Skip to content

Updates

ACT NOW! Submit your story to ArtLeaks and end the silence on exploitation and censorship! Please see the submission guidelines in the "Artleak Your Case" page

Submitted and current instances of abuse are in the "Cases" section

To find out more about us and how to contribute to our struggles, please go to the "About ArtLeaks" page

Please consult "Further Reading" for some critical texts that relate to our struggles

For more platforms dedicated to cultural workers' rights please see "Related Causes"

For past and upcoming ArtLeaks presentations and initiatives please go to "Public Actions"

To whom do exhibitions belong?

July 18, 2021

There are more and more art exhibitions which use topics of horizontality, commons, decoloniality, care etc. in their concept. Usually it is realized by curators who won the competition for leading this or that project because of this and that important topic. And it is legitimate, urgent and necessary to deal with these pressing issues.  

But what does it mean in reality? 

Of course there are some examples when these declarations do not become just words – usually it happens on low and mid-scale projects when artists together with curators, institutional team and all workers are working together for and with their immediate and distant communities.  

The construction of the most large scale international shows remains non-transparent even for the participants, who have no idea who is exhibiting in the next room, what kind of events and mediation for their work is planned – especially now during Covid restrictions more and more shows are opening without artists, and sometimes even without curators. 

Such a situation has happened in Moss (Norway) at the Momentum Biennale, which claims to be “The House of Commons.” The curator Théo-Mario Coppola was fired by the institution just 6 days  before the opening and we, the participants of the show, have very little and confusing information about what has been happening there. We have no idea about the curator’s contract with the institution, what their lawyers are talking about, what has happened with the curator’s assistant, how was the selection process realised, how the budget was spent (and what was the budget) and no clue about “the nuances of curatorial authorship”. And now we all are bombarded by phone calls, messages, emails from the side of the biennale and the curator who demands solidarity, to take sides but unfortunately, they do not make the situation  more clear. 

We, the collective Chto Delat, have some experience of dealing with political tensions inside projects of different scales, and usually we try to politicise the situation and take risks because we know where we are and what we stand for. We definitely accept the critique that too often we have to (for different reasons) participate in exhibitions in which we simply follow some production protocols and do not politicise the process of exhibition making – they (the institution) delegate a curator to commission our work and pay for it. In the end, it is just another “good show” which allows us to survive and do some work which we consider important for us and to share it with the public. We still believe that the public needs art and it is important for society. 

We take our own responsibility for the lack of attention given to the process of commoning and its practical application to the process of making such an exhibition under this exact title. “The House of Commons” could become a truly common space, but we, the artists, have failed to take over the process of the exhibition making and make it political, horizontal and common from within. We have failed to launch an exchange between artists, workers, the curatorial team, and the institution. We did not demand that this process be shared on the level of decision making and mutual care. So, we are very sorry about our neglect and readily share this fault with all conflictual parties – at this moment the exhibition does not “belong to us.” 

From the very beginning, we have demanded in our private letter to biennale Momentum to reinstall the position of the curator Théo-Mario Coppola and provide him with a chance to “commonize” the project together with participating artists and the community of Moss. We keep on hoping that this is still possible if both sides stop manipulating artists and make their position open not just in terms what has happened but also what they plan to do with this show (open until the end of September) and how they are committed to realise its mission statement – which in our opinion could be the only way to reinstall the missing “the integrity of the project.” 

These urgent and unrealised processes have little to do with the ongoing fight (in the case of Momentum) about who owns copyright over the show and who made technical mistakes – did not deliver text in time, or did not properly adjust the measures of the art piece to the existing exhibition space. 

Chto Delat

PS. We must express our deep gratitude to the curator Théo-Mario who has trusted our complicated production and has commissioned our new piece and to the production team of Momentum for their highly professional and careful work of installing our piece.   

Our film “About the footprints, what we hide in the pockets and other shadows of hope. The film in seven portraits” was realized by Chto Delat in collaboration with The Piraeus Open School for Migrants (Participants: Aidim Joymal, Aicha Elouarma, Mua A.Mungu, Madalina Manaila, Osman Mohammed Ahmed, Μohammad Jumanne Kisesa, Umer Muhammad). The shadow theater was realized in collaboration with Stathis Markopoulos

The film is realised under creative common licence and it can be watched on Framer Framed’s website who, together with State of Concept (Athens) are producers of this work.

Read more in the Art Newspaper:

Momentum biennial in Norway fires curator weeks before opening, prompting artists to withdraw work in solidarity

Institute of Radical Imagination/ Art for UBI (Manifesto)

January 21, 2021

1/ Universal and Unconditional Basic Income is the best measure for the arts and cultural sector. Art workers claim a basic income, not for themselves, but for everyone.

2/ Do not call UBI any measures that do not equal a living wage: UBI has to be above the poverty threshold. To eliminate poverty, UBI must correspond to a region’s minimum wage.

3/ UBI frees up time, liberating us from the blackmail of precarious labor and from exploitative working conditions.

4/ UBI is given unconditionally and without caveats, regardless of social status, job performance, or ability. It goes against the meritocratic falsehoods that cover for class privilege.  

5/ UBI is not a social safety net, nor is it welfare unemployment reform. It is the minimal recognition of the invisible labor that is essential to the reproduction of life, largely unacknowledged but essential, as society’s growing need for care proves.

6/ UBI states that waged labor is no longer the sole means for wealth redistribution. Time and time again, this model proves unsustainable.Wage is just another name for exploitation of workers, who always earn less than they give. 

