Agyina: Advisory of Sages / BIENNALE SYMPOSIUM
The three-day extended programme includes film screenings, presentations, talks, lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, guided tours and social gatherings following the curatorial concept of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts.
THURSDAY, 16 November
11.00–14.00, Moderna galerija Auditorium
Biennale Film Screenings, Part I
Introductory talk: Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh (Exit Frame Collective) and Anita Afonu
Nii Kwate Owoo: You Hide Me, 1970, 16 min
Ghanaian producer-director Nii Kwata Owoo's documentary Nii Kwata Owoo (1944) is considered the first film of English-speaking independent Africa. The film reveals thousands of never-before-seen works of art by the Ghanaian Asante people and the city of Benin, which were plundered by British expeditionary forces in the 19th century.
Jihan El-Tahri: Cuba, an African Odyssey, 2011, 120 min
Award-winning Egyptian-French director Jihan El-Tahri's film reveals the never-before-told story of Cuban support for the African revolutions, considered one of the fiercest clashes over resources and ideology.
16.00–17.00, MGLC Grad Tivoli and Švicarija
Guided tour with the curators of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts
18.00, Plečnik's kiosk in Prešeren Square
The Print Portfolio of Artists of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts, The Holy Corner, opening of the exhibition
FRIDAY, 17 November
11.00–13.00, Moderna galerija Auditorium
Biennale Film Screenings, Part II
Introductory talk: Sanaz Sohrabi
Sanaz Sohrabi: Scenes of Extraction (original title in Farsi: صحنه های استخراج Sahnehaye Estekhraj), Essay film, 43 min, Canada/Iran, 2023
“Scenes of Extraction” takes the viewer on an archival stroll into the British Petroleum Archives to unearth the still and moving images that documented this expansive colonial network of geological explorations that spanned across Iran, but also reached other British oil concessions in Papua and South East Asia.
Joyce Joumaa: To Remain in the No Longer, 2023, 40 min
In 1962, Oscar Niemayer was invited to conceive an international fairground in Tripoli, Lebanon, which was never built. Canadian video artist Joyce Joumaa's film looks at the unusual trajectories of architecture in that country.
15.00–16.00, SVS Studio
Sreda v sredo (SVS) in dialogue with artist Marko K. Gavez, workshop
17.00–18.00, MGLC Švicarija
Keynote lecture by kąrî'kạchä seid'ōu
Introductory talk: Nevenka Šivavec, director MGLC, and Ibrahim Mahama, artistsic director of the biennale
In this lecture, kąrî'kạchä seid'ōu discloses his perspectives on the politics of the void, that is, its conceptual framework, emancipatory nature and other potentials relating to his art practice and its influence in Ghana and elsewhere. kąrî'kạchä seid'ōu also discusses what he has theorised and practised as the gift, which is not based on reciprocity but on radical sharing and/or generosity on a planetary scale. kąrî'kạchä seid'ōu is an artist-intellectual, poet, mathematician and educator. He is Ghana's key figure in non-proprietary art and a co-founder of blaxTARLINES KUMASI. He has mentored a growing number of artists, curators and writers. His practice has sparked an artistic revolution in Ghana. The theme of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts resonates squarely with his artistic and political ideas.
18.00–19.30, MGLC Švicarija
The Biennale Reader, launch talk
The main exhibition and public programme of the 35th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts is accompanied by a Biennale publication that offers critical insight and questions the complex nature of the emancipatory undertone of this year's edition of the Biennale entitled From the void came gifts of the cosmos. The publication brings together texts and experimental contributions by a wide range of authors, from curators, architectural historians, critics to theorists and artists. The volume is edited by Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh, Kelvin Haizel, Patrick Nii Okanta Ankrah and Selom Kudjie.
SATURDAY, 18 November
The programme takes place at Cukrarna
Introductory talk: Exit Frame Collective
On Radical Pedagogy, panel discussion
Participants: Gudskul (Indonesia), Àsìkò Art School (Nigeria), blaxTARLINES KUMASI (Ghana)
Moderator: Exit Frame Collective
These three institutions promote important and successful models of radical pedagogy from which much can be learned. Gudskul is a transdisciplinary educational platform launched in 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, by the collectives ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara collectives. Àsìkò Art School is a five-week pedagogical programme for African artists and curators launched in Lagos, Nigeria in 2010 by curator Bisi Silva (1962–2019), combining a variety of formats, from workshops and laboratories to residency programmes. BlaxTARLINES KUMASI is a contemporary art incubator and open-source collective based in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, focusing on new, "post-Western" approaches to arts education and training since 2000.
On Institution-Building in Times of Crises: SCCA Tamale (Ghana), presentation
The Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) is a community-run project space, exhibition and research centre, and cultural repository, focusing on 20th-century artistic and cultural practices and bringing together artists working in Tamale, Ghana.
On Architecture, (Socialist) Internationalism, and Repair, panel discussion
Panellists: Doreen Mende, Lama El Khatib, Charlotte Grace
Convenor: Dubravka Sekulić
Socialist internationalism worked towards connecting the worlds in struggle to liberate themselves in networks of support with understanding that for all humans to be free the whole world has to change. It built material and immaterial architectures as fragments of the new world that was to emerge. However, proclaiming solidarity is never the same as practicing it, socialist states replicated some of the asymmetries and dominations they were claiming to undo. Today, while the socialist internationalism seems relegated to the past, the ambers of struggles are still alive, connections latent, ready to be activated…. The conversation will be grounded not in lost pasts, but futures that can be repaired and reclaimed. What solidarity work means for today? Doreen Mende, Lama El Khatib and Charlotte Grace will in conversation with Dubravka Sekulić entangle how can past emancipatory internationalisms speak to present ones and summon the common wind towards the green and red future in which domination and injustice are past.
Doreen Mende, curator, writer, theorist, and lecturer, leads the transdisciplinary project Decolonizing Socialism. Entangled Internationalism, which explores the liminal intersections of art, architecture, and cybernetics. Charlotte Grace is an architectural researcher, organizer and a Theory Lead for MA City Design at the RCA, who just completed a PhD on the Sociospatial dimensions of the decolonial feminist and internationalist revolution in Rojava, Kurdistan.
Dubravka Sekulić is an architect, theorist, and lecturer, who works on thinking through pasts and futures internationalist solidarity through nonalignment and architectures built by Yugoslav construction industry across the non-aligned world.
Re-Aligning Non-Alignment: Of Voids, To Begin at the Beginning
performance, installation, discourse
executed by NAM ChoreoLab
NAM ChoreoLab is a modular research choreography laboratory with the aim of re-reading the Non-Aligned Movement/s at the intersection of speculative historicism and futurism, by way of discourse, installation, performance as well as (queer)feminist and decolonial methodologies.
Research, choreography, archive, performance, installation, discourse: Sonja Pregrad, Ana Dubljević, Viktorija Ilioska, Dražen Dragojević
Video: Thilo Garus, Dražen Dragojević
Duration: 90 min
The Symposium is held in English. Admission free.
Registration to: https://forms.gle/2KwCi7LeGk3LfQSa7