Edited by Marina Gržinić, Jovita Pristovšek, Sophie Uitz, and Christina Jauernik
Hatje Cantz, Berlin, Germany; Weltmuseum Wien, Austria; Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria; Peek Project No. AR 439-G24/IBK, 2020, ISBN 978-3-7757-4884-1, 204pp.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories, at Weltmuseum Wienfrom 8 October 2020 to 3 April 2021.
About the catalogue
Belgian colonialism in the Congo. Antisemitism in Austria. Turbo-nationalism
in former Yugoslavia. Over the last two centuries, these three historic lines
of violence and annihilation (re)enforced a process of oblivion that to this
day prevents a processing of the genocides they caused.
involuntary or performed amnesia again threatens to destroy what has already
come to a point of possible coexistence.
We go back to these traumatic events in history and the recent past, which had such a violent impact on communities and people, states and territories, and confront them with a system of interventions. The scars that remain after atrocities, although hidden and obliterated, are recovered through artistic, scientific, and political reflections.
at Weltmuseum Wien October 8th, 2020 to April 3rd, 2021
Curated by Marina Gržinić, Christina Jauernik and Sophie Uitz
Trailer-teaser of the exhibition in Weltmuseum Wien
The exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories focuses on three European regions, their stories, and their current experiences of collective amnesia in relation to traumatic events from the past: Belgian colonial rule in the Congo, Austria after the “Anschluss” in 1938, and the denial of war crimes since 1990 after the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Participating artists Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe Lana Čmajčanin Bojan Djordjev Dani Gal Siniša Ilić Adela Jušić Martin Krenn Monique Mbeka Phoba Nicolas Pommier Anja Salomonowitz Joëlle Sambi Nzeba Arye Wachsmuth Valerie Wolf Gang
Posters and works developed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (workshop with Arye Wachsmuth): Negra Bernhard Henrie Dennis Iklim Doğan Robert Jolly Lars* Kollros Shaya Safaisini Hiba Shammout Sophie Anna Stadler Pia S. Weissinger Ondrej Zoricak
The digital archive: COUNTERING THE GENEALOGY OF AMNESIA
7.10.2020 Opening speeches and performance (closed for public due to Covid-19)
Speeches: C. Schicklgruber (director Weltmuseum Wien), J. Hartle (rector Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), S. Uitz and M. Gržinić (curators). Opening performance by Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe and Mani Obeya.
8.10.2020 Symposium (closed for public due to Covid-19)
Taking part in situ or via zoom:
Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe Lana Čmajčanin Bojan Djordjev Dani Gal Siniša Ilić Adela Jušić Martin Krenn Nicolas Pommier Anja Salomonowitz Joëlle Sambi Nzeba Arye Wachsmuth Valerie Wolf Gang Lars* Kollros Mika Maruyama Shaya Safaisini Pia Weissinger
Moderation by Marina Gržinić Organisation by Sophie Uitz
Opposing Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Turbo-Nationalism:Rethinking the Past for New Conviviality Marina Gržinić, Jovita Pristovšek, and Sophie Uitz (editors), 578 pp., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK, 2020
The volume is an outcome of the art- and theory-based research project Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality. It is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) through its Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK). The research is developed at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, from 2018 to 2020. The volume focuses on collective amnesia in regards to traumatic events of the European past and the ways in which memory and history are presented for the future. It gathers together reflections on racism and nationalism, empowerment and futurity. As the subtitle indicates, ultimately this volume is about achieving a future conviviality. On this festive occasion, the editors of the book will present its content, structure and contributors.
Contributors: Jamika Ajalon, Ruth Beckermann, Elisabeth Brainin, Véronique Clette-Gakuba, CMCLD/Collectif Mémoire Coloniale et Lutte contre les Discriminations, Nejra Nuna Čengić, Matthias De Groof, Nicole Grégoire, Marina Gržinić, Adla Isanović,Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur, Geneviève Kaninda, Hikmet Karčić, Kasereka Kavwahirehi, Sophie Lillie, Michael Loebenstein, Nikita Mazurov, Berthold Molden, Pedro Monaville, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Jovita Pristovšek, Markus Rheindorf, Drehli Robnik, Tony Kokou Sampson, Birgit Sauer, Max Silverman, Kalvin Soiresse Njall, Shirley Anne Tate, Šefik Tatlić, Claudia Tazreiter, Nevenka Tromp, Hedvig Turai, Sophie Uitz, Tanya Ury, Gloria Wekker, Renée Winter, and Ruth Wodak.
