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 […]

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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 […]

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.

Roet in het Eten Book Launch

As part of Propositions #2: Assemblism, Quinsy Gario presents his new book Roet in het Eten [Spanner in the Works],an anthology of newspaper columns, opinion articles, blog posts on among other things anti-racism, white supremacy and Dutch media landscape written between 2011–2017 and published mainly on the eponymous online platform Roet in het Eten.  

“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 […]

Thiago de Paula Souza curates Tony Cokes: To Live As Equals at BAK

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza curates Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (2020–2021).  Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals brings together selected video works from the past 30 years, immersing viewers in the audiovisual language that artist Tony Cokes has developed over his career, which typically blurs aesthetics […]

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. […]

All Good Things Must Begin: A Conversation Between Audre Lorde and Octavia E. Butler

“All Good Things Must Begin: A conversation between Audre Lorde and Octavia E. Butler” took place at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montreal, as a space for reading, writing, screening, reflection, and conversation on intersectional feminism, modernist architecture, and science fiction, and forms part of Sepake Angiama’s BAK Fellowship research Her Imaginary. https://www.sbcgallery.ca/sepake-angiama

Civilization at the Crossroad: Co-Curated by Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan and Pavel Sterec curate Civilization at the Crossroad: Engineers of Scientific-Technical Revolution at FUTURA gallery, Prague (4 December 2018–17 February 2019), reflecting on research done by philosopher Radovan Richta and his team in the 1960s and “a new Czechoslovakian socialism.” In addition to historical documents and media, the exhibition includes works by artists: […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mention for May you live in interesting times

BAK Fellow Otobong Nkanga was honored with the Special Mention Award, for her work May you live in interesting times, 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019.

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.

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.

Cinema Olanda at The Black Archives

On 26 November 2017, one day after the opening of the exhibition Black and Revolutionary: The Story of Hermina and Otto Huiswoud, the Amsterdam premiere of Cinema Olanda (2017) took place at Vereniging Ons Suriname and The Black Archives. The film has been part of the installation Cinema Olanda, made by the artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh […]

Jota Mombaça: Visionary Fiction, Activist Writing, and Critical Practices

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Thiago de Paula Souza and Mick Wilson, along with BAK, co-convene the April 2019 Fellows Intensive focusing on conceptions of violence. Along with screenings, presentations, and discussions curated and conducted by these Fellows, artists, writer, and performer Jota Mombaça joins the Fellows to lead them through collective reading exercises, collaborative writing processes, […]

Gathering in these Times: Extension, Intensives, Culmination in September

Due to the many effects of the pandemic, the Fellowship Program has shifted significantly. With fatigue, urgencies, the traps of digitalization, travel restrictions, expanding global inequalities, calls for actions, the massive changes generally and looming dangers, the Fellowship Program cannot continue in the form it once was. In addition to meeting online and searching for […]

The Wind Egg

From 15 September 2018–6 January 2019 BAK Fellow Haseeb Ahmed has had a solo show IN SITU: Haseeb Ahmed – The Wind Egg as part of the In Situ series at M HKA, Antwerp. For millennia ancient Egyptian, Aran, Indian, European, and Chinese cultures have conceptualized the wind egg, suggesting that the wind can fertilize […]

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.

Fellows at Le Guess Who?

  On Friday 8 November, BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne van Heeswijk and Utrecht-based experimental music festival Le Guess Who connect visual artist, activist, womanist, and fellow Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout with Chicago-based pianist, clarinetist, and composer Angel Bat Dawid for an event as part of Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020). Both women tap […]

Suely Rolnik: The Spheres of Insurrection

As part of the Fellowship program in November 2017, Wendelien van Oldenborgh convenes and moderates a (Skype) seminar with psychoanalyst, cultural critic, and curator Suely Rolnik. During this seminar, Rolnik discusses her text ”The Spheres of Insurrection: Suggestions for Combatting the Pimping of life” and how microspheric modes of existence are capable of interrupting the […]

Sepake Angiama Curator of 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Sepake Angiama co-curates the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial …And Other Such Stories.  As part of the program, Fellow 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Ola Hassanain’s work was part of the exhibition. From the curators’ statement: “Titled …and other such stories, the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial is rooted in close readings of the spatial realities of its […]

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 […]

A Conversation on: The Power of Doing Nothing

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith and BAK 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Quinsy Gario join Framer Framed for A Conversation on: The Power of Doing Nothing (2020), a radio program discussing productivity, refusal, and the racialized inequalities of rest. 

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 […]

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.

Closing Dinner for Trainings For The Not-Yet, with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Bakudapan

On 22 December 2019,  Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020), the exhibition as a series of trainings co-convened by artist and BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne Van Heeswijk and BAK, ends with a communal meal, cooked by the Bakudapan Food Study Group! with the Basic Activist Kitchen.  The communal meal, convened around sharing food […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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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 […]

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 […]

Lukáš Likavčan Presents Fellowship Research at Sonic Acts

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan presents his new book Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, read an excerpt at Strelka Press here) at Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, 2020. Research and writing for the book was done during Likavčan’s Fellowship.  Listen to his Sonic Acts podcast here and watch his presentation here.


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Announcing the Post-Academic BAK 2019/2020 Fellows

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to announce its BAK 2019/2020 Fellows, ten outstanding practitioners in the arts, theory, and social action from the Netherlands and abroad. These fellows have been selected for their advanced artistic and other expressive practices, interdisciplinary excellence, critical insight, and collaborative strategies from approximately 200 applicants. The BAK […]

The Ether and Radio Alhara: Ella Finer, Hazem Jamjoum, and Reem Shadid

Fellow Urok Shirhan convenes a session with BAK, centering her research on audio forms,”collective listening, acoustic commons, and… what the shift from the eye to the ear could hold for us.” Over two days and a few digital sessions, Fellows heard talks about historic uses of radio, listened to sound pieces alone together, and experimented […]

Arun Saldanha: Reontologising Race and the Post-Colonial Body

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. Geographer and theorist Arun Saldanha joins the Fellows to present his work on reontologising race, affect, and ecologies, and […]

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 […]

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.