7/ Trans-feminist and decolonizing perspectives teach us to say NO to all the invisible and extractive modes of exploitation, especially within the precarious working conditions created by the art market.

8/ UBI affirms the right to intermittence, privacy and autonomy, the right to stay off-line and not to be available 24/7.

9/ UBI rejects the pyramid scheme of grants and of the nonprofit industrial complex, redistributing wealth equally and without unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. Bureaucracy is the vampire of art workers’ energies and time turning them into managers of themselves.

10/ By demanding UBI, art workers do not defend a guild or a category and depreciate the role that class and privilege play in current perceptions of art. UBI is universal because it is for everyone and makes creative agency available to everyone.

11/ Art’s health is directly connected to a healthy social fabric. To claim for UBI, being grounded in the ethics of mutual care, is art workers’ most powerful gesture of care towards society.

12/ Because UBI disrupts the logic of overproduction, it frees us from the current modes of capital production that are exploiting the planet. UBI is a cosmogenetic technique and a means to achieve climate justice.

13/ Where to find the money for the UBI? In and of itself UBI questions the actual tax systems in Europe and elsewhere. UBI empowers us to reimagine financial transactions, the extractivism of digital platforms, liquidity, and debt.No public service should be cut in order to finance UBI.

14/ UBI inspires many art collectives and communities to test various tools for more equal redistribution of resources and wealth. From self-managed mutual aid systems based on collettivising incomes, to solutions temporarily freeing cognitive workers from public and private constraints. We aim to join them.


SIGNATURES

Individuals

  • Emanuele Braga / Macao, Milan; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Marco Bravalle / Sale Docks, Venice; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Gabriella Riccio / L’Asilo, Naples ; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Ilenia Caleo / Campo Innocente; Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Anna Rispoli / Artist
  • Maddalena Fragnito / Macao, Milan; Phd at Coventry University
  • Andrea Fumagalli / Effimera; University of Pavia
  • Nicola Capone / Philosopher; L’Asilo, Naples
  • Luigi Coppola / Artist
  • Giuseppe Micciarelli / L’Asilo, Naples, University of Salerno
  • Julio Linares / Economist and Anthropologist; JoinCircles.net
  • Dena Beard / The Lab, San Francisco
  • Manuel Borja-Villel / Museum Director, Madrid
  • Salvo Torre / Professor, member of POE Politics, Ontologies, Ecologies
  • Sara Buraya Boned / L’Internationale; Institute Of Radical Imagination
  • Kuba Szreder / Curator and theorist, Warsaw
  • Dmitry Vilensky / Chto Delat
  • Charles Esche / Director of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  • Franco Bifo Berardi / Philosopher
  • Gregory Sholette / Artist
  • Zeyno Pekunlu / Artist, Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Anna Daneri / Forum dell’arte contemporanea italiana
  • Massimo Mollona / Goldsmiths’ University of London, Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Jerszy Seymour / Artist and Designer; Sandberg Institute
  • Marco Assennato / Maître de conférences in filosofia, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture, Paris-Malaquais
  • Roberto Ciccarelli / Philosopher and journalist
  • Sandro Mezzadra / Philosopher
  • Geert Lovink / Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam
  • Alisa Del Re / senior professor Ateneo Patavino
  • Andrea Gropplero / Film Director
  • Giuseppe Allegri / Activist
  • Elena Lasala Palomar / Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Nicolas Martino / Philosopher
  • Ilaria Bussoni / Editor and curator
  • Danilo Correale / Artist
  • Annalisa Sacchi / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Giada Cipollone / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Stefano Tomassini / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Piersandra Di Matteo / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Elena Blesa Cabéz / Researcher, Barcelona; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Jesús Carrillo / Senior Lecturer at the Department of History and Theory of Art Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Pablo García Bachiller / Arquitecto; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Theo Prodromidis / Artist; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Mabel Tapia / Art Researcher Madrid-Paris
  • Chiara Colasurdo / Labour Lawyer


Organizations

  • Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Il Campo Innocente
  • Macao
  • Sale Docks
  • Chto Delat
  • L’Asilo
  • Euronomade
  • Dirty Art Department Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Dirty Art Foundation
  • Effimera
  • OperaViva Magazine
  • Basic Income Network – Italia
  • Community and Research for Circles UBI
  • Forum d’arte contemporanea
  • Global Project
  • Dinamopress
  • Sherwood
  • AWI Art Workers Italy
  • Maestranze dello Spettacolo Veneto
  • Autonomedia New York City

#ARTforUBImanifesto

You can sign ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) on change.org
We strongly invite you support the EU Citizen’s Initiative to Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout Europe

The Institute of Radical Imagination (IRI)  is a group of curators, activists, scholars and cultural producers with a shared interest in co-producing research, knowledge,  artistic and political research-interventions, aimed at implementing post-capitalist forms of life.

The Coalition of Cultural Workers Against the Humboldt Forum / Dead on Arrival

December 17, 2020

A few days ago, the Humboldt Forum theatrically announced its postponed partial opening would take place digitally rather than in person. Their catchphrase “Ready, set, stop!” suggests that the building is done and the program is ready to go but the coronavirus stopped them in their tracks. The closure of museums due to the pandemic conveniently covers up the reality that the Humboldt Forum is, in fact, stumbling into its own opening. Rumours of thousands of remaining structural faults have been flying through the press in recent weeks. A memo exchanged between Humboldt Forum council members at the last meeting corroborates construction reports stating that “a partial opening on December 17, 2020, is still fraught with risk.”