October 12, 2019 Linz Workshop: 25 years anniversary of maiz
WORKSHOP, PART OF 25 YEARS ANNIVERSARY OF MAIZ
Where: Altes Rathaus, Linz
Taking part in the discussion: Rodrigo Cesar Benedetti, Chiara Benedetti, Michaela Lehofer, Nadja Meisterhans, Ursula M. Lücke, and Rubia Salgado
WORKSHOP TITLE: Fighting racism, deconstructing white privilege-cultural interventions, artistic projects, political strategies
Marina Gržinić in collaboration with Tjaša Kancler trans*activist, researcher
In the workshop, we depart from the research we did, Tjaša Kancler trans*activists and me, on questions of knowledge resistance and trans*. Therefore in the first part of the workshop, I presented artistic projects that have contributed historically and currently to the production of discourses, activities, politics, labor, education in order to combat racism and structures of power. In the second part of the workshop, we discussed formats of racism, the processes of enduring racialization and modes of empowerment.
Marina Gržinić is a philosopher, theoretician, and artist. Since 2003, she is Professor for Post-Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. She did a series of collaborative projects with Tjaša Kancler, trans* activist, artist, researcher, and associate professor at the University of Barcelona. Kancler is a co-editor of the journal Desde el margen (www.desde-elmargen.net).
May 27, 2019 Zagreb Workshop: Feminism Between Nation-states and Capitalism
Workshop with Marina Gržinić, Šefik Tatlić, and the participants of the module Feminism Between Nation-states and Capitalism at Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
Centre for Women’s Studies Zagreb is the first non-institutional educational center in Croatia. It was founded by a group of feminists, theorists, and scholars, peace activists, and artists in 1995. The Centre provides an interdisciplinary program and expert knowledge on women’s issues and is a meeting point for academic discourse, artistic practice, activist engagement. The Centre’s publishing program is focused on publishing the results of Croatian feminist research and theory, as well as translations of selected key feminist texts. Until today they have published more than 50 titles. The Centre’s feminist theoretical journal Treća – [The Third] was launched in 1998 and has been published annually ever since.
The main quality of the Women’s Studies educational program is its interdisciplinarity and integrality. The program offers an insight into the diverse themes of feminism and gender studies, women’s culture and history, women’s rights and gender equality. During its 20 years of work, the Centre has seen more than 600 participants complete the educational program, and more than 1000 participants involved in various specialized programs.
Module: Feminism Between Nation-states and Capitalism
It is clear that what global capitalism brings in front of us is a necessity to revisit globally racist, homophobic, and discriminatory processes, not as simple identity differences but as processes that are entangled with capital, new media technology and with the change of the mode of life under capital’s brutal modes of racialization and exploitation.
State nation, feminism, capitalism, memory, history
Feminist perspective: from former Yugoslavia turbo fascism to neoliberal postmodern fascist Europe
Nation-state, feminisms, capitalism
Political analysis of memory and history in the space of former Yugoslavia
March 11, 2019 – March 26, 2019 Vienna Workshop: on Hannah Arendt’s political thinking
Workshop with Ruth Kager and the students of the Art Studio for Post-conceptual Art Practices (PCAP) and the students in general of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, at AkBild, Vienna.
Hannah Arendt’s political thought centers around a political space that draws on common action. Starting from this insight, each session of the workshop is dedicated to one of Arendt’s basic notions: the public realm, the societal and the private, action, power and judging. Building on these notions, the workshop investigates the constraints and potentialities of politics as thought by Arendt.
The contents are elaborated interactively, based on the sources below. The following questions will guide, amongst others, plenary discussions and group activities.
11/3/2019 // INTRODUCTION // THE PUBLIC REALM What is the public realm? Sources: Arendt, Hannah (1973) , The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 50-57. Arendt, Hannah (2010) , Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben (München: Piper), 62-73.
