‘(Un)SCREWING CARE’ SEMINAR opens the first phase of Catalizadora 3 * ‘CIRCLUSION’, promoting a collaboration between six organisations and cultural collectives based in Spain and Belgium, with the objective of sharing tools with which to use care both as principle and as method of resilience and resistance, in the current cultural and socio-political context.
*Catalizadoras [Catalysts] are the collective action research groups conformed around four conceptual and practical focuses. They facilitate and promote intersection of knowledges, exchange, imagination and generation of joint experiences with the communities that want to be involved in the project. In this case, Catalizadora 3 revolves around the focus ‘Care and support networks’.
‘Thinking about fucking in a different way would simply mean that when we say
I’m being fucked by the system we’re saying we’re getting badly fucked – badly circluded, for instance – or, more precisely, not getting fucked at all.’
(Sophie Lewis, 2016)
What is the role of care in cultural organisations and in artistic practice in order to ensure their sustainability?
Do we want cultural institutions and artistic practices to operate from the standpoint of care?
What exactly does this mean?
How is care made tangible in artistic and cultural practices and organisations?
Nowadays, care is a concept widely used in the cultural milieu in relation to the need for devising more sustainable structures that could pay attention to the (precarious) conditions in which cultural workers operate. However, this notion of ‘care’ has historically been based upon complex relations of power structures that can be easily replicated depending on how care is inserted into cultural organisations or artistic practices. Thus, if care is really going to guide political and organisational changes in our everyday lives and in cultural practices and organisations, a space is needed from which to point out the complexities, the difficulties and the fuss that care in itself entails, so that we are not fucked at all but ‘circluded’, as Sophie Lewis would say.
CIRCLUSION does not penetrate, envisions care from the standpoint of circlusion
The online seminar was hosted by the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA) and the University of Antwerp (UA), in the framework of the Research Seminars public program of the Antwerp Doctoral School.
During the gathering, all six invited cultural organisations and collectives were encouraged to discuss about a specific methodology or tool linked to care, or something not defined as such but that they deemed and felt would be linked to care within their cultural organisation and/or practice.
From this starting point, the collectives participating in the seminar shared the following 12 ways of approaching, understanding and using care in cultural practices, groups or organisations:
1. Exchange system that evolves through, and is based on, care.
2. Organisation models that challenge the production-reproduction divide, suggesting the possibility of unifying both concepts.
3. Care as a form of hosting and be hosted.
4. Redistributing resources by balancing privileges.
5. Value systems and values that incorporate care.
6. Multiple and multi-species care.
7. A tool for promoting access of what is ‘residual’ and ‘marginal’.
8. Support mechanism.
9. Act of resistance (individual and collective).
10. Intersectional device.
11. Building community method.
12. Healing device.
This 1st phase of Catalizadora 3 ‘CIRCLUSION’ was developed as an online seminar. A format typical of the academic environment hosting it, but that at the same time made visible and challenged the abilities and limitations of such format regarding the promotion of spaces of trust from which to encourage the generation of collective processes.
An important issue to be taken into account is the peculiar moment in time in which this seminar took place, traversed by the COVID-19 health crisis and the era of social distancing. This is the reason why the seminar had to be devised as an online format, taking into account the resources offered by the University of Antwerp. This led to questions such as: How do care methodologies change in an online reality? And how do we approach physical distance in collective creation processes? How can careful and caring methodologies be configured in an online format?
These questions led us to envision and generate ‘Being sky a matter of circlusion’, in collaboration with Belgian artist Katinka de Jonge, a series of guided exercises/meditations directed towards the creation of a space of trust and imagination, in which to share and co-create the ethical and practical bases that were the guidelines for the seminar.
The following have been part of the (Un)SCREWING CARE Care Seminar:
KAK; corresponds to the initials of Koekelbergse Alliantie van Knutselaars; an alliance of theater men, handymen, musicians, thinkers and other cheaters who organize their own working conditions horizontally. Both their working methods and the forms of presentation change from one project to another. K.A.K. understands theater as a heterotopia and seeks to mix fiction and reality, with the intention of being receptive and open to possible encounters. K.A.K functions as a platform for meeting and dialogue, and as a project in search of new forms of creation and presentation. Their aim is to accommodate eclectic and unclassifiable works from the field of performing arts, in which there is no obligation of result, but there is a desire and a persistent need to work together. K.A.K. are Annelore Crollet, Aurelie Di Marino, Benjamin Opdebeeck, Ciska Thomas, Dries Gijsels, Esther Gouarné, Femke Stallaert, Frederika Del Nero, Karlien Torfs, Lotte Diependaele, Nathalie Goossens, Nicolas Delalieux, Nikolas Maholas Lestaeghe, Nona Gohieu Goethijn and Mats Van Herreweghe.