Let us begin with a reminder: the estimated cost of this building is now at 677 million Euro after another 33 million was added on October 6 of this year. The Humboldt Forum bleeds an additional 2 million every month it remains unopened due to technical shortcomings, making it the cultural equivalent of the bottomless money hole of the BER airport – a newly built ruin that, if the pride of German engineering weren’t at stake, would be beyond repair. Both mega projects are self-destructing by way of their conceptual hubris, revived by yet untold sums of taxpayers’ money.

Just this week, the Humboldt Forum finds itself at the centre of yet another scandal.The Nigerian government has officially demanded the return of stolen objects, including the Benin Bronzes, which were slated to become centrepieces of the Humboldt Forum’s contemporary colonial spectacle. And this is not the first time: disgracefully, the Berlin government has consistently ignored or delayed acting on such demands. Kwame Opoku has called this ignorance out as “singular in its audacity and [flying] in the face of history and veracity.”

Meanwhile, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK), whose non-European collections will be housed in Humboldt Forum, has responded to demands for increased transparency regarding its colonial collections with a cry that it needs more funds to do so. One thing is clear to us: healing the wounds wrought by imperialism’s violence will never be achieved by funneling more money into its monuments. Instead, as Duane Jethro asks: “how do we tease apart colonial history, Christian missionary work, ethnographic collecting and the social role of ethnographic museums today? (…) It is a matter of concrete action that requires the radical, real revision of material relations with the past. “ Or, as Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung puts it: “‘Shared heritage’ must be dissected from an economic perspective.”

The Coalition of Cultural Workers Against the Humboldt Forum welcomes the “stop” as a great starting point for ending this undead project altogether. With today’s non-opening, the Humboldt Forum begins its fall into the widening gaps of its budget, into a bottomless pit of spending, and into the ugly void of its own conceptual hole. Today is the beginning of the end, and we are here to say goodbye.

And while we witness the Humboldt Forum digging its own grave, burying even more money with it as it sinks, we have a better suggestion: Let’s turn the haywire piggy bank upside down! Defund the Humboldt Forum now and redirect the money flow to a sustainable and meaningful decolonizing of Berlin’s cultural institutions, collections, and programs!

To that end, we’d like to propose some reallocations. Imagine the minimum 60 million Euro needed each year to keep the building running used instead to organize the return of stolen objects and human remains to their lands of origin. Or the 7.5 million that the Humboldt Forum has still failed to secure for its facade being used to initiate an independent Defund-the-Humboldt- Forum council. This could be formed by those who have been dealing with the intergenerational trauma inflicted by colonialism and imperialism, and who have been committed to decolonial perspectives in the fight for justice, dignity, and symbolic as well as material reparations. This might include the Decolonize Berlin Alliance as well as initiatives based in present and formerly colonized lands. The eight million funding the Berlin-Global exhibition could rather be used to dismantle the cross bearing orb and recycle its components for more interesting uses. Until this happens we see any engagement with the Humboldt Forum as an injury to the world we wish to build.

The institution’s self-acclaimed restitution achievements are baseless, as they have yet to begin! As long as the inventories are not made public and transparent, independent provenance research is hampered, and knowledge production emanating from the Humboldt Forum is made dubious. Decolonial efforts have long challenged white interpretive sovereignty over cultural heritage. An appropriate response to these voices is long overdue!

PLEASE SPARE US YOUR “OPENING”! STOP ALREADY!

We are already holding our breath, not because of the glycol leaks or the unstable humidity or the flaws in the indoor climate.

We are already tired, not because of flaws in the security lighting system, the constant delays, the perpetually rising costs, or the poor management of the construction site.

We are already fed up, not because of the outer doors that don’t close properly, the general doubt over the functionality of your access management, or the other 2000 faults that won’t be fixed by the scheduled opening.

We are holding our breath because your very idea and your undead appearance stink to high heaven. We are holding our breath because your basement is full of bodies. Because you are the opposite of unlearning imperialism.

We are tired because you are fundamentally unfit to become an institution of the 21st century. Because you are a nightmare from the past, because you don’t let our dead rest, because we won’t sleep until you’re done in.

We are fed up because you crowned your miserable, deep fake existence with your provincial symbols of imperialist ambition and Christian dominance. Because you obstruct the view with your neo-Prussian kitsch. Because you are the marriage altar for monarchists and capital. Because you don’t listen and you decided to proceed with your haphazard, shady plans against all better judgment.

We will sing until the golden cross-bearing orb and abominable insignia are taken down. We will sing until the Humboldt Forum is torn down and turned upside down.

You say: We will finish. We will open. We commence. We become Humboldt Forum.
We say:You are finished.You have started your end.You have always been a very bad idea and will become undone.

You say: The Humboldt Forum will be expensive.
We say: It will be so much more expensive than in your worst nightmares.

You are dead by a thousand cuts, and we’ve been saying this since your first proposal. So: we won’t participate! Tear it down and turn it upside down! Defund the Humboldt Forum now!

The Coalition of Cultural Workers Against the Humboldt Forum

Berlin, December 14, 2020

On Wednesday, December 16 at 2 pm Cultural Workers Against the Humboldt Forum (CCWAH) organised a performative protest with the new songs of Tear-Down-Ensemble, Poster Campaign (40 new posters), reading out statements against the Humboldt Forum and much more, on Schinkel Platz in Berlin Mitte.

