AFIELD Study 2021

AFIELD Study seeks to nurture synergies between like-minded socially engaged practitioners allowing for mutual exchange of skills and knowledge around common themes.

Recordings of guest talks coming soon

Massimiliano Mollona was invited to lead the inaugural AFIELD Study 2021 Program. This is his introductory text in which he develops the theme for this years program.

Together

As the global pandemic forces people across the world into isolated and fragmented existences, new practices of mutual aid, radical care and demonetized and socialized economies, are re-defining our way of being together.

Living under a pandemic, we are learning new imaginaries and collective practices revolving around our bodies, and new rules of intimacy, solidarity and proximity. In the current condition of radical uncertainty, we also experience a common refusal to go back to normality – the model of continuous growth, hyper financialization, flexible labour and over-consumption that generated much social injustice and ecological disruption.

And if the explosion of Black Lives Matter into the civic realm following the murder of George Floyd last summer shows that democracy cannot be kept in lockdown, violence against women, lesbian, gay and queer subjects and instances of a deeply engrained structural racism are increasing, asking us to rethink the whole model.

To a certain extent the radical political imaginary inaugurated with the Paris Commune in March 1871, exactly 150 years ago, based on notions of solidarity, commoning, cooperativism, gender equality and generalized reciprocity, turned out to be Eurocentric (reflecting the supposedly superior point of view of Europe), anthropocentric (assuming human mastery over nature) and patriarchal and heteronormative. But can these terms be revitalized from a post-capitalist, ecological and non-heteronormative perspective?

Following the feminist economists Gibson-Graham, I would like to propose that we consider post-capitalism as a “non-capitalocentric” and non-Eurocentric understanding of the world – as differentiated, queer and in ongoing transformation – as well as a set of tools and practices of “socialization of the economy” – such as Universal Basic Income (UBI), Crypto-economy, peer-to-peer and gift-exchange and cooperativism.

Both art and anthropology operate at the threshold, and in the “zone of contact” between the human and more than human world, engaging in practices of dialogical interpretation, micro encounters, political prefiguration and practice-based theory-building and fabulation. What are the skills that artists and curators (and anthropologists) can bring for imagining and implementing a post-capitalist world?

STRANDS

Images as Assembly
For this strand I have invited Filipa César who will lead the workshop Learning with the Mangrove alongside Sónia Vaz Borges and as guest speaker Elizabeth Povinelli.

Maori filmmaker Barry Barclay describes cinema as a form of gathering (hui) and communal assembly which entails, at the same time, collective knowledge-production, reciprocal exchange and an ethics of connectedness. The aim of the Images as assembly strand is to foster a conversation around decolonial and radical imaginaries, revolving on cinema intended as a political, ecological and epistemological zone of contact. Image as assembly goes beyond the notion of aesthetics and engages with images in terms of enduring relationality, human and non-human entanglements, cine-kinship, commons, degrowth and nomadic attachments, reparation, and non-anthropocentric, more than human dwelling.

Ethnographic Encounters and Pedagogies of Unlearning
For this strand I have invited Dora García who will lead the workshop No Use to Close the Door, Big South Just Walked In and as guest speaker Apolonjia Šušteršič.

In this strand we consider art as a model for practice-based, dialogical and multimodal knowledge-production, that emerges in the contact zone of the human encounter - in the form of embodied practices, dialogical ethnography, queer attachments, co-production and restorative justice, aimed at healing, curing and reconnecting what has been torn apart by mental, cultural and physical enclosures, namely the marketization and monetization of all human and more-than-human life.

Mutual Economies
For this strand I have invited Binna Choi who will lead the workshop Home is Economy. Economy is Home alongside guest speaker Caroline Woolard.

Can art provide a critique of Political Economy? This question, originally formulated by John Ruskin and William Morris, continues to be at the core of contemporary artistic engagement. As art and culture feed an planetary economies based on rent extraction, gentrification, mass-tourism and hyper-consumption, socially engaged curators, cultural producers and artists are building alternative economies and prefiguring post-capitalist scenarios through new political and artistic practices, such as UBI’s, cooperative labour, crypto and feminist economies, and commoning. What are the new artistic skills and practices that the artist as entrepreneur, carer, investor, or commoner can bring to build a more equal society?

by

  • Massimiliano Mollona

Faculty

  • Filipa César
  • Sónia Vaz Borges
  • Binna Choi
  • Dora Garciía

Guest Speakers

  • Elizabeth Povinelli
  • Caroline Woolard
  • Apolonjia Šušteršič

Participating Peers

  • Awa Konaté (DK)
  • Maya Claire Scherr-Wilson (MX)
  • Kökun Ergun (TR)
  • Lerato Dumse (ZA)
  • Suinbike Suleimenova & Dilda Kulmagambetova (KZ)
  • Zikri Rahman (MY)
  • Vidisha Saini (IN)
  • Sabrina Fernandez Casas (CH)
  • Ana Campillos Sanchez-Camacho (ES)
  • Hema'ny (Nancy) Molina (CL)
  • Sophie Jerram (NZ)

Cover and top image: Diagram Afield Study Programme 'Together' by Massimiliano Mollona. Courtesy of the artist.


Public Program


Elizabeth Povinelli
Monday 10 May
6:00-7:30pm CET

Caroline Woolard
Friday 21 May
6:00-7:30pm CET

Apolonjia Šušteršič
Thursday 27 May
6:00-7:30pm CET