12/3/2019 // THE SOCIETAL AND THE PRIVATE What are the relations between the social, the private and the public realm? Sources: Arendt, Hannah (1973) , The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 68-72. Arendt, Hannah (2010) , Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben (München: Piper), 81-89.
18/3/2019 // ACTION What are the characteristics of action? How is action connected to politics? Sources: Arendt, Hannah (1973) , The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 175-180. Arendt, Hannah (2010) , Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben (München: Piper), 213-222.
19/3/2019 // POWER What is the difference between power and violence? How is power connected to different forms of government? Sources: Arendt, Hannah (1973) , The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 199-206. Arendt, Hannah (2010) , Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben (München: Piper), 251-262.
26/3/2019 // THE DESTRUCTION OF POLITICAL POWER // JUDGING How is political power destructed? What is judging? Sources: Arendt, Hannah (1951), The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace), 123-134. Arendt, Hannah (2014) , Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft. Antisemitismus, Imperialismus, totale Herrschaft (München: Piper) 286-307. Arendt, Hannah (1961), “The Crisis in Culture. Its Social and Its Political Significance”, in: ibid., Between Past and Future: Six Exercises in Political Thought (New York: Viking), 217-226. Arendt, Hannah (2012) , “Kultur und Politik”, in: dies., Zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft. Übungen im politischen Denken I, herausgegeben von Ursula Ludz (München: Piper), 296-302.
A symposium on the silencing of colonialism, anti-Semitism, and contemporary turbo-fascist nationalism in Belgium, Austria, and former Yugoslavia.
The international and interdisciplinary symposium, open to public audiences, is built as a podium for research and exchange, dissemination of knowledge, and discussion.
The two-day-long symposium hosted invited speakers that cover the central topics of our research in the three respective territories: memory and history, archives, and the axis of power and knowledge. The general objective of the symposium was to denote gaps between processes of institutionalized silencing, hegemonic processes of oblivion and amnesia, and processes of instituting power through building counter-memory and counter-history projects, interventions, and resistance. The aim was to demonstrate how processes for the establishment of counter-memory and counter-history can open up spaces for new ways of forming radicalized constituent politics. Collective struggles and oppositionality were investigated as the basis of a possible dismantling of neoliberal and necrocapitalist societies by means of re-empowering history that crushes silences.
organized by Piotr Piotrowski Center for Research on East-Central European Art
The postsocialist and postcolonial conditions as features of a conceptualization of a “new” geography
The proposal is to rethink geography as a process that comes out from the post-1989. Why? At that moment we have the appearance of two conditions, of two posts that coincide largely speaking geographically in Europe and that can subsumed, according to David Harvey writings in the 1980s, as “urbanization of capital and urbanization of consciousness.” This double process is vital to capitalism’s survival as a dominant mode of production and consumption. Let’s state that this urbanization is a perverse cosmopitanism that Piotr Piotrowski (Piotrowski, “From the international to the Cosmopolitan” (2012)), sees as the possible approach to East and Central Europe today. Therefore my proposal claims that geography can better be captured as the joint process of these two conditions postsocialist and postcolonial than divisions we used for the last decades in the former Eastern European context: East-West, center-periphery, etc. As well the question that we will enter is how the postcolonial enters the post-socialist of the East-Central Europe geography of today. My question is how these traumatic nodal points produced, executed and governed by and within Europe transform the perception of art, geography, topography, memory and history in the present moment. The elaboration is based on the new insights provided by the research project I am in charge at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with the title “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality” (funded through the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK), inside the FWF, Austrian Science Fund, in the period from 2018 to 2020).
Images with violent content are always historical, as what is seen as violent is constructed and is violently managed; therefore nothing is natural in relation to violence. What will be defined as violent is always an outcome of violent hegemonic processes. Seeing images of killings can provoke our rebellion and our insurgencies, unless we are paralyzed by our normativized occidental lives. Europe and the global neoliberal capitalist system in general are well attuned to the hierarchization, control, and management processes of the present neoliberal capitalist states. Especially under attack are migrants and all those not considered to be “natural” parts of the neoliberal capitalist national body in the West: asylum-seekers and refugees escaping war-torn parts of the global world (the Middle East, Africa), from conflicts induced by capital and imperial management.
On the other side and at the same time, we can see, for example, the last election campaign in Austria, with posters by the Freedom Party (FPÖ) containing blatantly racist and fascist slogans and images. My interest is to connect racism with visual narratives, “trophy” artifacts, and culture. I will look at racism from a historical perspective, showing a horrifying trajectory of structural racism that reproduces itself almost always circularly from a pseudoscientific (biological) racism, “progressing” toward “cultural racism” to “return” again to “scientific racism,” though then coined “intellectual racism.”
Marina Grzinic and Adla Isanovic, Memory and History and the Act of De-Historicisation
June 28, 2018
Three-Day Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 27-29.6.2018, Ruins, Remains, and Reconstructions
In the time of neoliberal global necrocapitalism we are increasingly confronted with a political and social amnesia that profits from the forced erasure of the past producing more and more processes of de-historicisation and de-politicisation. Central to these processes is the logic of (neoliberal) repetition that produces at least two different procedures of de-historicisation. On one side we have the logic of the neoliberal Western world that works as a pure trans-historical machine, and on the other, in the regions of the (former) East and in the South of Europe as well as in the zone of “Western Balkan,” we detect forced techniques of embracing historicisation as totalization. In both cases the result is a suspension of history that works with a primary intention to dispose of any alternative within it! The idea of the lecture is therefore to provide at first the conceptualization of the main notions, to what will follow the elaboration of some selected examples. Through the analysis of examples these processes will be defined on a much wider scale in order to see their political, social and cultural consequences.
Therefore, after the first part elaborated by Grzinic, Isanovic will continue with critically reflecting on some concrete examples, such as the events organized to mark the centenary of the First World War in Sarajevo in 2014, in order to elaborate not only on silences about the past (such as the WWI, the 1990s’ war crimes and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) and the misery of the present, but primarily, to contextualize and repoliticize current practices and forms of knowledge production and of visibility, both in relation to local specificities and global phenomena. This includes also a reflection on tactics of de-historicisation and humanitarianism. Therefore, such “exemplary” acts of remembering / forgetting are approached as a symptom of the effect of the current state of necrocapitalism, its practices of coloniality and racialization. More precisely, the dominant and systematic de-contextualization, de-historicisation and de-politicisation of racism, and cultures of remembrance, are in service of the normalization of death, the ongoing coloniality and growing fascist elements of politics that are at the core of the global neoliberal governmentality today.
The presentation will as well incorporate some new insights provided by the research project at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with the title “Genealogy of Amnesia: Rethinking the Past for a New Future of Conviviality” (funded through the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK), inside the FWF, Austrian Science Fund, in the period from 2018 to 2020). Grzinic is the leading and Adla Isanovic is the affiliated researcher to this research project.
Marina Grzinic is a philosopher, theoretician and artist from Ljubljana, Slovenia. She serves as a professor and research adviser. Since 2003, she is Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. She publishes extensively, lectures worldwide, and is involved in videofilm productions since 1982. Selection of books: M. Grzinic and Rosa Reitsamer, New feminism: worlds of feminism, queer and networking conditions, Vienna: Löcker, 2008; M. Grzinic and Sefik Tatlic, Necropolitics, Racialization, and Global Capitalism. Historicization of Biopolitics and Forensics of Politics, Art, and Life, US: Lexington books, 2014; M. Grzinic, ed. Border Thinking, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Sternberg Press, 2018.http://grzinic-smid.si
Adla Isanović, is an artist and researcher who lives and works in Sarajevo. Currently, she is an associate professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University in Sarajevo, where she teaches multimedia. She holds a PhD from the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Slovenia (doctoral program Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures) where she finished her doctoral thesis on the theme of databases and art in the function of knowledge production in the digital age. She completed MA in “New Media” and MA in Research-Based Postgraduate Program “Critical, Curatorial, Cybermedia Studies” at the Geneva University of Arts and Design, Switzerland. She did her undergraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Sarajevo. Her previous engagements include work as a researcher at Mediacentar Sarajevo, as well as being a visiting lecturer at the International University Sarajevo, the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo, the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia and Gray’s School of Art of the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.