students, social workers, teachers, researchers etc. We formed the collective just under a year ago from the 2018 Open Design course for refugees and asylum seekers conducted at KASK in Gent. This course is a groundbreaking educational initiative that allows those who would not usually have access to education institutions and resources, namely refugees, asylum seekers and sans papiers, to develop over a period of three month skills and knowledge across a range of floss software, peer to peer learning activities, design making and co-creation projects. Our collective arose out of the wish to continue working together after the completion of the course and to continue developing possibilities for co-learning and co-working directed towards establishing a sustainable and collaborative platform for all the collective participants, regardless of their legal status.

 

We Invite you.
As our opening piece demonstrated in a rather vocal way we invite you as the participants of this conference to join us in thinking about, discussing and implementing our collective aims and aspirations. Not just at the conference but into the future and especially in regards to our three month residency at the Kunsthal in Gent. One of our fundamental aims is to build a environment where people like us do not need to struggle to be assimilated but instead are able to begin to rethink and re-conceptualize critically a future where the identity of the refugee is celebrated and valued; and as Hannah Arendt argued “to become the vanguard of their people.” It is usual to’ invite’ refugees into one’s world and society but the collective is about reversing this mindset and of inviting you to participate in our world and our project. The collective seeks to forge ongoing connections and modes of exchange with a range of other groups, individuals and organizations.

 

What needs are there?
It’s crucial for the collective to achieve a level of participation in society and the local communities and not just fill in the gaps of representing diversity and token inclusion. To achieve this we aim to bring about a situation where refugees, asylum seekers and sans papier are able to access resources and levels of agency that are usually denied them.

We are here to find allies and accomplices, to advice and support in accessing such resources, facilities and instigating these forms of agency?

Collective action
That we are a collective rather than another type of group or organization is significant. For one thing it indicates the importance of an equal level of involvement and participation by all its members in the all processes of co-production and co-management. A collective provides more fluid and open capacities for exchange with other organizations, institutions and individuals. 

It calls for collective action towards accessing resources and employment for its members and also of actively advocating and working towards bringing about increased access to resources and levels of agency for the broader community of refugees and sans papier.

The paradigm
Giorgio Agamben in his 1993 essay ‘Beyond Human Rights’ refers back to Hannah Arendt’s article “We Refugees” to argue that the role of the refugee in today’s world provides ‘a paradigm of a new historical consciousness. ‘  He explains that “ if we want to be equal to the absolutely new tasks ahead, we will have to abandon decidedly, without reservation, the fundamental concepts through which we have so far represented the subjects of the political, Man, the citizen and its rights, but also the sovereign people, the worker, and so forth) and build our political philosophy anew starting from the one and only figure of the refugee.”

CO-WORKING SPECULATIONS

Transnational Alliance of schools: WE CANNOT WORK LIKE THIS

 Assembly at Thomas More – Campus De Vest, Mechelen
 12:00 – 17:00

The cross-disciplinary alliance We Cannot Work Like This: Decolonial Practices and Degrowth brings together several departments of academies and universities in the region in Belgium, France, England and Hong Kong, and enables that students work together in each of their schools on a proposal for sustainable, decolonial and inclusive practices in relation to, on one hand, cultural institutions, and on the other, their own professions (artistic, architectural, design or research- related). The students are invited to look at sustainability through the self-reflexive, intersectional feminist, anti-capitalist and anti-racist lens. The participating professors prepare a joint curriculum and discuss it with the students in each of their schools.The aim of this alliance is that it stirs interest for creation of a legal document or charter that would promote sustainable and decolonial practices for the institutions and for the practitioners themselves.

Members of the Transnational Alliance are HISK (Ghent), Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University (Hong Kong), St. Lucas School of Arts (Antwerp), School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art (London), Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerpen), Thomas More University (Mechelen), Ecole de recherche graphique (Brussels), Ecole européenne supérieure d’art de Bretagne (Rennes), Open Design for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, KASK (Ghent).

Opening statements 

The Open design Course for refugees and asylum seekers is an educational platform based on peer to peer learning and co-creation taking place at KASK, Ghent. The 2018 generation of participants invites you to a speculative presentation of the course, as well as to imagine a post O.D.C future. Taking the next step, the POST COLLECTIVE grew out of the 2018 version of the course. It continues to try to develop possibilities for co-learning and co-working directed towards the building of a sustainable and collaborative environment for its participants, regardless of their legal status. The handout provided today explains some of the goals and aspirations of The Post Collective.

 

The Open Design Course (referred here as ODC) began in 2016 by the initiative of Bram Crevits. This initiative was approached as a way of trying to formulate an answer to some urgent needs: but mainly as a way to offer support for an unseen influx of people fleeing war and seeking refuge in Europe. Due to regulations of higher education it was (and still is) almost impossible for most of these refugees to start or to continue their studies as ‘regular students’ within the Belgian education system. The ODC initiative is intended to create a space within KASK, where it is possible to bypass the technical/administrative restrictions, to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and provide them with a high-quality learning context.

