Encounter: Tetuan, Tetuán, تطوان with Adrian Schindler

Date: Wednesday, July 31st

Time: 19:00 – 21:00

The film trilogy “Tetuan, Tetuán, تطوان” deals with Spain’s colonial past in Morocco and the traces it has left in Spanish society through an experimental collaborative methodology, examining both cultural production and public space as well as the collective imaginary. Developed in three cities in dialogue with Moroccan and Spanish cultural agents, each of the chapters explores narrative strategies to resignify places such as the Plaça Tetuan in Barcelona, the neighbourhood of Tetuán de las Victorias in Madrid or the Teatro Cine “Español” in the city of Tétouan, Morocco. Punctuated by readings, songs, informal conversations and fictional scenes at the foot of monuments, in cafés, streets and museums, the project upholds the idea that orality can offer resistance to hegemonic discourses and favours the emergence of other imaginaries.

BIO 

Adrian Schindler is a French-German artist and filmmaker currently working between Morocco and Spain. His practice addresses the entanglement of historical events, cultural production and state ideology, with a focus on European fascist and colonial legacies. Often collaborative, it takes the form of films, performances, installations and public events. His work has been shown in MACBA (Barcelona), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Collection Lambert (Avignon), Centre d’art Le Lait (Albi), The Green Parrot (Barcelona), Le Centquatre (Paris), FID (Marseille), Mahal Art Space (Tangier), Casa Árabe (Madrid) or Filmoteca de Andalucía (Córdoba).




  Encounter: Poetic Resonnation and emotional resilience, with Azad Mohamad, Karessa Malaya Ramosand Nelden Djakaba, as part of Tea Oval Session, organized by Zoncy Heavenly.

Date: Thursday, July 25th
Time: 19:00 – 21:00

In the previous session, Venezuelan artist and activist Augusto Gerardi reflected on his new life in a refugee camp in Germany during the Covid-19 restriction. This mode of artistic self-reflection extends  to the third Tea Oval session on trauma and activism through poetic remedy based on the human flows of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar in 2017 and labor migration in the Philippines since 1974. Beginning with  the poetry of Azad, for whom writing poetry is a form of archiving daily conversations in Cox Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp, on false and elite qualities of the words hope and freedom, the session will then paddle along the playground of words of Filipino poet and anti-racial activist Karessa Malaya Ramos, who is based in Madrid, Spain. Nelden Djakaba, an Indonesian-Filipino fictional writer and psychologist based in Berlin specialising in recovery from collective and intergenerational trauma through artistic resilience, will facilitate the session, reflecting on her younger self growing up in Suharto’s regime.

Zoncy Heavenly, the host of the Tea Oval session, invites trauma-informed practitioners Azad Mohamad, Karessa Malaya Ramosand Nelden Djakaba, who are passionate about artistic resilience, to co-create the session to co-facilitate the session to further the understanding of artistic resilience in an interactive experience. Heavenly is leading the Tea Oval sessions until November 2024 as an artist in residence at TIER.

The Tea Oval Sessions is not a passive event but a dynamic monthly forum. As an audience member, your role is crucial. You are not just a spectator but an active participant in studying and exploring new and emerging perspectives on artistic resistance against political dictatorships worldwide. The invited contributors and participants will analyse the most successful artistic tactics used in political reimagination. By the end of the sessions, the contributions and collective findings will be co-authored as a manual for Myanmar artists to exercise political imagination.

BIO

Zoncy Heavenly started her career as a performance artist in 2009 by participating in Japan’s Nippon International Performance Art Festival. Inspired by knowledge from different fields, she later worked with sound, photography, installation, and poetry to explore the intangible aspects of body-based art and the concrete impact of collective trauma with a phenomenological approach. Born in 1987 in southern Myanmar, Zoncy has lived, worked, and studied in Yangon. She graduated from the University of Computer Studies in 2008 and joined the postmodern and Performance art classes at New Zero Art Space in Yangon. Since 2011, she has been involved in the anti-civil war movement and gained more awareness about gendered violence in the Myanmar civil war. She co-founded the Diverze Youth Art Platform to promote minority rights and culture through the arts. The platform is a network of artistic self-empowerment in a country that ranks between Afghanistan and North Korea, according to the Democracy Index. One of her most significant contributions is the feminist performance series, Unknown Women. She was the design fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2019 and the visual art fellow of the DAAD Artist in Berlin Program in 2022. In 2024, she will conduct an independent study on artists’ methods in political (re)imagination with the support of TIER in Berlin as a Weltoffenes Berlin Program fellow.

