Updates and program information:
In anticipation and preparation for the Commonings edition of the New Alphabet School, a small symbolic Milpa field was planted on the rooftop of HKW. Milpa is the Nahuatl word to designate an agroecosystem based on ancient practices by Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. “La Milpa” or “the three sisters” is a symbiotic cultivation method for growing maize, beans, and squash together. The word translates to “cultivated field” but also means the entangled system of relations among the farmers, the crops and the land.
For the past centuries, the three sisters have travelled throughout the world, settling and adapting to various bioregions. Yet, colonial plantations and multinational agribusinesses insist on reducing the colorful Indigenous maize to a yellow globalized monotone – in the fields, on plates and in minds.
This workshop is an invitation to cook Blue Corn, the real and the imagined ones, with the pumpkins and beans that were grown in Berlin. A poetic-culinary inquiry about the journeys and adaptation processes of plants, tastes, mouths and their words.
Lunch will be ready at 1 pm.
The common(place) sets out to unlearn fixed and conditioned notions of invisibilizing, hierarchical and individualized authorship as a driving force in current knowledge economies. Instead, this two-part-workshop strives for collective (un)authorship. How can a commoning virus be activated in place? The living virus of the digital Miro board, a collaborative communication tool, will mutate into physical space through a set of collective un-learning exercises/activities based on processes of occupation, appropriation and negotiation.
For the first part of this workshop, participants will navigate the city as if the digital Miro board is a map for it. Putting commoning in action, the route of the walk will emerge out of the collective locations the whole group chooses. For the second part on Friday, Sep 16 from 10 am to 1 pm, participants will reflect on their collective walk and add to the Miro board that originally informed their route. The aim is to reflect on the commoning practices that took place and how they contributed to the conceptual body of the Miro board.
10 am–1 pm
Grasping the Experience of Trauma.
Working with the Emmanuel Ringelblum Archive Warsaw and Archival Material from Rwanda
Workshop in Conference Room 2
With Małgorzata Wosińska
During this workshop, participants will look deeper into the topic of genocidal trauma and war both in relation to the Holocaust and in relation to the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Looking at the intersecting points of the psychoanalytical or representative image of Cultural Trauma Studies, the group will deal with the body (non-political, non-ethnic, non-national), its meaningful vulnerability and perhaps most importantly, human (and nonhuman) resilience within such contexts. This work attempts to move beyond a “Western” perspective, thereby necessitating a reflection on decolonial paradigms of Trauma Studies, but also of Museum Studies and Art. How can the critical and auto-reflectional potential of Trauma Studies and Comparative Genocide Studies constitute an essential tool to reevaluate the framework of humanitarian action in the arts? The materiality of trauma will be analyzed through “secondary sources” of mass atrocities through archival resources from both Poland and Rwanda. How can non-European cases of genocide teach people an embodied, emancipating perspective for collective trauma healing? Is it possible to understand the Holocaust as a living anthropological experience, and not only as a sacralized historical event that is “frozen” in time?
12 noon–6 pm
Migro, Ergo Sum , Part 1
Two-Day Interdisciplinary Performing Workshop in the Lecture hall
With Marinho Pina, Sérgio Carlitos Pereira, David Shongo and Susana Ferreira
In English and Portuguese
“Our bodies are older than borders.” – Susana Ferreira
Migrating is a common practice; those that dream and hope are driven to dislocate themselves to new landscapes. Today, migration in all its forms is not only a socioeconomic phenomenon – a matter of geography – but mostly a political one.
The participants of this workshop will explore several variations of migration through forms of storytelling to find common ground. The aim is to diminish the tension created by migrations, its departures, arrivals and belonging, even its non-belonging and spaces in between. Believing that this understanding is possible having fun and sharing love, this workshop will be a playground to address serious issues like religion, creed, gender and race to find some sort of safe space where everybody can use their own voice and languages to promote togetherness.
On the first day of the workshop, participants will discuss migration employing the medium of drawing, writing and filming. On the second day, they will use instruments to produce a musical take on migration. The outcome of the workshop will be presented as a live jam session in the public assembly.
Mapping the museum(object) encounter: feral information
Talk and Discussion in Conference room 1
With Simon Fleury
This version of the condition report (3.0) is a digital re-mix of the conservation-based material analysis of the Raphael Tapestry Cartoons made in the 1990s.
The condition report is a curious amalgam of image and over-written text, with a long and fascinating history. It was first invented by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s first curator at the time of the arrival of the cartoons to the Museum in the 1860s and has since undergone various iterations to get to today’s digital reports.
This talk will tell the story of this new lease of life for the condition reporting process (3.0) – over-writing a lineage of museum practice, it expresses the inherent possibilities of (un)tethering these disobedient and unruly social analytics from the burnt-out modern museum project.
What are the joys and obstacles that arise when people engage in community? Inspired by traditions of collective quilting used to map symbols, constellations and directions towards freedom, this workshop is an invitation to engage in collective listening, witnessing and create emerging narratives of disconnection and interconnection.
During the five days of the Commonings program, a “tela,” an art piece on fabric, will be created resulting from a process of collaborative, multivocal and embodied inquiry. The process hopes to excavate what is ghosted or shadowed in oneself and to hold space to compost through conversations and embodied creativity, experimenting with shifts that may occur in the moment.
Participants are invited to bring a story to share of a time when working together to make the world more beautiful was met with obstacles. Everyone who is moved to do so can bring a piece of fabric that has a story or significance attached to it. During the workshop, these textiles can become part of the common (permanent) piece or added to a temporary altar installation where these fabrics can be taken to at the end.
With the war in Europe and the still active corona virus, the relevance and apparent urgency of many things has shifted – in global world affairs or personally due to illness – speeds and capacities have changed. How can one’s energies be used carefully, planned effectively or involved in the infrastructural work needed to common? And does this perhaps result in a specific artistic response that opens up one's own special ability to contribute? What minimum equipment, conditions and necessities are required? And what kind of scope does this infrastructural work have? Is there room for the spontaneous, funny ideas and improvisation that creates community and story?
For this activation, a small 3D printer will be brought to print conversation objects and connect with others, building on the various necessities. This might involve connecting, adapting and remixing from existing open data repositories or re-designing from scratch to form specific ideas, needs and requirements. Fragments will be printed from Hesse and Wakil’s workshop that was conducted in New Delhi as part of the New Alphabet School on The Untraining Playground: Edit-a-thon on the metabolism of bodies and data about performing glitching identities and working with technological alienation. Participants will question current formats of Tele-presence through materialization and material reproduction in collective processes.