Fellows

Luigi Coppola, Shela Sheikh

Shela Sheikh: Colonialism, Cultivation, and Nonhuman Witnessing

As part of the Fellowship weekly intensive in November 2017, Fellow Luigi Coppola convenes a number of discussions including a seminar with lecturer and researcher Shela Sheikh on 24 November 2017 to talk about colonialism, cultivation and nonhuman witnessing and resistance to the colonial mode of organizing, appropriating and extracting value.

In the afternoon session Shela speaks in-depth about the intertwinement of colonialism and cultivation looking at how botanical taxonomy can be understood as “the base for all economics,” serving as both a vital medium for European colonial expansion and biologically determinist discourses of race, gender and nature.

more from Luigi Coppola

  • Evolutionary Populations: Seeds of a World Waiting to Germinate

    With the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, agronomist and phyto-geneticist, Salvatore Ceccarelli was forced to end his 25-year research period in Syria where he had been working with local farmers experimenting with a revolutionary agricultural method that develops participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding done in collaboration with farmers to breed […]

    read more

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Charl Landvreugd Named Head of Research & Curatorial Practice at Stedelijk Museum

Congratulations to BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Charl Landvreugd on his new position as Head of Research & Curatorial Practice at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam! We know that he will do important, critical, and motivating work.

March BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive with activists, artists, and theorists in Barcelona

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Jeanne van Heeswijk co-convened the March Fellows Intensive with critic, writer, and curator Ethel Baraona Pohl in Barcelona. The Intensive focused on, among other things, collective practices and facilitation, housing movements, artistic action, and neighborhood initiatives. The Fellows had the privilege of getting to speak in depth with members of La Borda, Calàbria 66, Can Batlló, La Ciutat Invisible, La Col, Coòpolis, De Veí a Veí, Espai en Blanc and Marina Garcés, Fil a l’agulla, La Lleialtat Santsenca, and La PAH.

Collective Dictionary: Xenia with Elena Isayev

Elena Isayev is a historian and professor at University of Exeter uses the ancient Mediterranean to explore migration, belonging, displacement and spatial perception. Her research is based on the intersection of Hospitality and Asylum, Potency of Displaced Agency, Common and Public Space. Her interdisciplinary and inter-practice approach has led to collective learning and research beyond the […]

Regarding Curatorial Activism, the Role of History and Archives

As part of the 2nd Tehran Curatorial Symposium: Curator as Translator, January 2019, Katayoun Arian was invited by organizer, Fereshte Moosavi to speak on curatorial activism. Drawing parallels between the role of history, archival practices, activism, and the decolonial turn, she views the space in which the act of translation unfolds to act as a […]

“Art After Culture: Exile”

BAK 2017/2018 Fellows Charl Landvreugd and Jeanne van Heeswijk present at e-flux journal‘s “Art After Culture: Exile” on Saturday 29 January 2019, Witte de With, Rotterdam, the first iteration of e-flux’s conference series Art After Culture?. From the conference descrption: In this climate, artists and art practitioners are suddenly faced with a politics that goes […]

Final BAK Fellows Intensive: Helianthe Kort and Preparing Propositions #8

The BAK 2018/2019 Fellows meet for their final Intensive in June. The week begins with BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Charl Landvreugd bringing Professor Helianthe Kort presenting and discussing her research on healthy built environments. The rest of the week, the Fellows build their own environment along with the BAK team, getting ready for the culminating public […]

Take a Risk and Explore: The Visualisation of the Dutch Cleaners’ Movement

Excerpt from the article: On a summer’s day in 2011 a large group of workers gathered at the entrance of the headquarters of the Federation of the Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) in Amsterdam. The workers, all FNV members, were there to show their dissatisfaction with the negotiations for a new general pension agreement. It had […]

BAK Fellows in MaHKU Graduation Show: If Not Now

Several generations of Fellows are involved in this year’s MaHKU, Utrecht, graduation show If Not Now, taking place at BAK from 30 September–11 October 2020. One BAK 2020 Fellowship position has been awarded to the Mutual Support Platform (MSP), a space for conversations and actions by/between/for students, alumni, and teachers of the MAFA HKU, Utrecht. […]

Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 Years of Emancipation and Struggle at the Black Archives

The exhibition Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 years of Emancipation and Struggle (2019–2020), celebrating Vereniging Ons Suriname‘s 100th anniversary, at The Black Archives, Amsterdam is co-curated by BAK 2018-2019 Fellow Jessica de Abreu, 2019/2020 Fellow Mitchell Esajas along with colleagues at The Black Archives. It showcases the often hidden histories of Surinamese activism and anti-racist work in the Netherlands. The exhibition features research conducted during the Fellowship as well as art works by 2018/2019 co-Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout, depicting revolutionary women of color, including de Abreu.

Thiago de Paula Souza Co-Curates Frestas

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza has been chosen to co-curate Frestas, Triennial of Arts, São Paulo in 2020. Co-Fellow Haseeb Ahmed shows at the exhibition.

Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty works with Goethe-Institut and her project reboot.fm, both Berlin, to co-create a multi-day long experimental radio program Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations (2020), and exploring ideas of locality, being together, and social justice and legacies of colonialism. As part of the program, co-Fellow David Muñoz Alcántara is commissioned […]

Ola Hassanain Awarded Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize and Shows at Two International Architecture Exhibitions

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Ola Hassanain was awarded a 2019/2020 Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize, and has work in the Sharjah Architecture Triennial Rights of Future Generations (2019–2020) and Chicago Architecture Biennial …And Other Such Stories (2019–2020) curated by Fellow BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Sepake Angiama. Congratulations to Ola on the opportunities!

Andre Reeder and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Fellows Intensive

Fellows Mitchell Esajas, Grant Watson, and Reem Shilleh, along with BAK, were preparing to co-convene a Fellows Intensive beginning 23 March, 2020. With lockdowns starting in Europe just a week before, the plans became impossible in their imagined forms and the Fellows were unable to gather at BAK, visit The Black Archives in Amsterdam, do […]

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?

BAK Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout, artist, activist and womanist, created Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?  a solo exhibition as a social monument, alongside a growing community of collaborators. The opening takes a place at De Appel on 4 October, 2019.

Reem Shille in Kunstenfestivaldesarts

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Reem Shilleh collaborates with artist and researcher Samah Hijawi and Radio Al Hara as a part of Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels. They center diaspora, homeland, and other topics in radio and in person conversations.

Mad About Study, a Training with Joy Mariama Smith

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith leads a training as part of Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020), an exhibition as a series of trainings, in October 2019 at BAK. The training addresses collective reading and writing, conversations, somatics, movement research, karaoke, and more, culminating in a dance party and public intervention. […]

How to Assemble Now (BAK Public Studies)

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Isshaq Al-Barbary and 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith are among the contributors to BAK’s Public Studies Program How to Assemble Now, taking place In August and September 2020.   Read more about the program here.

Yara Sharif: Architecture of Resistance

As part of a session convened and moderated by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Ola Hassanain, Yara Sharif gave a seminar (via Skype), discussing, in particular her text  “Cultivating spatial possibilities in Palestine: searching for sub/urban bridges in Beit Iksa, Jerusalem” (by Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif); and more generally unpacking alternative means to re-read and redraw […]

Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent Published!

BAK has published the first publication in a series on our research trajectory Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (MIT Press, 2019). Moving from critique to propositions, the project attempts to articulate and inhabit methods of de-individualized living and to practice ways in which multiplicity and difference establish relations […]

Collective Dictionary: Inhabiting

Inhabiting is an outcome of the collaboration between Al Maeishah (Isshaq Al-Babrbary, Elena Isayev, and Diego Segatto) and the Office of Displaced Designers (ODD), who invited Al Maeishah to implement their research on The Alternative Atlas of Lesvos: An Island for the World. The atlas aims to intersect with those forcibly displaced, with the global web […]

Announcing the Post-Academic BAK 2020 Fellows

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to announce the Post-Academic BAK 2020 Fellows. Exploring the possibilities of art as a public good and a site of public pedagogies, the 2020 Fellowship experiments with and develops formats, practices, collaborative processes, social imagination, theory, and anticipatory learning methods so as to shape the program in the forthcoming funding period 2021–2024 with BAK.

Isshaq Al-Barbary, Ola Hassanain, Jeanne van Heeswijk, and Charl Landvreugd join Urban Front for Training “Urban Practices and the Future of the City”

BAK 2017/2018 Fellows Isshaq Al-Barbary and Ola Hassanain, as well as 2018/2019 Fellows Jeanne van Heeswijk and Charl Landvreugd join Urban Front (with Distinguished Professor David Harvey, Associate Professor Miguel Robles-Durán, artist Jeanne Van Heeswijk, curator and writer Laura Raicovich, activist and politician Gala Pin, urban sociologist Laia Forne) and guests Charli Herrington and Carina […]

Elizabeth Povinelli: Four Axioms of Critical Theory

Elizabeth A. Povinelli gives a seminar on the four axioms of critical theory during the first Fellowship 2017/2018 gathering on 6 October 2017.