Karessa Malaya is a talented writer and photographer in Madrid, Spain. Her creative journey is genuinely captivating, marked by the recent release of her works, such as ”Sitsiritsit” (La Parcería Edita, 2023) and ”Cosechas del insomnio” (Diversidad Literaria, 2021). She also completed the ”Wakiña” Artistic Residency program at La Parcería, CEDA, showcasing her project ”Babaylan” (2023) and is currently engrossed in her latest endeavor: ”V.O.S. – Versión Original Subtitulado.” All this while balancing her thriving career with the responsibilities of being a loving mother to her son, Leo, and being miles away from her homeland’s magnificent volcanoes and seas.

Maria Nelden Gericke is a talented fiction writer and a trained psychologist from Indonesia who pursued an advanced master’s degree in Cultures and Development Studies in Belgium. With extensive experience in trauma recovery and community-based psychological intervention in Indonesia, Nelden further enriched her knowledge through a research fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School. Eventually, Nelden and her family moved to Vilnius, Lithuania, and Berlin. She adeptly combines her passions for jewelry crafting, psychology, trauma work, and writing by conducting workshops alongside her mental health work. In addition, she contributes as a freelance writer for Tempo magazine in Indonesia. She plays a vital role in the core editorial team for the upcoming edition of Südostasien, an online magazine based in Cologne focusing on current issues in Southeast Asia.

Azad Mohammad, born and raised in Arakan State, Myanmar, faced numerous challenges in pursuing his educational aspirations due to the government restrictions on Rohingya youths in Myanmar. Despite this, Azad bravely fled to India to continue his studies. However, he faced further obstacles due to a need for identity documents. Nonetheless, Azad’s passion for photography and poetry never waned. His poems are discussed in P.E.N. Melbourne Magazine and other anthologies, including ‘I am a Rohingya: poetry from the Camps and Beyond,’ the first English-language anthology of poetry written by Rohingya poets. His photography is exhibited at UN Geneva and Galerie Clairefontaine in Luxembourg. Since 2019, Azad has been living in Germany, successfully balancing his career as a Sushi Master at his own Sushi Kiosk while pursuing his artistic passions.

No RSVP required

Event held onsite: Donaustr. 84, 12043 Berlin




  Encounter: The Shape of a pocket: History Walk: Sonnenallee with Promona Sengupta and Jorinde Schulz

Date: Wednesday, July 24th
Start: 6 PM, Hermannplatz (The walk is open for a maximum of 10 people. If you would like to join, please send an email to the.shape.of.a.pocket.24@gmail.com by no later than 20 July and we will share the starting point and other logistical information. )

History Walk: Sonnenallee

History is as much a science of speculation as it is of exactitude. While it remains in the hands of the powerful, it becomes a tool of creating and enforcing consensus. However, history is no one’s private property. In such a world, of profound socio-political inequality, practising public history becomes a question of survival, of evidence, documents, memories and myths whose existence threatens the status quo.

The land mass between Hermannplatz and Weichselplatz, pierced through by the concrete serpent of the mighty Sonnenallee, is one of the busiest neighbourhoods of Berlin. Over the course of its recent history, Sonnenallee has come to be a site of many complex sociopolitical formations. Favoured by working class Arab migrants and refugees for living and for business, the street is easily distinguishable from the rest of the city by its people and how they claim the roads and curbsides for themselves, and their daily struggles to create a homely, familiar environment seeped in cultural values that are considered alien within the racist integration discourses of European border regimes. The exceptional approach towards Sonnenallee, reaching military action-like proportions during raids on shisha bars and anti-genocide protests by Palestinians and their allies, plays out in broad daylight, unfolding especially at the three cardinal chicken shops – Risa, Azzam and City Chicken, witnessed by the locals as a daily reality while being regularly overlooked and normalized by the rest of the city.