Volksroom; is an off-performance-studio space located in Anderlecht, Brussels. It is an independent space dedicated to artistic research on performance and dance. It’s an open space that invites all curious to come and visit them, and offers residencies to artists, possibilities to perform, research or to teach workshops.
Post Collective; is an autonomous platform of co-creation, co-learning and cultural activism created by and for refugees, asylum seekers, sans papiers and accomplices. It seeks to introduce a range of artistic, cultural and employment opportunities, as well as provide an overall collaborative environment for its members regardless of their legal status. Generative modes of dialogue and storytelling form the basis of the Post Collective’s speculative and experiential approaches to art+design, with the aim of developing creative alternatives beyond the dominate systems of control and exclusion we are facing. This means facilitating the position where we do not struggle to be assimilated, but instead rethink and re-conceptualize critically a future together as community. The Post Collective is conformed by illustrator and graphic designer Mirra Markhaeva (Buriatia); graphic and game designer Mohammed Tawfiq (Iraq); philosopher and designer Sawsan Maher (Syria); photographer and visual artist Mahammed Alimu (Somalia); filmmaker, writer and sound artist Marcus Bergner (Australia); fine artist, musician and digital designer Hooman Jalidi (Iran); and artist, activist, designer and researcher Elli Vassalou (Greece).
Katinka de Jonge; is a Belgian artist whose investigative practice focuses on reflection and definition. She is interested in what happens ‘between the lines’, and makes connections between brief conversations, archive material and unobtrusive processes in- and outside organizational structures and its surroundings. This results in (site specific) installations, audio works, multiples and publications that hold a mirror to the context in which it is presented, but at the same time transcend this. Katinka has a broad interest in collaborative arts practice and artist-run initiatives. Currently, she is connected as a researcher on artistic self-organisation to The Royal Academy of Antwerp and a shadow member of the Culture Commons Quest Office.
Conciencia Afro; [Afro Conscience] is configured as a meeting space for the Afro-descendant, African and black community in Spain through their cultures. In recent years, through the Festival held annually, as well as through its publications and its support network, Conciencia Afro has established itself as a space where African, Afro-descendant and black associations, projects and entities meet the in order to continue building a heterogeneous, transnational and strong community, creating a place of empowerment for the different voices and trajectories that compose it. The ConcienciaAfro team is made up of African and Afro-descendant people from different fields that make up a multidisciplinary and choral team. These people are Deborah Ekoka, Yeison G. López, Sheherezade Shepard, Mary Ilda Antonio Ramos, Esther Mayoko, Rubén H. Bermúdez, Ladis B. Site, and Pilar Oyana Nse. Conciencia Afro is one of the resident programs at the Matadero Madrid Artistic Residency Center.
Plata; is a place under construction where a common and common coexistence is organized. A place where the community is invited to propose lines of creation, thought and research, and in which the artists participate, as one more family, of the context. For them, the most interesting thing is to link ourselves to as many bodies and knowledge as we can and elaborate what they call an ‘aesthetics of sharing’ through alternative practices and other forms for collaboration and exhibition that are capable of developing bearable ways of life, recovering the alliance between creation and the profession of living. Plata gives continuity to the little practices that La Fragua had been developing in the Convent of Santa Clara.
Larre; is a feminist collective that uses cultural mediation to propose processes of social transformation with an intersectional and intergenerational perspective. Its organization is structured based on putting care at the center, which affects the articulation of its processes as well as the work dynamics established in the group itself. Larre is a propositional force formed by Priscila Clementti, Lara García Díaz y Ángela Palacios. Since 2018 they imagine and work with the aim of developing and putting into use (together with other agents) thinking and practice feminist tools to generate a common and plural ground from which to point out, question and reconstruct theories and practices of/in the current cultural sector. Larre is the collective that impulses the project Te( n ) cuidado.
HOW TO BUILD UP A COLLECTIVE IN COVID TIMES
Friday 26 February at 20.00, on ZOOM
At the beginning of 2020, the Post Collective (POCO), a group of refugees, asylum seekers, sans papiers and accomplices, took the brave step, together with Kunsthal Gent’s support within their residency program, to speculate on how they might work together in a co-creative, commoning way. And this acknowledging the fact that they have different legal and social statuses/ rights, creative practices, cultures, languages, ages, genders, needs, privileges, accesses, and exclusions within society.