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty Presents at Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty presented a time traveling piece on interconnecting practices related to her Fellowship research trajectory in the panel ” Working in Groups, Acting in Networks.”  Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars is co-convened with writer and curator Sven Lütticken as a temporary spin-off from Trainings for the Not-Yet and the ninth iteration of […]

Aliens, Spacetime, Storytelling, and Infrastructure: December Fellows Intensive

In December 2019 the BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gather for their third Fellows Intensive, co-convened by Fellows Oleksiy Radynski, David Muñoz Alcántara, and Diana McCarty along with BAK. Synthesizing and pushing their own and each other’s individual research trajectories, in December the Fellows visit local institutions like IMPAKT, Casco Art Institute, and Universiteitsmuseum; create and participate […]

Training by Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Hamada al-Joumah: An Investigation into Collective Work Processes for Self-Determination

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and community activist Hamada al-Joumah convene the sixteenth training as part of the Trainings for the Not-Yet, An Investigation into Collective Work Processes for Self-Determination, from 27 November to 1 December 2019. The training focuses on discussions, collective readings, presentations, and exercises for developing a resource box for collective working and […]

Charl Landvreugd’s Movt. Nr. 10: Ososma

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Charl Landvreugd creates a large-scale, solo installation exhibition Movt. Nr. 10: Ososma at CBK Zuidoost, Amsterdam (25/10–13/12/2019). The exhibition is a self-portrait and a critical reflection on cultural hybridity, integral to Landvreugd’s work, research, and current times.

Practicing Tactical Solidarities: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care

Streaming online at bakonline.org/prospections and on social media: @BAKUtrecht on Facebook and @BAK basis voor actuele kunst on YouTube With Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative (including BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne van Heeswijk), Rotterdam; the Basic Activist Kitchen, Utrecht; Brigate Volontarie per l’emergenza, Milan; and Homebaked Anfield, Liverpool Coordinated communitarian responses to this crisis have abounded, with individuals and […]

War and Cinema

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Oleksiy Radynski curates a War and Cinema, an art film program on e-flux that explores differing uses of moving image media and war.

Fellows Intensive Joins Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars

The BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gathered in Utrecht for the second time in November. Along with mapping ideas and sharing research, they joining programming and trainings for BAK’s Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars, co-convened with writer and curator Sven Lütticken as a temporary spin-off from Trainings for the Not-Yet and the ninth iteration of BAK’s long-term […]

Staring with Equality: Interview with Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Wendelien van Oldenborgh visited Japan in late 2017 to participate in “MOT Satellite 2017 Fall – Connecting Scapes,” organized at various locations by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Her work was exhibited at the Arts and Science Lab at Tokyo University of the Arts Ueno Campus, where she also held a screening and talk […]

Online Screening of Oleksiy Radynski’s Landslide and Interview with Grant Watson

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Oleksiy Radynski’s film Landslide (2016) premieres online 26 August 2020 as part of the screening series From Matter to Data: Ecology of Infrastructures, 29 July–9 September 2020, Museum of Modern Art, New York. This series presents a selection of 15 films and video works available in three part. Radynski’s film is part of […]

Mijke van der Drift at Love Spells & Rituals for Another World

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Mijke van der Drift presents her research The Logic of Loss in Bonding in the talk “Realisitcally Impossible: The Magic of Social Change” at the virtual conference Love Spells & Rituals for Another World. As Love Spells explains:  Engaging with queer, feminist and decolonial approaches and drawing on developments in cultural studies […]

Rehearsing in Public with the BAK Fellows

On Wednesday 12 February 2020, BAK 2019/2020 Fellows Mijke van der drift and Joy Mariama Smith, along with BAK, co-convene a participatory panel. Along with artist Ahmed El Gendy and poet and activist Nat Raha, they rehearse in public experimental and collective practices that they are trying out in their research. The participatory panel aims to […]

False Heroes Must Be Forgotten: Rotunda Magazine conversation with Thiago de Paula Souza

Carolina Martínez speaks with BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza about his role as a curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Rotunda Magazine. From the article: Last month finished the latest Berlin Biennale, developed under the curatorial concept “We don’t need another hero”, where the concepts of power that we drag from imperialism […]

Introduction to Comparative Planetology

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan’s publication  Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, Strelka Press) is the culmination of long term research, including his research as a BAK Fellow. The book-essay, according to  Likavčan, “presents an intertwined analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and geopolitics of climate emergency. It compares different “figures” of the planet […]

Collective Dictionary: Political

In April 2016, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, brought to life the Here We Are Academy: a spirited temporary recomposition of a refugee-initiated platform for learning called We Are Here Academy. Established in Amsterdam in 2012, We Are Here is the first large-scale organization of refugees living in limbo in the Netherlands. Through projects organized […]

Naomie Pieter: The Body in Black Women’s Activism

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Activist and artist Naomie Pieter leads the Fellows in a workshop on the use of the body as a […]

First Fellows Intensive of the BAK 2020 Fellowship Program

In September the Netherlands-based stream of the BAK 2020 Fellows gather at BAK, with social distance, to begin their work together. Through mapping exercises, establishing collective protocols (or something close to it), spending time with the BAK team, and sharing well-ventilated space, a sense of what is to come in the Fellowship has emerged. This […]


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BAK 2018/2019 Fellows do workshops with MaHKU students

As part of the BAK Fellowship Program, BAK Fellows do workshops, curate screenings, and have discussions with MA students of the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design HKU, Utrecht, one of BAK’s main collaborators and partners. Fellows co-convene a session on their research and critically engage with the students in their own practices […]