3 July 2017: Archival Erasures and Artistic Activism

Archives and Disobedience

5 – 8 pm at PrintRoom!

(Book)presentations and discussion, with:
Tanel Rander, Tina Bastajian and Ehsan Fardjadniya, Hodan Warsame and Tirza Balk and YOU.
The discussion is moderated by Margaret Tali, one of the editors

Join us for a discussion and presentation of the book “Archives and Disobedience: Changing tactics of visual culture in Eastern Europe” (2016), an edited collection of essays by artists and theorists. The book deals with the use of visual art and images in activism.
The discussion will focus on colonial erasures in different Eastern European contexts – Armenia, Poland, Estonia – and in the Netherlands. How do past erasures affect us in the present? And how have artists and activist dealt with them in their work? Can we learn from each other’s struggles? Presentations by Tanel Rander, Tina Bastajian and Ehsan Fardjadniya, Hodan Warsame and Tirza Balk.

The discussion is followed by a dinner.

You’re invited!!

The program is held in English.

Tina Bastajian will speak about the transits between the hidden, overlooked and exposed as the recurrent themes of her work. Rather than simply problematizing erasure, she is interested in the layers of absence and presence, ways of mining, undermining and overwriting them. She will introduce a work in progress, which is based on her essay in the book about Filmadaran, Armenian National Cinematheque in Yerevan. In her presentation she discusses the process of re-imagining her textual essay to a film essay.

Ehsan Fardjadnyia will talk about and show video documentations of the intervention “Polacy! Refugees and Citizens” that he organized in 2016 in the Warsaw Uprising Museum and at the Frontext Headquarters of the EU border control. He will discuss the construction and erasure of particular narrative in the Warsaw Uprising Museum, what the collective intervention aimed to achieve, how it was perceived and reflect on some of its continuing aftermaths.

Tanel Rander will present his artistic research on East Europe, subjectivity and decolonial option, with a focus on the ideology of transformation from post-socialist era to the present day. This ideology comprises of the concept of otherness and the mechanisms that apply it on history, memory, knowledge and subjectivity. “The guillotine effect” is an idea that Rander uses to describe the mechanisms of erasure in the production of contemporaneity in the post-socialist public space and public art – for example, the fall of socialist art and the rehabilitation of dissident avant-garde in Eastern Europe.

Hodan Warsawa and Tirza Balk will discuss their intervention “Decolonizing the museum” realized at the Tropenmuseum last year:

“Decolonize The Museum is an effort to confront the colonial ideas and practices present in ethnographic museums up until this day. We have worked throughout 2015 to stage a joint intervention in the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures. This intervention critiques the language, imagery and accessibility of its current exhibitions. Our intent is firstly to expose the violence perpetuated by ethnographic museums by critiquing its Eurocentrism, white supremacy, its assumed neutrality and its excuses of “only having so much time/space”. We base this critique on the museum experience of ourselves and our friends whose heritage is studied and analysed, but who, ourselves, are seldom the target group of ethnographic museums. Simultaneously, we push a conversation about how – if at all – the ethnographic museum can contribute to reinstating the agency and histories of colonized peoples, life and territories. Last but not least, Decolonize The Museum is about educating and challenging the organization so that neo-liberal conceptions of ‘diversity’ do not become the limit of change for these institutions.”

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