Join the local public history duo of Promona Sengupta and Jorinde Schulz on a historical walk through Sonnenallee, accompanied by resident chicken aficionados of the neighbourhood. Together we will embark on a food crawl from Hermannplatz to Weichselplatz, learning about local culinary histories, political legacies of resistance and hidden archaeologies of the mythical chicken deity and its apocalyptic prophecy.

BIO

Promona Sengupta is an artist, academic, activist, and curator. She recently completed her PhD at the International Research Center: Interweaving Performance Cultures at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her creative practice engages with decolonial speculative imagination as a means for radical politics. She co-created and co-flies the deeep space exploration vehicle — FLINTAQ+ Spaceship Beben, as its serving Captain and chef. She co-curates Radio Kal, as a part of the transoceanic longform artistic project kal, and was the resident artist at District Berlin in 2020. She has shared her multidisciplinary creative practices at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, District Berlin, English Theater Berlin and other spaces. She co-founded the Berlin–Delhi based progressive cultural politics pop up Mo’Halla. She lives and works in Berlin.

Jorinde Schulz (1989) is the author of “Die Clubmaschine (Berghain)”, a speculative literary essay exploring the myths and machinery of a legendary Berlin club, and the editor of the anthology “Generalverdacht” (General Suspicion), a multidisciplinary critical anthology about racist criminalisation targeting migrant communities and neighbourhoods in Germany. As part of the team of the non-profit organisation Gemeingut, she organises processes of resistance against privatisation, especially in the fields of urban politics, public transport, and health care. As an activist, she is part of initiatives against racist police violence and urban securitisation. She is a crew member of the artist collective Spaceship Beben.

The walk is open for a maximum of 10 people. If you would like to join, please send an email to the.shape.of.a.pocket.24@gmail.com by no later than 20 July and we will share the starting point and other logistical information.

******

The Shape of a Pocket is a platform dedicated to articulations of voids and absences in social, epistemic and geographic landscapes.

The pocket is an intimate hollow, a ‘pocket of resistance’ or a vessel that carries multiple materials and stories. The ‘shape’ alludes to the imaginary lines that are drawn between the unknown and the known, and to what is revealed or obscured, connected or separated by these demarcations. The void is both the deepest trench and the horizon.

The project confronts absence not as an epistemological deficit, but as rich and generative in its indeterminacy. This does not mean that the unknown is a resource to be mined, located or exploited, but rather it is a necessary resistance to Western thought’s demand for clarity and unambiguous identification. This call to turn towards the unknown relates to ‘absences’ that include enforced silences, extractive practices, linguistic gaps, and erasures in archives and culture. In all its shapeshifting mutations, the void resists totalising systems and makes way for a multiplicity and an excess that cannot be contained by the constraints of absolutes or certainty.

Colonialism uses the notion of ‘empty’ space as a pretext to justify the occupation of land, genocide and subjugation. The continuous coloniality of societal structures requires an undoing of this claim over emptiness. Capitalism exploits and extracts human labour and geological matter, causing cultural erasure and ecological catastrophe, with dire consequences for human and more-than-human life. This project aims to unlearn and undo the claim that coloniality makes on ostensibly empty spaces, and to challenge the persistent omissions in hegemonic historical narratives and divisive identitarian determinations. While the concept of the ‘void’ speaks of absence, it cannot be reduced to a mere abstraction, rather, it is material and situated in the world: it has flesh, geography and history.

There are also voids and obfuscations whose contours are less easy or impossible to grasp but must be preemptively imagined to not perpetuate patterns of erasure. Following Saidiya Hartman’s approach, this project embraces the challenge of telling impossible stories while amplifying the impossibility of their telling. In this sense, The Shape of a Pocket works with the double bind of the necessity to be present to absences while resisting imposed silencing. Depending on positionality and context, silence or absence can be constructed as spaces for emancipatory political imagination and relationality or, conversely, as sites of oppression and erasure.

Together we ask: Can we trace the contours of these so-called voids without reenacting the violences of cartography? Who holds the capacity for articulation, about what, and from where? If, as Glissant says, the abyss serves as an alluvium for metamorphoses, how can we contribute to the emergence of languages that are born from places of irreparable trauma and loss and give rise to forms of solidarity, resistance and transformation?

