Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona writer, filmmaker and anthropologist. He has a multidisciplinary background in economics and anthropology and his work focuses on the relationships between art and political economy. He conducted extensive fieldworks in Italy, UK, Norway and Brazil, mainly in economic institutions, looking at the relationships between economic development and political identity through participatory and experimental film projects. His practice is situated at the intersection of pedagogy, art and activism. Mollona is a founding member of the LUC Laboratory for the Urban Commons (LUC), Athens.
Marco Baravalle @Barawaves central figure at S.a.L.E. Docks, an independent space for visual arts, activism, and experimental theater located in what had been an abandoned salt-storage facility in Dorsoduro, Venice. Founded in 2007, its programming includes activist-group meetings, formal exhibitions, screenings, and actions. In addition to managing the diverse programming at S.a.L.E. Docks, Baravalle is also a research fellow at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He researches art and activism, creative labor, gentrification, and how art is positioned within neoliberal economics.
Manuel Borja-Villel art historian and Director of Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, is one of the key institutional agents of Spanish culture. He directed three of the major art institutions in Spain: Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona (1990–1998); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA, 1998–2008) and Museo Reina Sofía (2008–present). He curated solo exhibitions of some of the most important artists of the last century: among others Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, James Coleman, Óyvind Fahlström, Luis Gordillo, Hans Haacke, Lygia Pape, Antoni Muntadas. Borja-Villel is also recognized for his thesis exhibitions, which he curated in collaboration with specialists like Bernard Blistène, Jean-François Chevrier, Serge Guilbaut or Georges Didi-Huberman, among which are: Los límites del museo (1995); La ciudad de la gente (1996); Antagonismos. Casos de estudio (2001); Arte y utopía: la acción restringida (2004); Bajo la bomba. El jazz de la guerra de imágenes transatlántica, 1946–1956(2007); La invención concreta (2013); and Playgrounds. Reinventar la plaza (2014).
Emanuele Braga co-founder of Macao center, an artist, researcher and activist. In addition to his work at Macao, he co-founded the dance and theatre company Balletto Civile (2003), the contemporary art project Rhaze (2011), as well as Landscape Choreography (2012), an art platform questioning the role of the body under capitalism. His research focuses on models of cultural production, processes of social transformation, political economy, labor rights and the institution of the commons.
Maria Chehonadskih philosopher and critic. PhD in philosophy from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, 2017. Her research and work concentrates on Soviet epistemologies across Marxist philosophy, literature and art, as well as on post-Soviet politics. She gave talks in various universities and art institutions and published in journals and magazines such as Radical Philosophy, South Atlantic Quarterly, Crisis and Critique, e-flux, Mute and Moscow Art Magazine. In 2014 together with Ilya Budraitskis she co-curated the exhibition Shadow of a Doubtat the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, dedicated to the topic of conspiracy. She lives and works in London.
Margherita D’Andrea, resident and active member at L’Asilo, is an Italian lawyer focusing on criminal law and migration law. She is member of the executive committee of ELDH, “European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights. As international observer for human rights, she has attended in cases against politicians and activists in Kuwait, Morocco and Germany. She studies public dissent in its various forms under a juridical and historical perspective. On these issues, she publishes articles and interviews, like the recent Migrants and Hotspot: rights or control? in Economia e Politica, scientific journal,VIII, 2017 and Un sistema kafkiano per negare il diritto d’asilo in Left, weekly magazine, XI, 2017, pp.16-17.
Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective 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 group constituted in an action called The Refoundation of Petersburg. Shortly afterwards, the original, as yet nameless core group began publishing an international newspaper called Chto Delat?. Chto Delat sees itself as an artistic cell and also as a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing “knowledge production”. 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. These activities are coordinated by a core group including Tsaplya Olga Egorova (artist), Artiom Magun (philosopher), Nikolay Oleynikov (artist), Natalia Pershina / Glucklya (artist), Alexey Penzin (philosopher), Alexander Skidan (poet and critic), Oxana Timofeeva (philosopher), Dmitry Vilensky (artist) and Nina Gasteva (choreographer)
Xenia Kalpaktsoglou curator and one of the founding members of LUC The Laboratory for the Urban Commons, a collective that develops and produces research, artistic practices, urban interventions and education, operating out of Athens. Together with artist Poka-Yio and art-critic Augustine Zenakos, she founded the Athens Biennale 2005 a non-profit independent organisation, which she co-directed until July 2016. During this time, she co-curated two editions, AB1-Destroy Athens, 2007 (as XYZ) and AB3-MONODROME, 2011 (with Nicolas Bourriaud and Poka-Yio) and was a member of the curatorial team of the AB4-AGORA, 2013 for which the organisation received the 2015 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture. Her curatorial practice is heavily rooted in collaborations and focuses on new methodologies of artistic intervention and institutional frameworks of/for research, pedagogy, cultural production and activism.
Vasif Kortun is a curator, writer and teacher in the field of contemporary visual art, its institutions and spatial practices. He was the founding Director of Research and Programs of SALT in Turkey. Kortun serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Arts Initiatives and SALT
Ana Longoni researcher, writer and curator, is Director of Public Activities at the Museo Reina Sofía. PHD in Arts her research is focused in the intersections between art, activism and politics in Argentina and Latin America from the mid-20th century to the present. She was Professor of Theory of Media and Culture at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and she directed many doctoral thesis and research groups. She is currently Professor of Programme of Independent Studies at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), and co-founder of the international network Red Conceptualismos del Sur. She is lecturer in several international seminars and conferences and author of a long list of essays and books on topics of artistic activism, avant-garde theory and recent Latin American History. She is author of several publications and coordinated the exhibitions Desire Rises from Collapse (2011) and Losing the Human Form (2012), both at the Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid). At present she is curating the exhibition Oscar Masotta: Theory as Action, MUAC (México) in 2017 and MACBA (Barcelona) in 2018.
Jasmina Metwaly artist and director. Over the course of the last 5 years, Metwaly’s works shifted towards film and video. In 2011 she co-founded a media activist collective Mosireen born during the revolution in Egypt, combining citizen media and cultural activism. She presented her work in a number of exhibitions, including in 2010 I want to be White for Youat BWA Wroclaw, Paradise Paradiseat Townhouse Art Gallery in Cairo, and international festivals. For the Jogja XII Biennial in Yogyakarta, in 2013 she premiered the video From Behind the Monument realized during Resò 3 residency at CESAC in Caraglio. Since 2010 she collaborates on projects with filmmaker Philip Rizk. Together, they have recently co-curated a program How to Act: On Stages and Storytellers in Beirut and Cairo. In 2015 their feature-length film Out on the Street was presented in the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and at MoMA. She is currently an artist in residency at DAAD in Berlin.
Giuseppe Micciarelli jurist and political philosopher. PhD in Public Law, Theory of National and European Institutions and Legal Philosophy at the University of Salerno, Italy. He is member of Laboratorio filosofico-giuridico e filosofico-politico ‘Hans Kelsen and editor of Soft Power, Euro-American Journal of Historical and Theoretical Studies of Politics. His research interests include: theory of commons and self-government, state of exception and emergency, processes of political subjectivation and transformation of institutions in contemporary governmentality. As resident member of L’Asilo Naples, he contributed to the drafting of the “Declaration of urban civic and collective use” recognized by the City of Naples, Palermo, Chieri and Turin. He is also advisor of many experiences of social and civic activism about the issues of self organization, participatory democracy and neo-municipalism.
Meriç Oner trained architect and Director of research and programs at SALT. Focusing mainly on Turkey and its surrounding geography after 1950s, she develops material culture research with a comprehensive and progressive approach. Her work circulates in forms of print and online publications, exhibitions, and public programs. Recent exhibitions include Commissioners’ Exhibition, SALT Galata, Istanbul (2017), One and the Many, SALT Galata, Istanbul, 2016; SUMMER HOMES: Claiming the Coast, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul, 2014, and Modern Essays 4: SALON, SALT Galata, Istanbul, 2012. Recent contributions to publications include The Long 1980s (2018) and Documentary Remains (2018). Öner lives and works in Istanbul.