Nothing Can Be Changed Until It Is Faced

December 15, 2020

As artists, academics, writers and cultural workers who live in Germany and/or work with German cultural institutions, we welcome the joint initiative “GG 5.3. Weltoffenheit,” announced by a broad coalition of prominent German cultural institutions in Berlin on 10 December 2020.

The aforementioned initiative is a belated response to the contentious resolution adopted by German parliament in May 2019, via which the aims and methods of the Palestinian-led solidarity movement, ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS), were formally condemned as antisemitic, leading to a cross-party decision to cut off public funding for projects that “actively support” the BDS movement. The statement criticises this parliamentary resolution, describing it as “dangerous.” We share this concern and view the resolution’s curtailment of the right to boycott as a violation of democratic principles. Since being passed, the resolution has been instrumentalized to distort, malign and silence marginalized positions, in particular those which defend Palestinian rights or are critical of the Israeli occupation.

We urge the German parliament to heed the findings of the European Court of Human Rights, which recently rejected the criminalization of boycotts directed against Israel, ruling clearly against the prosecution of non-violent activists and affirming boycott as a legitimate exercise of freedom of expression (June 2020). No state should be exempt from criticism. Regardless of whether we support BDS or not, as signatories of this letter we share an insistent belief in the right to exercise non-violent pressure on governments that violate human rights.

We reject the German parliamentary resolution because it is this very right which it denies. We reject it because it has exacerbated polarization within the cultural community at a time when the rise of right-wing nationalism calls for us to join in solidarity to combat the surge of hatred that is increasingly prevalent both within Germany’s borders and beyond. We reject it because it has effectively thrown a blanket of censorship over public institutions at precisely the moment when the richly diverse community that is active in Germany, has a valuable role to play in forging a critical and inclusive culture, as an alternative to the authoritarianism, racism and xenophobia that the far right is intent on entrenching.

The resolution has created a repressive climate in which cultural workers are routinely asked to formally renounce BDS, as a prerequisite for working in Germany. Meanwhile, cultural institutions are increasingly driven by fear and paranoia, prone to acts of self-censorship and to pre-emptively de-platforming and excluding critical positions. Open debate around Germany’s past and present responsibilities in relation to Israel/Palestine has been all but suffocated. Forums of cultural exchange in which we previously came together to reflect upon and debate the entangled histories that we emerge from and exist within, are routinely denied, as institutions anxiously seek to avoid political censure and the loss of public funding. In this climate, a number of valuable voices—such as those of Achille Mbembe, Kamila Shamsie, Peter Schäfer, Nirit Sommerfeld and Walid Raad—have already been demonised, obstructing a necessary collective reckoning with the intersecting forces of violence that continue to shape our present.

The resolution is indifferent to the diversity of Jewish opinions both within and beyond Germany; in particular, to the many leftist Jewish and Israeli voices that are vehemently critical of Israel’s well-documented violations of international law. Such voices are, astonishingly—and with increasing frequency—invalidated as ‘antisemitic.’ The resolution additionally disregards warnings issued by foreign policy experts, human rights organisations and German foundations that are directly engaged in the Middle East, many of whom have firmly opposed the problematic manner in which the resolution conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish racism. This conflation shields Israel from being held accountable to standards of international law, and obscures the historical and political circumstances that gave rise to the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. It also distracts detrimentally from the ongoing fight against the virulent growth of antisemitism across the globe, including within Germany’s parliament, police force, army and intelligence services.

We acknowledge and deeply value Germany’s ongoing commitment to atoning for the Holocaust. At the same time, we condemn the negligence of the German state when it comes to recognizing and atoning for Germany’s past as a perpetrator of colonial violence. The fight against antisemitism cannot be conveniently decoupled from parallel struggles against Islamophobia, racism and fascism. We emphatically reject the monopolization of narratives of oppression by states such as Germany, which have historically been perpetrators of oppression. We reject the notion that the suffering and trauma of victims of political and historical violence can be measured and ranked.

In solidarity with the cultural institutions that have spoken out before us, we call on German parliament to withdraw the controversial resolution. We call on these institutions to follow their statement with meaningful action. We ask them to lead the way in restoring conditions under which the productive exchange of divergent opinions can occur. Over-zealous monitoring of the political views of cultural workers from the Middle East and Global South, must be seen for what it is—back-door racial profiling—and immediately discontinued. The maligning of individuals by means of baseless charges of antisemitism must stop.

We close with the words of James Baldwin, an astute critic of the evils of the Holocaust, as well as of the horrors of slavery, colonialism and racism:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