The Shape of a Pocket is an invitation to reimagine our margins, shared unknowns, cavities, and rifts as meaningful grounds for rupture and connectivity.

The platform runs from May to November 2024 and offers a series of encounters with Kandis Friesen, Jessica Zïada Korp, Kitso Lynn Lelliot, Listening at Pungwe with Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri, Hn. Lyonga, Constanza Mendoza, Eleni Mouzourou, Miguel Rodríguez-Casellas, Promona Sengupta and Miya Yoshida. The project culminates in an exhibition, opening on 31 October 2024. The Shape of a Pocket is initiated by Shoufay Derz and Talya Lubinsky at The Institute for Endotic Research.

*The Shape of a Pocket is the title of a book by John Berger published in 2002.

With support from the Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt.




  Storytelling in the fight against dystopian thinking with Simon Speiser.

Date: Wednesday, July 17th

Time: 19:00 – 21:00

Simon Speiser will invite you into various aspects of his work, which merges concepts of nature and technology through storytelling. Sharing thoughts on dystopia ideas, colonialism, belief systems and the importance of imagination.

BIO

Simon Speiser is an Ecuadorian-German artist known for his interdisciplinary approach that merges nature and technology through various media, including writing, sculpture, virtual reality, installations, and printmaking. His works explores themes of origins and the interplay between human and technological worlds. Blending virtual reality and ancestral folklore, weaving science fiction with non-western conceptions of technology, and believing in storytelling as a tool in the fight against dystopian thinking, Speiser often creates immersive, sensory experiences that highlight the convergence of traditional knowledge and contemporary digital techniques, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of precolonial cultures​. He has exhibited at Tai Kwun, Tate Modern, Julia Stoschek Collection, Walter Phillips Gallery Banff, CAC Quito and Frankfurter Kunstverein among others.




  The Shape of a Pocket Film screening and artists talk: To dream a more liveable place… a performance in anticipation of… with KITSO LYNN LELLIOTT

Date: Thursday, June 27th

Time: 19:00 – 21:00

With its first international screening, visiting artist from Johannesburg, Kitso Lynn Lelliot will engage the audience in ethical questions brought about by the film’s continuing evolution, in which she asks who has the power to police history, the stories that make us? The filmic fragment is an exploration of how one might be in space and be in time after a rupture. It considers being and taking up space while being variously marked in the negative against the image of the subject, thus being becomes an act of contestation against negation. It is a meditation on the oscillations of this refusal against refusal, considered within and beyond human centric temporal horizons. The piece works to tackle the historic and ongoing ruptures that dislocate black bodies from being: belonging in space, in time, in History. Evocations of the turn of the twentieth century partially locate the work at a time when the production of these unbelongings were playing out with acute and long lasting resonance in the southern regions of the African continent. Here, a woman known by the name of Sara finds that she has lost her grounding, the earth beneath her feet having been ripped away. She boards a ship that takes her across oceans to lands that, though distant, are still a place on earth.

BIO

KITSO LYNN LELLIOTT’S practice moves between video installation, film and writing. She is preoccupied with enunciations from spaces beyond epistemic power and the crisis such disobedient articulations cause to hegemony. Her work is an enactment of enunciating from elision and between historically subjugated subjectivities, privileging South-South relations that are in relation to yet imaginatively and epistemologically unmediated by the Global North. Lelliott was an artist in residence with the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC from 2019 until 2022 when she took up a senior lectureship with the University of the Witwatersrand. 

@kitsolynnlelliott

No RSVP required
Event held onsite: Donaustr. 84, 12043 Berlin

The Shape of a Pocket 

The Shape of a Pocket is a platform dedicated to articulations of voids and absences in social, epistemic and geographic landscapes. 

The pocket is an intimate hollow, a ‘pocket of resistance’ or a vessel that carries multiple materials and stories. The ‘shape’ alludes to the imaginary lines that are drawn between the unknown and the known, and to what is revealed or obscured, connected or separated by these demarcations. The void is both the deepest trench and the horizon. 