Zeyno Pekünlü artist and researcher based in Istanbul, Turkey. She is part of the editorial collectives of the culture and politics journals eXpress. Bir+Bir and Red Thread. She is also part of several grassroots political networks; Müştereklerimiz (Our Commons) which aims to create both temporary and permanent alliances around the ideas of commoning practices and Dünyada Mekan (A Place on Earth) a multi-functional, self-organized solidarity space for white-collar and freelance workers.
Theo Prodromidis visual artist and director based in Athens, Greece. He studied Contemporary Media Practice at the University of Westminster and was awarded an MFA in Fine Art by Goldsmiths University of London in 2007. His practice includes moving image, installation and performance, which combines historical research, fiction and documentary elements. His work has been exhibited and screened in galleries, museums and festivals such as Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Nanjing International Art Festival, Les Rencontres Internationales, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, 5th and 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, 4th Athens Biennale, Werkleitz zentrum für medienkunst, Fondazione Merz, i.a. He was a Laureate of the Institut Francais residency programme at the Cité internationale des arts, where he started the research for his first feature fiction film and later started the development under the Feature Expanded program with the support of the Greek Film Centre. Since 2017 he is curator of the periodical screening series Sunday Narratives, one of the contributors of The School of Redistribution by Future Climates and a volunteer at the Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus. He is currently a Visiting Artist under the program Risk Change at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a co-founder of the LUC Laboratory for the Urban Commons, operating out of Athens, Greece.
Gabriella Riccio, artist, activist, researcher. With a multidisciplinary background in dance as well as in political studies, alongside her creative activity she is interested in art in its political dimension at the intersection with activism and in the movement of the commons of self-governed cultural spaces. She is resident choreographer and active member of L’Asilo Napoli, Italy. Founder of caosmos|cie gabriellariccio (2001) supporting research and production on experimental dance and performance with over 14 creations. As artist, curator, cultural operator her practical and theoretical research focuses on the body in contemporary cultural practices and on the relationship between practice and though, dance and philosophy. With Maurizio Zanardi she co-curates the meetings on dance and philosophy Perché la danza?. She is regularly invited as public speaker in Universities, Summer Schools, international conferences and congresses on commons and civic uses (see keynote speech TEH 81st Meeting, Bilbao 2018) Recently published The Body and the Scene.Territories of the Aesthetic-cognitive Experience in the Artistic Practice of Dance on Anglistica Aion Vol 20.2, published also in Italian on on Kaiak a Philosophical Journey 2017, and presented in Athens at the 51st World Congress on Dance Research of the International Dance Center UNESCO; La pratica dell’uso civico come scelta estetica etica e politica per il sensibile comune, in Stefano Rodotà. I Beni Comnuni. L’inaspettata rinascita degli usi collettivi, La Scuola di Pitagora ed, 2018; and Per un approccio sistemico al patrimonio culturale: usi civici e beni comuni. Il caso dell’Ex Asilo Filangieri di Napoli, in Visioni al future Editrice Bibliografica 2018.
Philip Rizk @tabulagaza film-maker and writer based in Cairo, Egypt. He studied Philosophy and Anthropology and has been working with video since 2009. His first film is the short film “This Palestinian Life”. In 2010 Rizk completed the short film series “Sturm”, a two channel articulation that explores rural and industrial ruin in Egypt. Together with Jasmina Metwaly he formed the video collective Intifadat in 2011, producing the series of videos Remarking January 25. Since 2011 Rizk has been a member of the Mosireen video collective currently in the process of releasing an online archive called 858. In 2015 Rizk and Metwaly co-directed their first feature film “Out on the Street“, in which they engage with performativity and theatre in a film featuring non-professional actors using the factory as a microcosm of Egypt leading up to the January 25 revolt. The film premiered at the Berlinale 2015 and was a part of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015. Rizk’s texts have appeared in various collected volumes including 2011 is not 1968: a letter to an onlooker in Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa and Fear the everyday state in Stubborn State part of the collaborative writing series Emotional Architecture. In 2016 Rizk’s audio installation A Colonial Landscape a reading of a travel diary through 2015 Palestine, accompanied Tobias Zielony’s photography exhibition of the same name at Fotohof, Salzburg in November 2015. Rizk and Metwaly’s 2017 lecture performance On Trials explores performativity within the legal realm. Rizk is currently working on a fictional travel film placed in the period that engages with two periods in Greater Syria’s history, prior to the establishment of the state and following the Syrian state’s partial withdrawal starting the end of 2011. His text An affront to etiquette reflects on the process of the making of the film. Since 2016 Rizk has been teaching part-time at the American University in Cairo and is preparing for other less institution based classes and workshops in the future.