In March 2020, the covid pandemic hit society hard, and specifically, it hit the intersections on which POCO were standing. Many opportunities were taken away and with this the possibility to work together in the same space. They adapted their approaches and invented new ways of staying united and engaged while being physically distanced.
In this 1.5h presentation, POCO will share with the audience their experiences in art making, organizing, communicating, experimenting with online meeting platforms, standing together in solidarity through loneliness, fear, instability, health and sickness, legal processes, and the ever pressing bills for the supermarket and housing.
Through our polyphonic and trans-lingual narratives, using a hybrid of different media (illustration, storytelling, sound poetry, video, photography, music) we want to create an environment within this presentation that welcomes discussion with the audience on the importance of initiating forms of collectivity locally and globally in covid times.
the project is part of the development residency of the post collective: collaborative speculations and is supported by: Arts in society award, Kunsthal Gent, Staad Gent, RefuInterim
The film project On Recreation (working title) by The Post Film Collective is based upon an exploration of polyphonic authorship. The project takes its cue from the poem ‘Recreation’ (1973) by Audre Lorde. In her poem, Lorde explores a double binding of interrelating activities – ‘it is easier to work / after our bodies/meet’ – that led to what she claimed was ‘recreation’, with its connotations of play, reciprocity, care, repetition, and regeneration. The film process is available for the continuous re-composition of both conditions and artistic forms. The gathering of various languages, expressions, and rhythms prevents film production from nesting neatly.
The film is currently in its development phase (fall 2020, spring 2021).
With and by Mirra Markhaëva, Elli Vassalou, Marcus Bergner, Sawsan Maher, Hooman Jalidi, Mohammed Tawfiq, Mahammed Alimu, and Robin Vanbesien;
produced by timely; co-produced by Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Ghent;
supported by Flemish Audiovisual Fund, Kunsthal Ghent, Netwerk Aalst, Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts, Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerp.
NEW DATES FOR 2021!!
FRIDAY 8 JANUARY /// FRIDAY 15 JANUARY /// FRIDAY 22 JANUARY
One of our ongoing and collaborative activities has been in producing and performing voice and language-based artworks in various contexts or arrangements. During the lockdown, we carried out a series of online vocal and performative sessions. These turned out to be surprisingly effective and inspiring, as we used social media platforms such as Jitsi and Skype in new and unorthodox ways via our vocal and language-based experiments.
We are now calling for new collaborators to join us in regular online weekly sound poetry and voice practices.
No previous experience is required other than being prepared to use your voice and language(s) in new and exploratory ways. We aim to create a virtual chorus where participants write and arrange their own songs for collaborative performing. This will draw from and ‘give voice’ to the diverse linguistic and poetic/artistic experiences and backgrounds of all those participating.
After an introductory session, those who wish to continue will meet on a regular Friday basis to develop material for future online public performances.
– Italo Calvino (A King Listens)
Introduction session: 06 November 11.00-13.00
and EVERY FRIDAY at 11.00
Please register your name and online contact details here: Sound Poetry Signup Pad
Download ZOOM and find us here: ZOOM Link
Intersections of Care @ Wiels, Open School / Risquons-Tout
September 12, 2020, to January 10, 2021
Intersections of Care presents a display, an environment, and a discursive program gathering artifacts, humans and non-humans, to share questions and tools for organizing, sharing, and caring. The different elements unfold in the spaces and times of the events program, in the exhibition catalog and in cyberspace on intersectionsofcare.net Thought as an expanded publication, the installation weaves together oral, written, visual stories, and combines fluid and evolving forms, floating textiles, mobile and permeable elements digital and analog, bodies, plants, and minerals. This proposition is constructed in close dialogue with artists and artworks that address issues of care, maintenance, storytelling, conditions for being and working together.