The project confronts absence not as an epistemological deficit, but as rich and generative in its indeterminacy. This does not mean that the unknown is a resource to be mined, located or exploited, but rather it is a necessary resistance to Western thought’s demand for clarity and unambiguous identification. This call to turn towards the unknown relates to ‘absences’ that include enforced silences, extractive practices, linguistic gaps, and erasures in archives and culture. In all its shapeshifting mutations, the void resists totalising systems and makes way for a multiplicity and an excess that cannot be contained by the constraints of absolutes or certainty. 

Colonialism uses the notion of ‘empty’ space as a pretext to justify the occupation of land, genocide and subjugation. The continuous coloniality of societal structures requires an undoing of this claim over emptiness. Capitalism exploits and extracts human labour and geological matter, causing cultural erasure and ecological catastrophe, with dire consequences for human and more-than-human life. This project aims to unlearn and undo the claim that coloniality makes on ostensibly empty spaces, and to challenge the persistent omissions in hegemonic historical narratives and divisive identitarian determinations. While the concept of the ‘void’ speaks of absence, it cannot be reduced to a mere abstraction, rather, it is material and situated in the world: it has flesh, geography and history. 

There are also voids and obfuscations whose contours are less easy or impossible to grasp but must be preemptively imagined to not perpetuate patterns of erasure. Following Saidiya Hartman’s approach, this project embraces the challenge of telling impossible stories while amplifying the impossibility of their telling. In this sense, The Shape of a Pocket works with the double bind of the necessity to be present to absences while resisting imposed silencing. Depending on positionality and context, silence or absence can be constructed as spaces for emancipatory political imagination and relationality or, conversely, as sites of oppression and erasure. 

Together we ask: Can we trace the contours of these so-called voids without reenacting the violences of cartography? Who holds the capacity for articulation, about what, and from where? If, as Glissant says, the abyss serves as an alluvium for metamorphoses, how can we contribute to the emergence of languages that are born from places of irreparable trauma and loss and give rise to forms of solidarity, resistance and transformation? 

The Shape of a Pocket is an invitation to reimagine our margins, shared unknowns, cavities, and rifts as meaningful grounds for rupture and connectivity. 

The platform runs from May to November 2024 and offers a series of encounters with Kandis Friesen, Jessica Zïada Korp, Kitso Lynn Lelliot, Listening at Pungwe with Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri, Hn. Lyonga, Constanza Mendoza, Eleni Mouzourou, Miguel Rodríguez-Casellas, Promona Sengupta and Miya Yoshida. The project culminates in an exhibition, opening on 31 October 2024. The Shape of a Pocket is initiated by Shoufay Derz and Talya Lubinsky at The Institute for Endotic Research.

You are welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. All events are free and open to the public.

*The Shape of a Pocket is the title of a book by John Berger published in 2002.

With support from the Berlin Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt.

 




  Encounter: Summoning – a spatial conversation on and with the ghostly with Lisa Hoffmann and Liese Schmidt

Date: Sunday, June 16th

Time: 12:00 to 24:00

Over the course of twelve hours “summoning” is a collective research and exhibition-in-process event under the motif of the séance, consisting of talks, performances and radio- and media-artistic interventions. The event is the visualisation and spatialisation of collaborative research that takes place within a Telegram group and other channels. Guests and the audience are asked before and during the event, to respond to the invitation to the séance with questions, ideas, research, text, images, videos and more about the ghostly and that or those which and who haunt. Starting at noon with an empty room, all collected material will appear in the space in the form of ongoing actions and appearances until midnight.

“Summoning” happens in three parts:

Establishing contact

12:00 to 18:00

performative installing and uninstalling of research and artistic contributions as a collective process

participants TBA

Appearances

18:00 to 22:00

sound performances, lectures and screenings, programme TBA

Reflection

22:00 to 24:00

collective mirroring of impressions and apparitions

BIO

Lisa Hoffmann and Liese Schmidt work as artists in different media and formats but with a common focus on time-based media and media theory. Their work ranges from film and video to collaborative projects and radio making. Together and apart they have been approaching this topic from both theoretical research and sound, video and sculptural experiments. As a collective, they aim to establish an ongoing exchange and research at a distance with multiple voices and participants, to examine what collaboration might be between humans and non-humans alike – including the technical devices, their materials, different voices and tonalities.

 

Lisa Hoffman: https://lshhhh.net, @omgirlwtf

Liese Schmidt: www.lieseschmidt.online, @liese_broccoli 




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