Raúl Sánchez Cedillo is a philosopher, activist and translator who lives in Madrid. Since 1991 he has been collaborating with the post-operaist research and political networks, and has edited a number of works by Antonio Negri, Félix Guattari and others. He was active in the antimilitarist and Insumisión movement during the 1990s, and later in the okupación and Centros Sociales Okupados movement. He is a member of the first cyberactivism network in Spain, http://www.sindominio.net. Since 2000 he has been promoting new autonomous educational and political projects: Universidad Nómada and the Fundación de los Comunes.
WHW. What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin. Its members are curators Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibitions and publishing projects and directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. Over the years WHW has been intensively developing models based on collective way of working, collaboration between partners of different backgrounds and involvement with local advocacy platforms. What, how and for whom, the three basic questions of every economic organization, concern the planning, concept and realization of exhibitions as well as the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labor market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project, What, How & for Whom, dedicated to the 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, in 2000 in Zagreb, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the title of the collective.
Mabel Tapia researcher based in Paris and Madrid. Her research focuses on art practices from the twenty-first century involving the use of archives, activism, political engagement that have as one of their main characteristics, the deactivation of the aesthetic function. Processes of legitimation, valorisation and visibility of contemporary practices in relation to the phenomenon of reification within new paradigms in both artistic and socio-economic fields are part of her investigation. She is co-director of the PHD level program Document & Art Contemporain (ÉESI, Angoulême – Ensa, Bourges) and she collaborates with the MNCARS. As editor, she has coordinated the following publications: Losing human form. A seismic image of the ’80s in Latin America(2013, 2014), Really Useful Knowledge(2014) and Desinventario (2015). She is member of the Red Conceptualismos del Sur platform.
Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti – DAAR In the last ten years, from Palestine, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti have developed a research-project based artistic practice that is both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. They founded Campus in Camps, an experimental educational program hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem with the aims to overcome conventional educational structures by creating a space for critical and grounded knowledge production connected to greater transformations and the democratization of society. Camus in Camps has today offshoot in other Palestinian camps and is linked in a consortium with universities around the world. In 2007 with Eyal Weizman they founded DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour, Palestine, with the aim to combine an architectural studio and an art residency able to gathered together architects, artists, activists, urbanists, film-makers, and curators to work collectively on the subjects of politics and architecture. Hilal was the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program in the West Bank at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) from 2008 to 2014. Alessandro Petti has written on the emerging spatial order dictated by the paradigm of security and control in Archipelagos and enclaves (Bruno Mondadori, Milan 2007) and more recently Petti and Hilal co-authored with Eyal Weizman the book Architecture after Revolution (Sternberg, Berlin 2014) an invitation to rethink today’s struggles for justice and equality not only from the historical perspective of revolution, but also from that of a continued struggle for decolonization.
William Wells Co-Founding Director of the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, an institution that combines contemporary art space with an extensive outreach programme. Its overarching mission is to make the arts accessible to all without compromising creative practice. William Wells started his career in the arts in 1980, as one of the co-founders of London-based Unit Seven Studios, a multi-disciplinary artist-run collective. He also served as an educational advisor to Britain’s Arts Council and Crafts Council. Wells moved to Cairo in 1985, where he worked for development agencies before returning to the curatorial and arts management fields, setting up art programmes and agencies throughout the Middle East. Wells established the Townhouse Gallery of contemporary art in 1998. He sits on the Board of the Foundation for Arts Initiative and has helped develop an extensive network of cultural spaces worldwide.