Saturday 17.10.2020, 15:00 – 20:00 Caring, healing, access — Sofia Caesar, Laurie Charles & Greg Nijs
Saturday 21.11.2020, 15:00 – 20:00 Decolonial practices — Zakaria Almoutlak, Lotte Arndt, Olivier Marboeuf / Mangrove, The Post Collective, Golnesa Rezanezhad
Saturday 12.12.2020, 15:00 – 20:00 Guidelines, Codes and Protocols — Clémentine Coupau, Sirah Foighel Brutmann, Sarah Magnan & The White Pube
Saturday 09.01.2021, 15:00 – 20:00 Intersections of Care & Heide Hinrichs – Listening / embodying — Rachel Dedman, Elizabeth Haines, Heide Hinrichs, Melanie Noel, Jo-ey Tang & Susanne Weiß (A program by our editorial committee member Heide Hinrichs, as part of her project Second Shelf)
Intersections of Care is supported by FRNS-FRArt and Académie des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles
A workshop and a collective discussion on decolonial practices in art.
SEMINAR / STIJN VAN DORPE:
DE TRANSFORMATIE VAN DE KUNSTRUIMTE ALS POLITIEK?
Friday 2 October 2020, 14:00 -18:00
Seminar: The transformation of the art space as politics?
by Stijn Van Dorpe, with presentations by Matthijs De Bruijne, The Post Collective, Magdalena Kwiatkowska & The Laundry Collective with Tomaš Kajanek (via skype), Reinaart Vanhoe
Seminar: The transformation of the art space as politics?
by Stijn Van Dorpe, with presentations by Matthijs De Bruijne, The Post Collective, Magdalena Kwiatkowska (via skype), Reinaart Vanhoe
In this seminar, we focus on the question of the meaning of the art space, conceived as an artificially constructed space that is usually considered as a place in which artistic actions, interventions, or presentations take place. The art space can take many forms: it can be very visible (such as the museum or the art gallery) or rather mental (such as an internalized frame of reference) and therefore we better speak of art spaces in the plural. The starting point is that these places, contrary to what they might make appear, are never or can never be neutral. They are always marked by values and powers.
We investigate how art workers, art collectives, and artists who attribute a strong social or political significance to art relate to these art spaces. My thesis is that when the relationship between art and society is taken seriously, art cannot ignore these spaces and must focus on transforming them. At the same time, these transformations should be approached as an artistic/aesthetic process. It means that artistic actions, interventions, or presentations do not really take place within an art space, but that they show the ambition to create new (art) spaces themselves, where other power relations apply.
Stijn Van Dorpe is an artist, researcher, educator, and initiator of this seminar.
About the participating artists:
Matthijs de Bruijne is a Dutch artist whose practice is built on and imbued with political commitment. With his work, he investigates relationships between economics, culture, and social life, with a view to critical collective consciousness. At some point, he concluded that creating awareness about social injustices among a small, specialized art audience is not enough to bring about change. He was looking for other ways to step outside the realm of art and in 2010 he started working for the Union of Cleaners of FNV Bondgenoten. About this, he said that it was not his priority to further develop his career as an artist. Above all, the work of art should support the union’s campaign (see: De Witte Raaf, edition 198)
Magdalena Kwiatkowska & The Laundry Collective – The Laundry Collective emerged from the collaboration of a group of homeless women, LGBTQ people, and the Polish artist Magdalena Kwiatkowska, living and working in Prague. From November 2019 to January 2020, she was a resident at INI Project, an independent platform for contemporary art in Prague. She used the exhibition space at her disposal to meet up with homeless and LGBTQ friends where together, they came up with Magdalena’s laundry project. In this way, they also found protection from the cold winter. Because the art residency required presentation moments, they organized small public moments such as a workshop ‘packing cigarettes’, or ‘exercises to warm the body after a cold night’. However, the owner of the building closed the project prematurely.
The Post Collective is a young collective that wants to create an autonomous platform of co-creation, co-learning, and cultural activism, set up by and for refugees, asylum seekers, sans-papiers, and accomplices. The aim is to create different artistic, cultural, and employment opportunities and to provide an overall collaborative environment for those involved, regardless of their legal status. The collective originated from the Open Design Course for Refugees and Asylum Seekers 2018 at the KASK school of arts in Ghent after some alumni and teachers decided to continue the collaboration. They want to facilitate a position in which they are not assimilated, but instead, together as a community, can critically re-conceptualize a future. The Post Collective is working on the development program of Kunsthal Gent in 2020.
Reinaart Vanhoe is an artist whose practice consists of all kinds of collaborations and in which teaching at the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam has an important place. His working method contains elements that are similar to anarchistic ways of organizing. He conceived the concepts of Also-Space and (g)Locally Embedded Art Practise (gLEAP) as approaches that re-evaluate the production and positioning of the artist. “How can we develop an artistic practice that does not define itself as an ‘alternative’ or ‘in opposition’ to the society in which it exists, but rather as an integral part of the different communities in which the artist functions, produces or lives, and is therefore very much a part of? (Excerpt from Also-Space, From Hot to Something Else: How Indonesian Art Initiatives Have Reinvented Networking, Reinaart Vanhoe, about, among others, the Indonesian art collective ruangrupa).