First Signatories

  1. Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Artist, Beirut/Dubai
  2. Tal Adler, Artist, Berlin
  3. Elena Agudio, Art Historian + Curator, Berlin
  4. Haig Aivazian, Artist + Director of Beirut Art Center, Beirut
  5. Antonia Alampi, Curator, Berlin
  6. Khyam Allami, Musician, Berlin/London
  7. Udi Aloni, Filmmaker, New York
  8. Maria Thereza Alves, Artist, Berlin/Naples
  9. Heba Y. Amin, Artist, Berlin
  10. Fahim Amir, Philosopher + Author, Vienna
  11. Yazid Anani, Scholar + Curator, Ramallah
  12. Ayreen Anastas, Artist, New York
  13. Angela Anderson, Artist + Researcher, Berlin
  14. Arjun Appadurai, Professor, Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
  15. Julieta Aranda, Artist + Editor of e-flux journal, Berlin
  16. Fareed Armaly, Artist, Berlin
  17. Inke Arns, Curator, Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund
  18. Marwa Arsanios, Artist, Berlin
  19. Aleida Assman, Professor, University of Konstanz, Konstanz
  20. Defne Ayas, Curator, Berlin
  21. Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Brown University, Providence
  22. Sindre Bangstad, Research Professor, KIFO, Oslo
  23. Khaled Barakeh, Artist + Cultural Activist, Berlin
  24. Yael Bartana, Artist, Berlin/Amsterdam
  25. Shumon Basar, Writer/Curator, Berlin/Dubai
  26. Bashir Bashir, Associate Professor of Political Theory, The Open University of Israel, Raanana
  27. Florian Becker, Bard College Berlin, Berlin
  28. Jérôme Bel, Choreographer, Paris
  29. Irad Ben Isaak, Scholar of Yiddish Literature + Culture, Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin
  30. Lene Berg, Artist, Berlin/Oslo
  31. Omar Berrada, Writer + Curator, New York
  32. María Berríos, Curator, 11th Berlin Biennale, Berlin/Copenhagen
  33. Louise Bethlehem, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hod Hasharon
  34. Ursula Biemann, Artist, Zurich
  35. Rossella Biscotti, Artist, Rotterdam/Brussels
  36. Katinka Bock, Artist, Paris
  37. Omri Boehm, Associate Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York
  38. Monica Bonvicini, Artist, Berlin
  39. Shannon Bool, Artist, Berlin
  40. Pauline Boudry, Artist, Berlin
  41. Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmud / AvH Senior Preisträger, Freie Universität Berlin, Berkeley
  42. Candice Breitz, Artist, Berlin
  43. AA Bronson, Artist, Berlin
  44. Adam Broomberg, Artist, Berlin
  45. Micha Brumlik, Professor + Senior Advisor: Selma Stern Zentrum für jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin
  46. Erik Bünger, Artist, Berlin
  47. Federica Bueti, Writer + Researcher, Berlin
  48. Paolo Caffoni, Editor + Researcher, Berlin
  49. Banu Cennetoğlu, Artist, Istanbul
  50. Peter Chametzky, Professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  51. Marco Clausen, Cultural Worker, Berlin
  52. Steven Cohen, Artist, Lille/Johannesburg
  53. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  54. Eli Cortiñas, Artist, Berlin
  55. Alice Creischer, Artist, Berlin
  56. Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor, Cornell University, Ithaca
  57. Jesse Darling, Artist, Berlin/London
  58. Ekaterina Degot, Director + Chief Curator, Steirischer Herbst, Graz
  59. T. J. Demos, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
  60. Elsa De Seynes, Cultural Worker, Berlin
  61. Janneke de Vries, Director of Weserburg Museum for Modern Art, Bremen
  62. Diedrich Diederichsen, Professor, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna
  63. Stephen Dillemuth, Artist, Munich
  64. Esther Dischereit, Poet + Writer, Berlin
  65. Discoteca Flaming Star , Artist Collective, Berlin
  66. Sabrina Dittus, Filmmaker, Berlin
  67. Gürsoy Doğtaş, Art Historian, Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna
  68. Pauline Doutreluingne, Curator, Berlin
  69. Nika Dubrovsky, Artist, David Graeber’s Museum of Care Foundation, London
  70. Sam Durant, Artist, Berlin/Los Angeles
  71. Jimmie Durham, Artist, Berlin/Naples
  72. Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, Curator, Writer + Educator, Berlin
  73. Madhusree Dutta, Filmmaker + Curator, currently Artistic Director: Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne
  74. Kerstin Egert, DJ + Producer, Berlin
  75. Anna Ehrenstein, Artist, Berlin/Tirana
  76. Galit Eilat, Curator, Interdependent Writer + Curator, Director of Meduza Foundation, Amsterdam
  77. Antke Antek Engel, Institut für Queer Theory, Berlin
  78. Köken Ergun, Artist, Istanbul
  79. Ayse Erkmen, Artist, Berlin/Istanbul
  80. Charles Esche, Professor + Museum Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  81. Theo Eshetu, Artist + Filmmaker, Berlin
  82. Kodwo Eshun, Artist, Filmmaker + Theorist, Berlin/London
  83. Reem Fadda, Curator, Ramallah
  84. Nathan Fain, Independent Theatre Maker, Berlin
  85. Silvia Federici, Scholar + Teacher + Activist, New York
  86. Dror Feiler, Composer + Artist, Stockholm
  87. Chiara Figone, Publisher / Archive, Berlin
  88. Mahdi Fleifel, Film Director, Copenhagen
  89. iLiana Fokianaki, Curator + Theorist, Director: State of Concept, Athens/Rotterdam
  90. Forensic Architecture / Forensis ,, London/Berlin
  91. Rike Frank, Curator, Berlin
  92. Will Fredo Furtado, Artist, Writer + Editor, Berlin
  93. Dani Gal, Artist, Berlin
  94. Katharina Galor, Professor, Berlin
  95. Tomer Gardi, Writer, Berlin
  96. Karam Ghossein, Filmmaker, Berlin
  97. Nida Ghouse, Writer, Berlin
  98. Sander Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts + Sciences / Professor of Psychiatry: Emory University, Atlanta
  99. Natasha Ginwala, Writer + Curator, Berlin/Colombo
  100. Amos Goldberg, Professor, Department of Jewish History + Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem
  101. Avery Gordon, Writer, London
  102. Raphaël Grisey, Artist, Berlin
  103. Assaf Gruber, Artist, Berlin
  104. Krist Gruijthuijsen, Curator + Director, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
  105. Ayşe Güleç, Educator, Curator + Activist Researcher, Kassel
  106. Emanuele Guidi, Curator + Artistic Director, ar/ge kunst Bolzano, Berlin
  107. Hans Haacke, Artist, New York
  108. Yassin al Haj Saleh, Writer + Political Dissident, Berlin
  109. Dorothea von Hantelmann, Art Historian, Bard College Berlin, Berlin
  110. Donna Haraway, University of California, Santa Cruz
  111. Shuruq Harb, Artist, Ramallah
  112. Carl Hegemann, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy + Dramaturgy, Berlin
  113. Nanna Heidenreich, Scholar + Curator, Berlin
  114. Mathilde ter Heijne, Artist + Professor / Universität der Künste, Berlin
  115. Jörg Heiser, Professor, Universität der Künste, Berlin
  116. Louis Henderson, Artist, Berlin
  117. Samia Henni, Historian, Educator + Exhibition-Maker, Zurich
  118. Tobias Hering, Curator, Berlin
  119. Wieland Hoban, Composer + Translator, Frankfurt
  120. Gil Z. Hochberg, Professor, Columbia University, New York
  121. Tom Holert, Writer, Berlin
  122. Laura Horelli, Artist, Berlin
  123. Emma Waltraud Howes, Artist, Berlin
  124. Nataša Ilić, Curator, What, How and for Whom / WHW, Berlin
  125. Çağla Ilk, Curator, Berlin
  126. Eva Illouz, Professor of Sociology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  127. Amal Issa, Director of Public Programs, e-flux, New York
  128. Shahira Issa, Artist, Hamburg
  129. Muhammad Jabali, Artist + Writer, Berlin
  130. Stine Marie Jacobsen, Artist, Berlin
  131. Anna Jäger, Cultural Worker + Translator, Berlin
  132. Sarah E. James, Art Historian + Gerda Henkel Fellow, Frankfurt am Main
  133. Pauline Curnier Jardin, Artist, Berlin
  134. Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Artist, Berlin
  135. Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Artist, Berlin
  136. Mariana Karkoutly, Syrian Legal Criminal Investigator, Berlin
  137. Nina Katchadourian, Artist + Professor, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Berlin/New York
  138. Thomas Keenan, Professor, New York
  139. Lara Khalidi, Curator, Amsterdam/Jerusalem
  140. Yazan Khalili, Artist, Amsterdam
  141. Sami Khatib, Philosopher, Visiting Researcher at Leuphana University, Berlin
  142. Elias Khoury, Writer, Beirut
  143. Grada Kilomba, Artist, Berlin
  144. Thomas Kilpper, Artist + Professor, Bergen University Faculty of Art, Music + Design, Bergen
  145. Caroline Kirberg, Filmmaker & Producer, Berlin
  146. Vika Kirchenbauer, Artist, Berlin
  147. Maya Klar, Filmmaker, Berlin
  148. Adam Kleinman, Writer + Curator, New York
  149. Brian Klug, University of Oxford, Oxford
  150. Erden Kosova, Art Critic, Berlin/Istanbul
  151. Prem Krishnamurthy, Designer + Curator, Berlin/New York
  152. Brian Kuan Wood, Editor + Writer, New York
  153. Raimund Kummer, Artist, Berlin
  154. Brigitta Kuster, Cultural Producer + Junior Professor, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
  155. Nadav Lapid, Filmmaker + Writer, Tel Aviv
  156. Kristina Leko, Artist + Educator, Universität der Künste, Berlin
  157. Boaz Levin, Writer + Curator, Berlin
  158. Justin Lieberman, Artist, Munich
  159. Elisa Liepsch, Performing Arts Programmer, Brussels
  160. Matthias Lilienthal, Dramaturg, Berlin
  161. Thomas Locher, Artist + Rector: Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst , Leipzig
  162. Siddhartha Lokanandi, Bookseller, Berlin
  163. Renate Lorenz, Artist, Berlin
  164. Sven Lütticken, Art Historian, Utrecht
  165. Maha Maamoun, Artist, Curator + Publisher, Berlin/Cairo
  166. Wietske Maas, Curator, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Berlin/Utrecht
  167. Jens Maier Roethe, Film Producer, Berlin
  168. Antonia Majaca, Writer + Curator, Berlin
  169. Antje Majewski, Artist + Professor, Berlin
  170. Jumana Manna, Artist, Berlin
  171. Jaleh Mansoor, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  172. Renzo Martens, Artist, Amsterdam
  173. Mattin (Martin Artiach), Artist, Berlin
  174. Tom McCarthy, Novelist, Berlin
  175. Bjørn Melhus, Artist, Berlin
  176. Angela Melitopoulos, Artist, Berlin
  177. Chantal Meloni, Lawyer + International Criminal Law Professor, Berlin/Milan
  178. Eva Menasse, Novelist, Berlin
  179. Doreen Mende, Curator, Writer + Theorist, Berlin/Geneva
  180. Jasmina Metwaly, Artist, Berlin
  181. Eva Meyer, Writer, Berlin
  182. Markus Miessen, Architect + Writer, Berlin
  183. Ana María Millán, Artist, Berlin
  184. Zoë Claire Miller, Artist, Berlin
  185. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor, New York University, New York
  186. Carmen Mörsch, Professor for Art Education, Mainz Art Academy, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  187. Elke aus dem Moore, Director, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
  188. Alexandra Murray-Leslie, Artist, Trondheim
  189. Sina Najafi, Editor-in-Chief, Cabinet Magazine, Berlin/New York
  190. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Curator, Berlin/Bamenda
  191. Dalia Neis, Writer + Musician + Educator, Berlin
  192. Marcel Odenbach, Artist, Cologne
  193. Pınar Öğrenci, Artist + Lecturer, Berlin
  194. Ahmet Öğüt, Artist, Berlin/Amsterdam
  195. Vanessa Ohlraun, Rector, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Braunschweig
  196. Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Artist, Berlin/Rotterdam
  197. Hagar Ophir, Artist, Berlin
  198. Uriel Orlow, Artist, Lisbon/London
  199. Tanja Ostojić, Artist, Berlin
  200. Ulrike Ottinger, Filmmaker, Berlin
