Institutions and Resistance – Alliances for Art at Risk
February 11–12, 2022
Livestream: zkm.de/en/livestream, AR’s YouTube & AR’s Facebook
Organized and hosted by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and Artists at Risk (AR).
Where would you go if the world fell apart? What if your school and museum were hijacked? Militias and mafias ruled? Your friends and colleagues were hunted or killed?
This is not a test. This is reality, right now, in parts of our world. Its horrific face was vanquished in western Europe only 77 years ago. Will we see it again?
“Institutions and Resistance—Alliances for Art at Risk” is a two-day symposium on how cultural institutions can be active agents in countering inegalitarian, anti-democratic, authoritarian, and eco-destructive forces, and coping with the instability and forced migrations to which they give rise. It identifies alliances, programs, movements—to be conceived, described or developed.
The symposium brings together artists, activists, thinkers, and institutions to strengthen the field in our turbulent global predicament.
Friday, February 11, 2022
5–8pm CET: Section I—Threats and Risks
A focus on “Threats and Risks” faced by art and free thought will kick-off the symposium. Masha Alekhina of Pussy Riot will speak from her own experience as a political prisoner***. The ensuing panel, moderated by Artists at Risk (AR) Co-Founding Directors, Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky, features human-rights leader Sara Whyatt and resistant figures including the writer-director Andrei Kureichik, member of the government-in-exile of Belarus, the renowned Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbāf, Barnabás Bencsik, curator, founding director ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, and the actor artist Ahmed Mourad Khanfir (AR-Tunis).
Video statements from artists in situ are presented throughout the program. Section I features anonymous Afghan artists currently hiding from the Taliban (see their open letter to world leaders and the #SaveAfghanArtists campaign). Video statements by Sarvy Geranpayeh, Sara Nabil, Nika Nikulshina, Maksim Shved, Issa Touma, and Grammo Suspect will also be shown later in the program.
Artistic interventions: Laura Schmidt, Ganzeer and the Lazours, Andrei Kureichik, Leyla Yenirce
Saturday, February 12, 2022
4–6pm CET: Section II—Institutions as Resistance
What kind of institutional formations are conceivable to build art communities and defend those at risk? Entering this diverse field via a conversation with Reza Asung Afisina and Farid Rakun from ruangrupa, the curatorial team of documenta 15, this section will feature a panel discussion moderated by Vivienne Chow, arts and culture journalist, with Timea Junghaus, curator of the first Roma Pavilion in Venice and director of ERIAC, the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture, Hrag Vartanian, editor and co-founder of Hyperallergic, Elisabet Goula Sardà Head of Debates at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), and Gitte Zschoch, the General Secretary of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa).
Artistic interventions: Satch Hoyt, Leyla Yenirce
6:15–9pm CET: Section III: Risk Scenarios and Future Alliances
The event will culminate in reflections on daunting future scenarios, opening with a keynote by David Wengrow, the co-author with David Graeber of The Dawn of Everything – A New History of Humanity. How can social, ecological, human, and democratic rights and freedoms be defended? This section, moderated by researcher and curator Julien McHardy, includes figures such as the Indian film director “Q” (Qaushiq Mukherjee, AR-India), the documentarist, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Deeyah Khan and, the head of the ZKM Peter Weibel. This section will also show a video statement from Clare Farrell, activist, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.
Artistic intervention: Martha Hincapié-Charry
Participants: Ahmed Mourad Khanfir, Andrei Kureichik, Ganzeer, Gitte Zschoch, The Lazours, Masha Alekhina, Mohsen Makhmalbāf, Qaushiq ‘Q’ Mukherjee, Ruangrupa (Reza ‘Asung’ Afisina & Farid Rakun), Sarah Whyatt, Satch Hoyt, Timea Junghaus, Vivienne Chow, Barnabás Bencsik, Elisabet Goula Sardà, Deeyah Khan, David Wengrow, Abdul Wasi Rahraw Omarzad, Barış Seyitvan, Clare Farrell, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Grammo Suspect, Hrag Vartanian, Issa Touma, Ivor Stodolsky, Jessica de Abreu, Julien McHardy, Laura Schmidt, Leyla Yenirce, Maksim Shved, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Mariam Ghani, Marita Muukonen, Martha Hincapié Charry, Nabila Horakhsh, Nika Nikulshina, Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo, Olga Sismanidi, Peter Weibel, Philipp Ziegler, Rémi Sarmini, Sarvy Geranpayeh, Teresa Retzer, Waldemar Tatarczuk
Parallel to the livestream, we welcome all to the “open air” meet & greet – including full-length versions of the artistic interventions – on the virtual platform gather.town!
In Spring 2022 CET, the agenda of “Institutions and Resistance” will continue in a Working Session. This event will concretize proposals for practical alliances involving further institutional and political actors.
“Institutions and Resistance” is a cooperation between the network-institution ARTISTS at RISK (AR) and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe as a part of the EU Creative Europe project Artists at Risk (AR)—A European Network of Safe Havens (AR-ENSH). Partner institutions include Artists at Risk (AR), Art Veda, Tunis, CCCB, Barcelona, ZKM | Karlsruhe.
Eligible artist-activists at high risk may apply for AR-Residencies via the Public Call.
Organizers: Marita Muukkonen, Ivor Stodolsky, Peter Weibel with Teresa Retzer and Philipp Ziegler