Fellows

Isshaq Al-Barbary (Campus in Camps), Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps)

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 academy, such as her collaboration with Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto in the framework of the project Al Maeishah (“living” in Arabic). As part of a 2017/2018 BAK Fellowship weekly intensive convened by Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps), Isayev introduced the “Xenia” booklet that she edited together with Al-Barbary and Segatto as part of the ongoing series Collective Dictionary.  In exploring the ancient stories and remains of those who moved through a world without maps, borders, or nation-states,this Collective Dictionary entry reveals the shifting attitudes to the outsider—the guest and the host—exposing how fleeting the conventions are that take shape in the here and now.

more from Isshaq Al-Barbary (Campus in Camps)

  • 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.

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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Related content

Seminar with Andrea Phillips

As part of a session convened by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Otobong Nkanga, educator and political organizer in the arts Andrea Phillips gave a seminar on her current research focus: reorienting contemporary art’s ecology toward producing more emancipatory forms of sharing—not simply about spatial sharing and inclusivity, but also at the level of wage labor.   […]

Archiving, Refusal and Mujaawarah: Fellows Intensive

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Reem Shilleh brings 2018/2019 Fellow Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh to speak with the Fellows on their shared experiences archiving. As Shilleh writes: Based on our respective experiences with collecting, archiving — on Palestine and in Burj al-Shamali camp in Lebanon — and refusing to doing both, our conversations around editing led us to questions […]

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 […]

Objects of Love and Desire

Patricia Kaersenhout has a solo show, Objects of Love and Desire, at Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam from 6 February–24 March 2019. Objects of Love and Desire shows Kaersenhout’s newest banner works showing black women scholars, journalists, poets, and activists of Caribbean decent in action as heroic figures, in the style of historic Chinese propaganda posters. […]

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. […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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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 […]

Seminar with Françoise Vergès

Political scientist, historian, and feminist Françoise Vergès joins the discussion via Skype on how artistic research can contribute to decolonial methodologies. With introduction by Olivier Bouin (director of the Network of French Institutes for Advanced Studies) and 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Pelin Tan.

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.  

Charl Landvreugd Accepted to De Akademie van Kunsten

Congratulations to Charl landvreugd, who has been accepted to the Dutch Akademie van Kunsten! De Akademie aims to interpret the voice of the arts in Dutch society (including politics) and to promote interaction between the arts themselves, art and society, and between science and art. It annually elects new members based on demonstrable artistic achievements.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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. 

Archival Propositions

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh present at Propositions #7/6: Archive, the final iteration of the public series Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods. The event also features Ariel Caine (Forensic Architecture, London) and takes place at BAK in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice (18 October 2018–27 January 2019). This program is […]

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

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 […]

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.

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 […]

May BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive: Models, Timelines, Scale, and Guest Ramon Amaro

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Haseeb Ahmed and Lukáš Likavčan co-convene, along with BAK, the April Fellows Intensive focusing on modelling, timelining, scale, and the social and political aspects that shape and inform these. Along with presentations, screenings, and experiments in pedagogy and workshops curated and conducted by these Fellows, machine learning researcher and designer Ramon Amaro […]

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 […]

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 […]

Save the Date: Propositions #12

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to announce Propositions #12, an eight-hour live radio play presented in ten scenes. The program emerges from the post-academic BAK 2019/2020 Fellowship Program, in which the Fellows address urgencies of the contemporary through individual and collective research. After a four-month extension of the 2019/2020 Fellowship Program due […]


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BAK 2019/2020 Fellows Gather for the First Fellows Intensive!

The BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gathered at BAK in Utrecht for their first of seven Fellows Intensives together. Throughout the week, the Fellows presented their work, motivations, and research; learned about BAK, Utrecht, and each other; ate meals together; planned activities; found unlikely and motivating places of connection; imagined possibilities; shared references, pieces, and publications; met […]

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: […]


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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 […]

Is Data the New Gas?

“In 2017, The Economist famously claimed that “data is the new oil.” At the time, Wendy Chun’s response to this statement was: “Big data is the new COAL. The result: global social change. Intensely energized and unstable clouds.”12 Still, both coal and oil are likely to decline as energy sources. Another question worth asking, then, is: what […]

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.


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Ending the Post-Academic BAK 2018/2019 Fellowship

In June 2019, the post-academic BAK 2018/2019 Fellowship comes to a close. After ten months of intensive thinking, imagining, enacting, practicing, troubling, discussing, laughing, sometimes even crying, the Fellows continue on their work in differing forms. Throughout our time together, the Fellows and their research have influenced and transformed each other’s as well as BAK. […]

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.