IRI MEETING #4 ATHENS | OPEN SCHOOL OF MILITANT RESEARCH

We are a group of artists, curators, scholars and activists who work together to develop research, enquires, knowledge and practices – decolonised, anti-capitalist and non-anthropocentric –  with the aim of prefiguring and enacting life after capitalism because

  • Politics is as much about economic redistribution as it is about self-representation; 
  • Art must produce not only powerful symbols and images but also radical epistemologies and useful knowledge.
  • Pedagogies, epistemologies and imagination are deeply relational, embodied and historical

OUR SCHOOL OPERATES AT THE THRESHOLD OF ART, PEDAGOGY AND ACTIVISM

IRI Open School of Militant Research

Our syllabus is articulated in four tracks: 

  1. Art – as a practice of radical imagination and knowledge production
  2. Film documents – film as a method of militant investigation
  3. Archive – building common memories
  4. Theory – building consciousness in commons 

Presentations by:

Angela Dimitrakaki, Dmitry Vilensky, Begüm Özden Fırat & Zeyno Pekünlü, Jasmina Metwaly, Ola Zielińska, Pablo Garcia Bacchiller, Camilla Rocha Pinta, Mao Mollona.


Program @ Athens School of Fine Art (ASFA) Piraeus

October 31st

Angela Dimitrakaki Talk  

November 1st

Internal Workshop on Archive NTUA

10:00 – 12:00  Begüm Özden Fırat & Zeyno PekünlüAfter the Event 

lunch break 

14:00 – 16: 00 Dmitry Vilenski, Chto DelatIf you see nazi say nazi. Tools for estrangement, agitation and engagement. Proposal for militant cultural environmentalism

16:00 – 18:00 Ola Zielińska and Jasmina Metalwy 

coffee break

18: 30 – 20.00 Mao Mollona, Goldsmiths College, London – When Images say too much. Screen memories, ghosts and painful returns. The making of the militant archive in Brazil. 

November 2nd

10:00 – 12:00 Public discussion on practical strategies for setting up a militant archive in the Mediterranean: Pablo Garcia Bacchiler, Red Conceptualismos del Sur (RedCSur), Elpida and other groups in Athens 

14:00 – 16:00 Concluding Remarks


After the Event  with Begüm Özden Fırat & Zeyno Pekünlü

After the Event is a research Project that focuses on the afterlife of the recent cycle of revolts initiated in late 2010. Within the School of Militant Research in Athens After the Event will focus on the remembrance and archives of these cycle of revolts: How do we remember those moments of political contestation from the perspective of the present? Would images help us rethink the emancipatory potentials of the revolutionary tide that swept the whole world? How can we re-think this endless data, and how can these archives be re-shaped/remixed in a way that they reveal something otherwise amiss, something not represented?


If you see nazi say nazi. Tools for estrangement, agitation and engagement. Proposal for militant cultural environmentalism with Dmitry Vilenski

In my seminar, I suggest to focus on the case study of one of Cho Delat film “Museum Songspiel. The Netherland 20XX” and to analyze some methodological devices which we used to unmask the open and hidden nationalistic tendencies of European societies. We also analize the possibility of construction of new forms of tragedy which deals with irreconcilable contradiction as a possibility of the revealing the “wounds” of social antagonisms and see if any catharsis is still possible and needed.


When Images say too much. Screen memories, ghosts and painful returns in the making of the militant archive in Brazil with Mao Mollona.

Who do images do? What do they want? What are the conditions of their production and circulation? When do they become militant? What happens when they take position? Or when they say too much? In the first part of the workshop I discuss archival images in terms of historical trauma, memory and solidarity between humans and non-humans – ghosts, objects, or fetishes. I trace a short visual hauntology of Brazil, through the archival images that I have collected in my fieldwork in Brazil, and the work of filmmaker Leo Hirzman whose militant and antifascist cinema, made for a new intersectional working class in the 1980s,  mobilised multiple visual and historical registers. Through these images, the ghost of slavery and class oppression, continuously ‘return’ (Cesaire), with a mixture of violence and nostalgia, creating resonances between the colonial past and the present global condition of authoritarian capitalism. What do these returns mean to us? How can we get closer in solidarity, with these fugitive images?


Profiles

Begüm Özden Fırat is currently a faculty member at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Sociology. She studied urban and cultural sociology, visual culture, and culture and social movements. She is an editor of the books entitled Commitment and Complicity in Cultural Theory and Practice (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2009), Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas, Possibilities (Rodopi, 2011) and Resistance and Aesthetics in the Age of Global Rebellion (Küresel Ayaklanmalar Çağında Direniş ve Estetik, 2015, İletişim). Her book entitled Encounters with the Ottoman Miniature: Contemporary Readings of an Imperial Art was published in 2015 by I.B. Tauris.

Zeyno Pekünlü is an artist based in Istanbul. She obtained her M.A. from University of Barcelona and her Ph.D. from Mimar Sinan University. She is currently running the Work and Research Program of the Istanbul Biennial (ÇAP) for young artists and researchers. Comprising a wide spectrum of material from the National Anthem to Turkish melodramas, from cheet sheets to Youtube videos, Pekünlü’s works traverse public and private manifestations of various forms of subordination, and problematize the technologies of power.

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.  The artistic activity is realizing across a range of media—from video and theater plays, to radio programs and murals—it includes art projects, seminars and public campaigns. The works of the collective are characterized by the use of alienation effect, surreal scenery, typicality and always case based analyses of a concrete social and political struggles. In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform—School of Engaged Art in Petersburg and also runs a space called Rosa’s House of Culture. From its inception, the collective has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper focused on the politicisation of Russian cultural situation, in dialogue with the international context. Recent exhibitions include: MUAC (The Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico (solo show 2017); KOW BERLIN (solo show in 2017 and 2015), San Paulo Biennale (2014), Art, Really Useful Knowledge Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014), Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013 – Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2013);  FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2013); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012); Chto Delat in Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kuntsthalle, Baden-Baden, 2011; Chto Delat Perestroika: Twenty Years After: 2011–1991, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2011; Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, 2011; Study, Study and Act Again, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, 2011; and The Urgent Need to Struggle, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 2010.

Ola Zielińska, born in 1991. Graduated from the Academy of Art in Szczecin (PL) in the faculties of Fine Arts (2017) and Interior Design (2015). In her activities, she drifts between different practices, among artistic, curatorial and art production. Deals with the institutional critique. In the years of 2015-2018 co-runs Obrońców Stalingradu 17 / OS17 an independent art-space located in the tenement house in the city centre of Szczecin.  Lives and works between Poland and Germany. 

Jasmina Metwaly (b. 1982, Warsaw, Poland) currently lives and works in Berlin and Cairo. Solo and group exhibitions of her works have been presented at venues such as SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2018); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2016); Townhouse, Cairo (2015, 2011, 2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); and National Gallery of Arts, Tirana, Albania (2013). She also participated in the German Pavilion exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and in the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012). Her films have also been shown widely at international film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival (2013); International Film Festival Rotterdam (2012); Dubai International Film Festival, UAE (2012); and Berlinale Internationale Filmfestspiele (2011). Since 2010 Metwaly has often collaborated on projects with the filmmaker Philip Rizk. She is a co-founder of the media collective Mosireen and of 858 Media Archive (858.ma), an online repository of video footage documenting the Egyptian revolution since 2011.

Mao Mollona is an anthropologist based in Goldsmiths College, London. He specialises in political and economic anthropology and art. https://www.gold.ac.uk/anthropology/staff/m-mollona/