As well as being a specific initiative taken for refugees and asylum seekers the course reflects the broader project of rethinking education and which is something that the ODC team are working towards and actively involved. The perspectives and motives that were behind the setting up of ODC are closely intertwined forms of dissatisfaction with education / or higher Education. For it was felt that higher education is mainly organized to further sustain and reproduce this system, by mainly focusing on ‘innovation’; in order to further support a logic of endless economic growth. This is not only about pedagogy and content, but also the way higher education is governed and financed. In the same way, art education (and even art in general) is not immune to this logic of reproducing a failing system. But here some hope is possible – as way of offering unique opportunities to fight or overcome such failings. Bram Crevits and the team that continues now ODC believes that there was an urgent need for a type of education that brings together different voices from different fields and that might be used towards activating change within society generally. Bram Crevits wrote about the origins of ODC: “It was thought that a school can and should be an open tool for a society. Schools should resist by all means to reproduce the system we feel trapped in, i.e. by what they focus on and by the way they organize themselves.” Bram also stated “But as long as we can overcome our fixation on the identity of the artist, and on what art has been or should be, institutes of higher art education could be the ideal context for this -combining theory and practice. Critique and creativity. Creation and reflection. Art education should challenge itself and urgently needs to re-invent itself.

To activate as much as possible what art education is good at: being a place of creation, of imagination, of constructive experimentation… but at the same time a place of resistance and of dialogue. To further activate art as the collective conscience of our society. And what is needed now is not a silent conscience, but a highly engaged conscience ….”  

P E R F O R M A N C E 

“The form of the poem is like the form of a new public sphere, like the structure of a new idea. Looking for forms in the arts is like looking for new standards of what we may regard as society, power, and so on.”

-Paolo Virno

 

After performance we initiate a 20 minute discussion with all those attending.

_the idea of the post collective was already born inside ODC_

The Post Collective offers an autonomous platform for co-creation, co-learning and cultural activism for refugees, asylum seekers, sans papiers and invited participants. It seeks to introduce a range of artistic, cultural and employment opportunities as well as provide an overall collaborative environment for the participants regardless of their legal status

We at the post ODC collective believe that it is essential to create an environment where people like us do not struggle to get assimilated but strive to rethink and reconceptualize critically a future where the identity of the refugee is celebrated as Hannah Arendt whould say: as “the vanguard of their peoples”, people who can thing beyond the limits of the nation states constructions, where “history is not a closed book to them” . for this to happen these people deserve a level of participation in the society that is not just filling in the gaps of representing diversity but allows them to take active control as stakeholders. 

The agency and existential empowerment of the individual “arises only when people act together” and, as such, the collective seeks to forge ongoing connections and modes of exchange with other groups and organizations. 

This call allows us to ask questions and to do the inviting rather than just getting invited to be present. As Tania Cañas would stress “This is a conceptual shift from working for community, and not even with, but as community.” 

We should have a number of points and questions ready that we can use to initiate discussion if need be. Important is to try to bring Post Collective and ODC into comparison/relation to the goals and methods of The Alliance and the different issues raised at Mechelen.

How members of the alliance can take action and provide space for research, exploration and partnership for such projects to exist and to not stay in the margins of education / art and design? Mention the kunsthal application maybe? Also the example of the post collective teaching in the next odc 2019.
How institutions can help a project as the post collective to find its way?
Is there someone in the alliance with expertise in financial managment? Is there a legal status that can help us develop the post collective as we imagine it? Should it be an art project or an organization? Speak about the idea of Mirra of organizing workshops of exchange.
Taking on the example of the critique of the silent university where the power it created was monopolized by the most recognizable, already with agency members -How can we distribute the power but also seek support from powerful allies? 
How do we deal with the black or invisible work of those sans papiers? Are there sustainable alternatives?
As an individual you cannot have access in education if you do not have legal papers, but you can get a visa if you are accepted in a school. Is there a way through this for sans-papiers to gain legal status and proceed in higher education? How could we create such solidarity hacks?

Sawsan Maher

Sawsan Maher is a Syrian researcher, activist, philosopher and designer.
She studied Philosophy and social science and specialised in political science .
Her passion to find communicative tools to connect academic humanities and activism activated her great interest in design and methodology.

Kinda Ghannoum

Kinda Ghannoum was born in 1991 in Poland, she is a Syrian/Polish graphic designer coming from Damascus. She graduated from the faculty of Architecture in Damascus University. She worked as an Architect at the beginning of her career, and as a volunteer with many NGOs and startups in Syria. She participated in the second Startup Weekend in Damascus as a graphic designer and her team won the first prize. She found her passion in graphic design and decided to follow it and learned by herself. Knowing that she still have to learn a lot.

https://www.behance.net/kindaghannoum

Mohammed Tawfiq

Iraqi. Current residence, based in Gent, Belgium.
Studied graphic designs at Arteveldehogeschool.
Drawing, painting, photography, animation, graphic work, performance.
Mohammed’s work was presented to the larger public in the past year. In Kiosk, the gallery linked to Kask Ghent, he exhibited the animation “Liquid of life” with ODC (Open Design Course). This work was shown again in Thomas Moore, Mechelen, during “We can not work like this”, a project in collaboration with Contour.
Together with the Post-ODC collective he participated in two sound poetry performances, among others in Kiosk. He worked on photography, painting, graphic and drawing on assignment, among others for Constant vzw, Association for Art and Media, based in Brussels.
You can find other projects he worked on online, the images are clickable and show a whole spectrum of his artistic creative work. https://www.behance.net/tawfiqmoha58c3