  201. Matteo Pasquinelli, Professor in Media Philosophy, University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe
  202. Hila Peleg, Curator, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
  203. Agustín Pérez Rubio, Curator, 11th Berlin Biennale, Berlin
  204. Dan Perjovschi, Artist, Bucharest
  205. Manfred Pernice, Artist + Professor / Universität der Künste, Berlin
  206. Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Interdependent Curator, Paris
  207. Ana Teixeira Pinto, Guest Professor of Media Philosophy, HfG Karlsruhe, Berlin
  208. Alexandra Pirici, Artist, Bucharest
  209. Agnieszka Polska, Artist, Berlin
  210. Matthew Post, Post Brothers, Curator, Munich/Bialystok
  211. Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Artist, Berlin
  212. Paul B. Preciado, Writer + Curator, Pogetto
  213. Charlotte Prodger, Artist, Glasgow
  214. Pary El-Qalqili, Writer + Film Director, Berlin
  215. Judy Radul, Professor of Art, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
  216. Rachael Rakes, Curator, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht
  217. Michael Rakowitz, Artist, Chicago
  218. Milo Rau, Director + Author, Ghent/Cologne
  219. Judith Raum, Artist , Berlin
  220. Nora Razian, Curator, Dubai
  221. Juliane Rebentisch, Professor of Philosophy, Offenbach/Frankfurt
  222. Patricia Reed, Writer + Artist, Berlin
  223. David Riff, Artist + Curator, Berlin
  224. Philip Rizk, Filmmaker, Berlin
  225. Jacqueline Rose, Professor of Humanities + Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London
  226. Roee Rosen, Artist, Bnei Zion
  227. Martha Rosler, Artist, New York
  228. Michael Rothberg, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  229. Romy Rüegger, Artist + Writer, Berlin
  230. David Rych, Artist, Berlin
  231. Susanne Sachsse, Actress, Berlin
  232. Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Artist, Berlin
  233. Alon Sahar, Filmmaker, Berlin
  234. Anjalika Sagar, The Otolith Group, London
  235. Ivana Sajko, Writer, Berlin
  236. Anri Sala, Artist, Berlin
  237. Mohammad Salemy, Artist, The New Centre for Research & Practice, Berlin
  238. Rasha Salti, Writer + Curator, Berlin/Beirut
  239. Karin Sander, Artist + Academic, Berlin
  240. Regina Sarreiter, Cultural Worker + Anthropologist, Berlin
  241. Aura Satz, Artist, Royal College of Art, London
  242. Eran Schaerf, Artist, Berlin
  243. Miriam Schickler, Cultural Worker, Berlin
  244. Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Film Curator, Berlin
  245. Alya Sebti, Curator, Berlin
  246. Ashkan Sepahvand, Writer + Artist, Berlin/Oxford
  247. Reem Shadid, Curator/Researcher, Ramallah
  248. Nizan Shaked, California State University, Long Beach
  249. Tai Shani, Artist, London
  250. Basma Al-Sharif, Artist, Berlin
  251. Mati Shemoelof, Writer, Berlin
  252. Marc Siegel, Film Scholar, Berlin
  253. Andreas Siekmann, Artist, Berlin
  254. Nicolas Siepen, Artist, Berlin
  255. Katharina Sieverding, Artist + Professor of Visual Culture Studies, Düsseldorf
  256. Joshua Simon, Curator + Writer, Philadelphia/Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  257. Siska , Visual Artist + Musician, Berlin
  258. Slavs and Tatars , Artist Collective, Berlin
  259. Mounira Al Solh, Artist + Professor, Kunsthochschule Kassel, Beirut/Amsterdam
  260. Lili Sommerfeld, Musician, Berlin
  261. Mari Spirito, Director + Curator, Protocinema, Istanbul/New York
  262. Anna-Sophie Springer, Curator, Author + Publisher, Berlin
  263. Jonas Staal, Artist, Athens/Amsterdam
  264. Klaus Staeck, Artist, Heidelberg
  265. Maximilian Steinbeis, Chief Editor, Verfassungsblog, Berlin
  266. Bettina Steinbrügge, Director, Hamburg
  267. Eva Stenram, Artist, Berlin
  268. Angelika Stepken, Curator + Director of Villa Romana, Florence
  269. Young-jun Tak, Artist + Editor, Berlin/Seoul
  270. Kathy-Ann Tan, Curator + Writer, Berlin
  271. Hadas Tapouchi, Artist, Berlin
  272. Michael Taussig, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, New York
  273. Mark Terkessidis, Writer, Berlin
  274. Wibke Tiarks, Artist, Berlin
  275. Jonas Tinius, Social Anthropologist, Berlin
  276. Christine Tohme, Founding Director, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut
  277. Oraib Toukan, Artist, Berlin
  278. Vassilis S. Tsianos, Professor, Fachhochschule Kiel, Kiel
  279. Margarita Tsomou, Professor + Curator, Berlin
  280. Peter Ullrich, Senior Researcher, Technische Universität Berlin / Fellow at the Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, Berlin
  281. Tanya Ury, Artist + Writer, Cologne
  282. Françoise Vergès, Political Theorist, Decolonial + Antiracist Feminist, Paris
  283. Jan Verwoert, Writer + Educator, Berlin
  284. Eyal Vexler, Cultural Producer, Berlin
  285. Anton Vidokle, Artist + Editor of e-flux journal, Berlin/New York
  286. Danh Vō, Artist, Berlin/Mexico City
  287. Shira Wachsmann, Artist, Berlin
  288. Caleb Waldorf, Artist, Berlin
  289. Haytham Al-Wardany, Writer, Berlin
  290. Julian Warner, Cultural Anthropologist, Munich
  291. Joanna Warsza, Curator, Berlin
  292. Stephanie Weber, Art Historian, Munich
  293. Eyal Weizman, Architect, London/Berlin
  294. Christine Würmell, Artist, Berlin
  295. Misal Adnan Yıldız, Curator, Berlin
  296. Yehudit Yinhar, Artist, Berlin
  297. Moshe Zimmermann, Historian + Former director of the Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  298. Tirdad Zolghadr, Curator, Berlin
  299. Himmat Zu’bi, Scholar, EUME / Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin
  300. Moshe Zuckermann, Professor, Institute for the History + Philosophy of Science + Ideas, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv

To add your name to the list of signatories, please go here: https://nothingchangeduntilfaced.com/sign-letter

Art Workers Speak out Against Wave of Violence in Serbia

October 19, 2020

Today, October 18 2020, in front of the pavilion of the Artists’ Union of Serbia (ULUS) in Belgrade, artists and cultural workers gathered to express solidarity with a comic artist group whose exhibition was destroyed five days ago. They were also protesting the inappropriate reaction of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia to the continuing violence of right-wing extremist groups against cultural workers.

Photographs by Rena Raedle 

Board members of the artists’ association and other speakers once again condemned the Ministry of Culture’s attacks on the freedom of art and the denigration of cultural and artists’ associations in its statements. The appointment of a competent person to the ministerial office was demanded.

The occasion for the solidarity gathering was the recent attack on the exhibition of comic drawings created by the group “Momci” during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s. Five days ago, a group of young people dressed in black and equipped with tear gas had entered the Stara Kapetanija Gallery and devastated the entire exhibition ( https://www.telegraf.rs/english/3249565-threats-over-drawing-of-a-bloodied-baby-carried-out-hooligans-break-into-exhibition-throw-tear-gas ). 

The exhibited works depicted the normalization of violence in the society of the Nineties in a morbid style of humor. The cartoon that incurred the anger of part of the internet public and eventually resulted in the attack, was the drawing of a baby with its eyes wide open, in a pool of blood and with an axe in its head. The caption “Crybaby – a baby who’s whiny gets an ax in the head” was a quotation that the illustrator took from the press at the time. 

The attack was sharply condemned by numerous cultural organizations, including the artists’ associations ULUS and ULUV, the Organization of the Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia NKSS and the PEN Club of Serbia. Attacks by right-wing extremist groups on theater makers, actors, artists and other cultural workers are common in Serbia. Mostly they are directed against any kind of activity dealing with the war crimes committed in the name of Serbia during the Yugoslav wars. 

Another dimension of hostility towards cultural workers became visible in the official statement of the Serbian Ministry of Culture (https://www.kultura.gov.rs/vest/sr/5318/saopstenje-ministarstva-kulture-i-informisanja-u-vezi-sa-izlozbom-u-umetnickoj-galeriji-stara-kapetanija-u-zemunu.php )

 in which it condemned the violent attack on the exhibition, while emphasizing that the exhibition should not have taken place in the first place. According to the Ministry of Culture, the works on display represent “a pathology and degeneration of consciousness and not any form of art”. The exhibition, it goes on to say, is “evil” and “belongs to the underworld of the human mind, just as the attackers on it belong to the underworld of hooligans”.

Large parts of the cultural public were appalled by the official reaction. They criticized the use of Nazi-like jargon and other discriminatory terms in the Ministry’s statement about the exhibited artwork and called for the protection of artistic freedom. 

The Ministry responded with a series of grave insults and accusations on its website against the artists’ organizations and individuals who had spoken out in the media, and threatened to file criminal charges in one case ( http://www.seecult.org/vest/protest-i-osuda-nasilja-na-izlozbi-ali-i-reagovanja-ministarstva-kulture ).

The rhetoric of the Ministry of Culture reminds in a disturbing way of the language used in hate campaigns. Blatant examples of such campaigns are conducted on the website “prismotra.” There, cultural workers, journalists, human rights activists and other committed individuals who do not fit into the platform’s right-wing extremist world view are pilloried. The unknown operators deliberately disseminate half-truths about the attitudes and activities of individuals, some of whom are barely known to the public, in order to publicly brand them as enemies of society.

– Rena Raedle, ArtLeaks

Photographs by Anita Buncic

%d bloggers like this: