In 2020, DARIAH selected two streams of funding as part of the Theme funding call, ‘Arts Exchanges’ and ‘Arts, Humanities and COVID-19’. The call attracted a high number of well articulated and competitive applications, mainly addressing, perhaps not surprisingly, the topic of ‘Arts, Humanities and COVID-19’.
With an overall budget of 87.920 €, DARIAH funded nine projects for a one year period (December 2020 – December 2021). In this series of posts, we will be showcasing their results with a special focus on each of these projects.
International Evening Class
Coordinator: Annett Busch
With the Transversal Evening Classes, we offer a method and a multicentered framework to learn, unlearn and act locally and reach out inter-locally, to go beyond our own imagination, attentive to everyday concerns. We envision an open-ended infrastructure that initiates and connects artistic investigations and research-based activities as collaborative ways of learning, taking place in different cities, landscapes, villages, and venues around the globe.
These classes are neither enclosed in classrooms, nor do they take place online. They are actually anything but a class as we know it but raise all kinds of class-related questions, aiming to understand the world and our neighbourhoods from the thick of things and not from a survey perspective—while coming from very different starting points and places. Instead of a central building, many different locations will be adopted depending on what is being explored, along with a virtual platform that links, but doesn’t mirror the modules, prep hubs, and classes taking place on site. To generate a reflexive structure with co-relational classes providing a framework of attention for what otherwise goes unnoticed.
A new method, a different pedagogy
The Transversal Evening Classes aim to research the conditions and historic connections of what we are doing while doing what we are researching. The notion of the evening class also opens up an entry point to engage in conversations and a discourse on new challenges on divisions of labour, re-skilling and open access to education.
Classes, Places, Themes, Connections
mid air describes overarching research themes, interlacing threads to be further developed collaboratively, which will materialise artistically and take different shapes at different places in the course of the project. Mid air will connect and inform classes taking place on site and vice versa.
- mid air : A spatial imaginations / Vorstellungsvermögen
Henri Lefebvre’s comprehensive landmark book Production of Space, written in 1974, will be published for the first time in German by the end of 2021. With Lefebvre’s emphasis on the importance of everyday practices through which spaces and places are continuously re-created and transformed, and his scaling way of thinking, from local to global, from the present to ancient history and back, the book invites a re-reading– a-chronological, against the grain.
Our goal will be to cross, even queer, Lefebvre’s texts with analyses and narrations of resistance, rooted in most diverse landscapes, told by the participants, sporadic guests, as well as in documentary practices, gathered from various parts of the world. Against this background of collaborative reading, we will also address questions concerning the production of virtual spaces while also testing a series of virtual interactive tools, such as framevr.io, VR Chat or Wonder.
- mid air : B sheep methodologies
What can the strangely compelling figure of the Black Sheep—at once attractive and disturbing, playful and subversive—do for our modelling of sustainable futures? Perhaps it can prevent the premature foreclosure of the green imagination?
Exploring and conceptualising with the black sheep might lead us to consider the literal and metaphorical qualities of its wool, to economy and craft, capitalisation of nature, models of ecological sustainability, radical knitting as forms of coding, weaving and the renewed consideration of aesthetics in patterns.
- mid air : C I saw the future and it works __ history lessons
Mid air history lessons follow several traces unchronologically, remaining flexible in its “curriculum” and responsive to other courses, depending on which temporal and thematic lines are opening up. Reading Ruth First and Sylvia Winter to understand processes of transition through the methodology of female historians analysing male power politics. Learning with Little Magazines—as sources to locate and understand literary beginnings and their dissemination, to unfold and trace soft power politics, magazine diplomacies, entrepreneurial and pedagogical endeavours as being part of political struggles.
History lessons will produce 2 mid air magazines (German & English, approx. 40 pages each) and build up a digital audio-visual library on collaborative readings of pan-African magazines.
on site classes have a local starting point of reflection, their own timing and visibility, but in correlation with classes in other places. The classes will inform and inspire each other mutually; curricula, ideas, formats could be picked up, transformed, and further developed. They are attentive to processes preceding artistic finalisation, turning them inside out to become visible as such.
A series of evening classes produced and realised at Quartier Mozart with Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s care for cinema, history, semiology and language, with site-responsive interventions (readings, discussions, screenings etc.), speaking to local issues and uses of languages, alphabets and codes. Clips, podcasts, videos will be produced and shared online and further displayed in a montage/collage structure at Oberhausen and other in sync showtime events.
This will be a course-like structure in which matters of languages will be addressed from different perspectives. The fact of constantly being in translation/in transition between Kinyarwanda, French, English, Swahili, the experience of being in and out of Rwanda, immediately leads to questions of knowledge and power, to history and memory, to different practices of speaking, positions, situations, experiences, necessities.
- In between Georgetown/Guyana and Chelmsford/Essex
A series of meetings, seminars, reading sessions and practical workshops that will attempt to translate the novels of Wilson Harris into theatre and cinema. Enquiring into Harris’ notion of the “cross-cultural imagination,” this series of events are premised on the idea of creating collective methods of authorship as a way to generate new forms of cross-cultural dialogue as anti-colonial and anti-racist practice.
- Out of Karlshorst
The evening class will depart from the film Oyoyo (1980) by Indian filmmaker Chetna Vora, a cine-portrait of an educational feminist internationalism with students from Chile, Guinea-Bissau, the Mongolian Soviet Republic, Cuba and Bulgaria studying economics in East Germany, in the late 1970s.
One objective of the evening class is to search for the afterlives of some of the students portrayed in Oyoyo. Another objective is to understand their friendships as East-South conversations, lubricated by the limits and liminalities of the educational and feminist internationalism by means of cinema.
- Lahore with Sehr Jalil: Soy Sauce: looking at histories that are considered lost
The evening class is designed as a cross section and trial for a research project that contests binaries of time, medium and perspective through archive. Social media (Instagram) in the pandemic experienced by Sehr Jalil, and a World War II journal/album experienced and created by a British Indian soldier. It hopes to jolt, through an archival lens, the truism or pseudo classifications of post colonial time and place.
E wa jeun/Come and Eat will involve people engaging with food in different ways, in the hopes of challenging existing systems for transferring and sharing knowledge through food and eating.
The idea is that over at least five evening sessions, the participants will rotate based on the recommendations of those who have participated previously. To create a sense of togetherness, each participant will be furnished with crockery designed and produced by Temitayo Ogunbiyi, allowing both a moment of gathering and table setting to connect those participating with one another. An aim of this project will be to push the possibilities of intimacy in virtual space, and reimagine physical connections in what will hopefully be the aftermath of unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic.
- Petralia Soprana
Combining theoretical frameworks and practical interventions, this class will look into modes of farming that aim to increase diversity and put them into practice. Modern industrial agriculture, deforestation and husbandry contribute significantly to colonization of the planet, CO2 emission and species extinction. The aim of this evening class is to introduce types of farming that share resources and provide space for the becomings of more-than-human others, simply because they exist prior to us and entirely independent from our contributions.
- From Lubumbashi to Berlin via Belgium and the Australian desert with the artist collective On-Trade-Off
On-Trade-Off is a collaborative project between artists and writers on three continents that critically examines extractivism, the pitfalls of the promises of the green energy revolution, and searches for alternatives. The project brings together artists and thinkers gravitating around the art initiatives, Enough Room for Space (Brussels) and Picha (Lubumbashi) who started to inquire about lithium mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more broadly, the unequal distribution of risks, destruction, wealth and opportunities along global value chains.
- From Grünheide to Potosi via Berlin and Trondheim to Mo I Rana
The driving factor: focussing on e-mobility, the evening class will trace contradictions and paradoxes of the energy transition becoming “green” and initiates public events and site specific art production with a focus on narration and narratives, amplified through soundscapes and podcasts.
How can expert-knowledge become useful in different contexts of competence, where are the limits and how can we make these a potential? This series of evening classes aims to transform the idea of the university town; it will make use of the rich and wide ranging knowledge produced at different faculties and departments at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), with particular attention to Engineering, Geography and Geology, and turn the way knowledge is produced upside down.
The Hanau class starts as a grieving gesture, as an act of going to the place where on 19 February 2020 ten people lost their lives in a xenophobic attack. The attack in Hanau was a shock. How could this happen and why could this happen here? Hanau is a place with a complicated and layered cultural geography in the vicinity of Frankfurt, the centre of the German banking sector.
The evening class will create a framework of time and space which can lead to different forms of investigation. Give attention to its architectures and infrastructure, markets and parks, listen to its musics, understand the colours and shapes of its landscape from within. The class invites guests to speak, present, engage with films, poetry and gardening, and from there move to the neighbouring cities of Offenbach (and its Volkshochschule) on the way to Frankfurt.
Project team: Harun Farocki Institut (HaFI) in collaboration with the artist group Women on Aeroplanes—agency for flying ideas Annett Busch (Berlin/Trondheim) and Marie-Hélène Gutberlet (Frankfurt/Main) together with Ayodele Arigbabu (Lagos), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Yaoundé/Quartier Mozart), Elisa Bertuzzo (Berlin), Prerna Bishnoi (Trondheim), Garnette Cadogan (Boston), Kodwo Eshun (London/Berlin), Stacy Hardy (Polokwane), Louis Henderson (Berlin/Georgetown), Sehr Jalil (Lahore), Elke Marhöfer & Mikhail Lylov (Petralia Soprana), Assumpta Mugiraneza (KigalI), Alex Murray-Leslie (Chicks on Speed), Afrah Shafiq (Goa), Michael C. Vazquez (Brooklyn), the artist collective On-Trade-Off (Lubumbashi, Paris, Brussels, Sydney) among others.
* DARIAH Theme is an annual thematic priority set by the Board of Directors of DARIAH-EU. The aim is to stimulate activities and events related to an important topic of research in the digitally enabled arts and humanities by issuing a call for funding.