Artists of Rojava, Artist Association of Azawad, Büro für Antipropaganda, Chto Delat, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Forensic Architecture, Grupo Etcétera, Gulf Labor, Haben und Brauchen, HudRada & ISTM, Immigrant Movement International, Institute for Human Activities (IHA), International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM), Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP), The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (labofii), Performing Arts Forum (PAF), Schoon Genoeg!, The Silent University, WochenKlausur, Zentrum für Politische Schönheit
Florian Malzacher is a freelance curator, dramaturge and writer as well as Artistic Director of Impulse Theater Festival in Bochum, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim a.d. Ruhr. He is co-editor of “Truth is Concrete. A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics” (2014).
Jonas Staal is a visual artist and PhD researcher in art and propaganda. He is the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit, which develops parliaments for stateless and blacklisted political groups worldwide, and of the New World Academy (with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht), which explores the role of art within stateless political struggle.
Joanna Warsza is an independent curator for visual, performing arts and architecture and Senior Lecturer at Konstfack Stockholm. She was Head of Public Programs at Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, as well as associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale.
Ekaterina Degot is an art historian, art writer and curator whose work focuses on aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in Russia, predominantly in the post-Soviet era.
Charles Esche is director of Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (NL), curator of the 31st São Paulo Biënnale (2014) and director of Afterall Journal and Books.
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei is a philologist and LGBT activist, director of project bureau The Department of Eagles and multilingual publishing house Uitgeverij. He lives and works in Tirana, Albania.
Matteo Lucchetti is an art historian, independent curator and critic. Currently he co-directs the visible project based in Brussels together with Judith Wielander.
Marion von Osten is an artist and cultural researcher. She is a founding member of Labor k3000 in Zurich, kleines post- fordistisches Drama (kpD) [Small Post- Fordist Drama] and the Center for Post- Colonial Knowledge and Culture in Berlin.
Margarita Tsomou is a writer and performer from Greece, based in Berlin. Tsomou writes and performs on political intervention, sex-positive feminism, capitalism, media criticism and subversion.
about the participating organisations
Artists of Rojava
Representative to be announced
The struggle for self-governance in Rojava (Syrian-Kurdistan) against the Assad regime and the self-proclaimed Islamic State is the result of decades of political and cultural struggle by the Kurdish people. This struggle resulted in the model of “democratic autonomy”: a practice of democracy that rejects the framework of the state. With the artists of Rojava we will explore the role of art in establishing new models of political representation and democratic practice.
Artist Association of Azawad
Represented by Mazou Ibrahim Touré & Moussa Ag Assarid
The Artist Association of Azawad is the cultural wing of the National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA), a multi-ethnic coalition of peoples from the Sahara and Sahel that struggles for a new independent state of Azawad, situated north of Mali. The Association brings together members from different artistic fields including music, literature, theatre and storytelling.
Büro für Antipropaganda
Represented by Marina Naprushkina
The Büro für Antipropaganda [Office for Anti-Propaganda] was founded in 2007 and investigates how modern political ideologies work and how they influence society. Using artistic methods, the Office for Anti-Propaganda attempts to break open these patterns. At AOI, the Office for Anti-Propaganda is presenting the “Refugees’ Library” which features mainly drawn court notebooks of the asylum process as a source of information for refugees for better preparing their own cases.
Represented by Dmitry Vilensky
Chto Delat [What is to be done?] was founded in 2003 in Saint Petersburg by a working group of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Chto Delat is active in many fields - producing a newspaper, plays, video films, total installations and community work. In 2012 Chto Delat founded the School of Engaged Art as a modular art school based on experimentation with the possibilities of engaged art practices in a time dominated by reactionary discourse.
Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP)
Represented by Lisa Ito
The Concerned Artists of the Philippines is an organisation of writers, artists and cultural workers committed to the principles of freedom, justice and democracy. It was founded in 1983 to unite Filipino artists against the dictatorial regime of then President Marcos. Since then it has continued to countervail the onslaught of globalisation and remnants of feudalism and to struggle for the people’s political and economic liberation.
Represented by Lorenzo Pezzani
Forensic Architecture is a research project based at Goldsmiths, University of London, assembling a team of architects, artists, filmmakers, activists and theorists to undertake research that gathers and presents spatial analysis in legal and political forums, providing evidence for political organisations, NGOs and the United Nations. Additionally, the project undertakes critical examinations of the history and present status of forensic practices in articulating notions of public truth.
Represented by Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garín
Formed in 1997 in Buenos Aires, Grupo Etcétera is composed of visual artists, poets, puppeteers and actors who share the intention of bringing art to the site of immediate social conflict and of bringing this conflict into arenas of cultural production, including the media and art institutions. In 2005 Grupo Etcétera co-founded the movement International Errorist, which considers the notion of error as a fundamental human condition of the capitalist world that eschews mistakes and failures.
Represented by Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Gulf Labor is a coalition of artists and activists who have been working together since 2011 to highlight the coercive recruitment, and deplorable living and working conditions of migrant labourers in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island [Island of Happiness]. The Gulf Labor campaign focuses on the workers who are building the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum (in collaboration with the British Museum) on Saadiyat Island.
Haben und Brauchen
Represented by Sonja Augart, Tatjana Fell, Alice Münch, Ina Wudtke & Inga Zimprich
Haben und Brauchen [To Have and To Need] is an informal platform for discussion and action founded in 2011. It advocates the recognition and preservation of a self-organised artistic practice that has grown out of the specific historical conditions in Berlin. Haben und Brauchen’s manifesto goes beyond individual artists' interests and makes connections to debates around the commons, precarious economy, urban development and housing policy as well as the shifting notions of labour in contemporary society.
HudRada & ISTM
Represented by Lada Nakonechna
HudRada [Artistic Committee] and ISTM [Art Workers' Self-defence Initiative] are interdisciplinary artist, curatorial and activist groups established in Kiev in 2008 and in 2013. Both aim to impact the formation of new cultural policy principles. HudRada works mostly within the realm of exhibitions, while ISTM’s main objective is to defend artists and their practices in relation to the institutions that solicit and present their work as well as to act in solidarity with other workers’ associations.
Immigrant Movement International (IM)
Represented by Tania Bruguera
Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International is a long-term art project in the form of an artist-initiated socio-political movement. Engaging both local and international communities, as well as working with social service organisations, elected officials, and artists focused on immigration reform, IM examines growing concerns about the political representation facing immigrants. IM also delves into the implementation of art in society, examining what it means to create “Useful Art”.
Institute for Human Activities (IHA)
Represented by Renzo Martens
In 2012, the Institute for Human Activities began “A Gentrification Program” on a former Unilever plantation in Congo. The IHA asserts that even when art critically engages with global inequalities, it most often brings beauty, jobs and opportunity to the places where such art is exhibited, discussed and sold, creating a gap with the zone of intervention of critical art. The IHA turns art’s potential for gentrification into a progressive and effective tool.
International Institute of Political
Represented by Milo Rau
The International Institute of Political Murder was founded by writer Milo Rau in 2007. The IIPM’s past productions (“The Last Days of the Ceausescus,” “Breivik’s Statement,” “The Moscow Trials,” “The Civil Wars”) have enjoyed great international success and stand for a new, documentary and aesthetically compacted form of political art – with a special focus on multimedia adaptation of historical or social conflicts.
Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP)
Represented by Yael Bartana, Susanne Sachsse & Walter Solon
The Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland calls for the return of 3.300.000 Jews to Poland to symbolize the possibility of our collective imagination – to right the wrongs history has imposed and to reclaim the promise of an utopian future. Members of the movement recognise that Europe needs to be re-thought, that Israel must change to be part of the Middle East and that as citizens we have the responsibility to imagine the world differently. The JRMiP was initiated by Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana in 2007.
The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (labofii)
Represented by John Jordan
At the heart of labofii’s experiments lie new ways of organising ourselves: working without hierarchy, taking direct action against capitalism and living ecologically sensitive lives. The laboratory treats insurrection as an art and art as a means for the coming insurrections. This has included transforming bikes into tools of disobedience during the UN Climate Summit, a pirate armada to shut down a coal fired power station, sabotaging banks with ants and covering the Tate Gallery in molasses.
Performing Arts Forum (PAF)
Represented by Jan Ritsema
Performing Arts Forum is a place for the professionals and not-yet-professionals in the field of performance arts, visual art, music, film, literature, new media, theory and cultural production, who seek to research and determine their own conditions of work. Initiated and run by artists, theoreticians, practitioners and activists themselves, PAF is a user-created informal institution. PAF is located in a former convent school in the village of St. Erme, France.
Represented by Matthijs de Bruijne
Schoon Genoeg! [(Clean) Enough!] is the campaign of cleaners in the Netherlands that started in 2009 for better wages, working conditions, and social recognition. As part of this campaign the union organised the cleaners’ strike of 2010, which was the longest strike in the Netherlands since 1933 as well as the recent strikes in 2012 and in 2014. Other elements of the Cleaners Union’s actions included a temporary Afvalmuseum (Trash Museum) in Utrecht's Central Station as well the campaign to improve domestic workers rights and the ratification of ILO Convention 189 in the Netherlands.
The Silent University
Represented by Emily Fahlén & Ahmet Öğüt
The Silent University is an autonomous knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It aims to address and reactivate the knowledge of the participants and make the exchange process mutually beneficial by inventing alternative currencies in place of money or free voluntary service. These explorations attempt to make apparent the systemic failure and the loss of skills and knowledge experienced through the silencing process of people seeking asylum.
Represented by Hannah Rosa Öllinger & Manfred Rainer
Since 1993 the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society. So far, 38 projects have been realised all around the world – from Alaska to Japan.
Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (ZPS)
Represented by Fabian Eggers, John Kurtz & André Leipold
Zentrum für Politische Schönheit [Centre for Political Beauty] is an assault team exploring moral beauty and human greatness in politics. The basic belief is that the legacy of the Holocaust is rendered void by political apathy, the rejection of refugees and political cowardice. In 2014, the ZPS helped Syrian refugees enter the European Union by adapting the 1938/39 British Kindertransport to the present. In 2014 the ZPS also linked the victims of the Berlin Wall to those at the outer EU borders in a highly debated action.