This seminar is supported by Research Unit Image – Luca School of Arts.
A short radio-phonic collage, cut from a three hours online meeting between the members of The Post Collective brainstorming/contemplating on the word ‘hope’ spoken in four different languages; Arabic, English, Greek, and Somali – mixed with incidental sounds of our everyday life in quarantine: interior observations and playful performances.
Performed by the members of The Post Collective: Mahammed Alimu, Marcus Bergner, Elli Vassalou, Sawsan Maher and Orkid
“Festival of Hope”: A Global Virtual Poetry Initiative by Versopolis
The Post Collective: A Piece of Hope, a sound poem, April 2020
From February 2020 to the end of 2020 the collective is hosted by Kunsthal Gent for a development residency. In these 3 months, the collective aims to build up artistic practices that transcend language and cultural barriers and address 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.
The Post Collective offers free workshops, screenings, and public meetings in Kunsthal Gent between March and May 2020. Please join 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
Saturdays 22.02, 29.02, 07.03, 04.04, 11.04, 18.04, 13:00-17:00
Facilitated by Elli Vassalou, Sawsan Maher, and Mirra Markhaëva
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?
– VOCAL PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP
Fridays 13.03, 03.04,10.04, 17.04, 10:00 – 15:00
Conducted by Marcus Bergner
Visual work lead by Mirra Markhaëva
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 the introductory workshop (13.03) 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 the visual representation of spoken sound by the use of different languages in their traditional calligraphies fused together. The letters will be done in lino cutting in order to create an abstract calligraphic ornament.
– PARALLEL PERCEPTIONS: a workshop on video walking
Friday 20.03, 10.00 – 15.00
developed by Elli Vassalou and Maya Dalinsky, with the insights of Christina Phoebe Thomopoulos
Since 2015, Elli and Maya have been making and researching video walking 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.
– DESIGN A BOOK COVER WORKSHOP
Saturday 21.03 + Sunday 22.03, 10:00 – 15:00
Conducted by Hooman Jalidi A workshop open to all. Learn how to design and produce a book cover using the participant’s own illustrations, drawings, pattern making, collage, and handmade prints. Material such as paper, inks, and basic printmaking equipment will be provided.
– SCREENING ‘ON BELONGING’
Saturday 21.03, 15.30 – 18.00
introduced by Elli Vassalou
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 Elli Vassalou
– 16.00 “Nou voix” by Maxime Jean Baptiste (15′)
– 16.15 film fragments of Christina Phoebe Thomopoulos films
– 17.30 discussion with the audience
– ZINE WORKSHOP
Sunday 19.04 +Monday 20.04, 13:00 – 17:00
Conducted by Mirra Markhaëva
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.
– FILM SCREENING – The Wasp and the Weather (2019, 19′, EN )
Wednesday 22.04, 20:00
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. 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, probing their resonance in today’s social and political climate.
– ‘ON CO-ELABORATION’, study circle
Thursday 23.04, 10.30 – 18.00
with Robin Vanbesien, Vooruit, Ghent – Theaterzaal Foyer
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.
– COLLABORATIVE DRAWING WORK
Conducted by Mohammed Tawfiq
An ongoing collaborative drawing that is open to everyone to contribute to producing a large onsite drawing work.
The Post Collective is a young collective striving to establish an autonomous platform of co-creation, co-learning, and cultural activism created by and for refugees, asylum seekers, sans-papiers, and 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 are Mirra Markhaëva, Marcus Bergner, Elli Vassalou, Sawsan Maher, Mohammed Tawfiq, Hooman Jalidi and Kinda Ghannoum
Supported by: Kunsthal Gent, Stad Gent, Arts in Society Award 2019 – 2020, Refu Interim, KASK School of Arts
Mahammed Alimu is a Brussels-based visual artist and photographer. Born in Abu Dhabi, of Somali origin, he picked up on photography and graphic designing as a minor while he was at university.
He discovered his passion for portraits and storytelling after experiencing it with his friend’s point&shoot camera. Moving forward, he mastered image-editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom, not only to get the best out of reality but also to create his own visual world.